Windows 95/98/NT/2000 .
Free for non-commercial use. Register for commercial use.
File size 4MB
|| You can download Terragen
for free, and while you're downloading, it's advisable to make the
rounds of the many assistant applications such as 'Terranim', which
sets up animations for Terragen to render. You'll find all of these
rendering programs at http://www.planetside.co.uk/terragen.
Expect your total download size to come to around 4MB, with documentation.
The interface is relatively straight forward and within minutes of opening Terragen for the first time it's possible to turn out an impressive landscape. The second phase which would be for many the exporting of finished environments for further editing is more challenging.
Terrain can be created manually or from various types of digital mapping, notably that supplied care of NASA. Atmospheric conditions, cloud and water levels are all easily manipulated along with general camera prefs.
Terragen can then generate bitmap images of your landscape. In the free version these are limited to a maximum size of 1280 x 960 pixels.
Creating animated fly-throughs of your world is also possible. A series of bitmap images are drawn by Terragen from a script passed to it from the Terranim application, which features an OpenGL preview. These can then be run together with a video editor such as Bink! Although getting final renders to look like your preview may take some time the results are rewarding.
Terragen exports your landscape as a Lightwave .lwo file so unless you use Lightwave you must translate your new world into a format that would be useable elsewhere.
On the minus side: despite repeated efforts to translate the .lwo file into an exceptable format for import into Studio Max the only success we had was with Maya, all other translations failed. This is a real shame, but nevertheless Terragen stands out as an essential freeware download.