Links

Basic Operator Attributes

Tab ‘Basic’

Basic attributes of any operator object

A heightmap exported from an operator

Export Mode & Export Bitmap...

All operator objects have the ability to export their result as normalized 32-bit floating point TIFF, for use in shaders, materials, or even other applications.

You can choose to export the height map, the slope map, and the mask generated by Fields.

Memory usage

In the Basic tab of any Operator, you can see the memory usage of that Operator. The memory usage is approximated from the size of the participating data structures. The value of the Group Operator includes not only its own internal data, but also the sum of all its child Operators.

Tab ‘Operator’

Basic Operator attributes for generators
Basic Operator attributes for filters

There are some attributes that are shared across all Operator Objects...

Basic operator attributes. Every Operator Object in Terraform4D has this tab.

Blend

This slider controls the intensity of the operator.

Setting it to 0% will eliminate any effect the operator might have. Setting it to 100% will show the full effect.

Mode

When combining operators, you can choose from a multitude of blend modes, just as you might find in an image processing application. These modes define how the values of an operator are blended with the underlying terrain.

Blend mode icons in the Object Manager

Generators indicate their blend mode with a little icon overlay in the Object Manager. You can deactivate this feature in the Terraform4D Preferences.

Only Generators have this attribute!

The following list describes the available blend modes. Note that some of the blend modes are commutative, while others aren't.

Gain

Only Generators have this attribute!

This control is possibly the most important for all generating operators: it acts like a multiplier, controlling the amplitude of the operator’s results.

It's up to you whether you create molehills or mountains!

Offset

Only Generators have this attribute!

This control moves the operator's result up and down. Use it to keep the terrain ‘down to earth’ when adding a lot of operators.

Tip: Experiment with Gain and Offset values in conjunction with the different modes!

Tab ‘Masking’

Masking attributes
Rocky slopes and soft plains using topological masking.
© 2020 by Think

Any operator can be masked using the attributes in this tab. With masking, you can constrain the influence of an operator to just certain parts of the terrain - for example, adding noise only to the hills, while keeping the valleys smooth.

Note: masking is only enabled on an Operator that has another Operator above it in the stack.

The masking tab offers Topological Masking, which is masking based on the underlying terrain, and support for Fields, offering location and falloff-based masking.

Tip: Try experimenting with two Noise Operators - set the upper one to a large scale, say 500% with Octaves at 1 or 2, and set the lower one to a 50% scale with Octaves at 5 or more. Now enable Altitude Masking on the lower Operator, then increase the Min. values and decrease the Max. values to see what happens!

Altitude

Mask by altitude level. You can constrain the operator to certain altitude levels of the underlying terrain.

For example, you can constrain a rocky structure to only appear on higher mountains, but not in valleys.

Enable

Enable masking by altitude.

Min.

Minimum altitude. Below this level, the operator will be masked out.

Min. Soft

Soften the minimum to make it look less sharp.

Max.

Maximum altitude. Above this level, the operator will be masked out.

Max. Soft

Soften the maximum to make it look less sharp.

Slope

Mask by slope steepness. You can constrain the operator to certain slope angles of the underlying terrain.

For example, you can constrain a rocky structure to appear only on steeper slopes, while keeping the remaining areas soft. This will give you a kind of erosion-like look, like rocks peeking through sand.

Enable

Enable masking by slope.

Min.

Minimum slope. On flatter plains, the operator will be masked out.

Min. Soft

Soften the minimum to make it look less sharp.

Max.

Maximum slope. On steeper areas, the operator will be masked out.

Max. Soft

Soften the maximum to make it look less sharp.

Fields

Fields masking in action: A Nutous Noise field on the left, an FBM noise field on the right, and a Voronoi mountain in the middle
Procedural masking with a Python Field

Mask by Fields. This gives you precise location and falloff-based masking, which is very art-directable.

With Fields, it's easy to have mountainous areas fall off into soft plains, or sandy deserts change into billowy prairies.

Field List

Organize your Fields here.

Tip: You might not use the ‘Normal’ blend mode very often, but with Fields it really shines!

Note: You can use the ‘Set as Default...’ option in the Attribute Manager to store a Field as default for that type of Field. However, the default object will only be respected when creating a Field from the ‘Create’ menu, or icon palette.

Creating a Field object from an operator's Field List will always create a Field with standard settings. This, unfortunately, cannot be changed, as it's a confirmed bug in Cinema 4D.

© 2020 by Think