The Getting started tutorial helps you to become familiar with the Instant Terra interface and to create your first terrain.
This is the Instant Terra interface at startup. It consists of a visual representation of a terrain in the 3D View and the default nodes composing the terrain in the Graph.
In Edit > Preferences > Theme, you can modify the color of the Graph (see the Edit menu for details).
First, let's see how to move the camera in the 3D View's 3D space.
The default camera is the Instant Terra camera, but you can select one of the three different key and mouse combinations - Default, Maya-style, and 3ds Max-style cameras - to pan in the 3D View (see the Camera menu) for more details on how to toggle between the different cameras).
Before you get started creating your project, you may want to set up some parameters, depending on your preferences.
You can set the camera type, the lighting, the terrain color, the theme, and the backup settings.
See Setting your preferences for details.
Let's see now the possible interactions in the Graph.
When you right-click in the Graph, you access the Create node menu, which contains all the nodes that can be added to compose the terrain. Each node is a mathematical operation that combines with others to create an increasingly rich graph.
See the Node reference guide for details on all the nodes.
By left-clicking on the node's output module, you create a link that lets you connect it to another node. Once this new node is linked, its results are added to the previous nodes that make up the terrain.
To select a node or several nodes:
When a node is selected, if its computation is associated with a terrain or a mask, the terrain or mask is displayed in the 3D View. In the example below, clicking on the Apply curve shows the computation of this node with the Perlin noise terrain generator.
When you double-click on a node, a new window opens with its parameters. You can modify the parameters and see the result directly in real time in the 3D View.
Some nodes have no parameters.
For more details on a node, simply click on the question mark in the parameters window title bar to access the relevant page in the documentation. We have also posted short video tutorials on YouTube on some specific nodes.
In this section, you will create a terrain by composing two terrain generators and a mask, and adding erosion simulation.
The new terrain has both the 400 m height of the Slope node and all the parameters inherited from the Perlin noise node.
Double-click the Painted mask node to open its parameters and check the Edit mask box.
Paint the mask directly in the 3D View.
In the place where you painted, the Painted mask is white, the Perlin noise mask retrieves the Slope node properties, and the terrain is elevated to 400 m.
What is interesting now, rather than painting with pure white, is to set the brush intensity to 0.15 and the fall-off to 0.5 to get a much more nuanced composition on the terrain.
Here is the result.
Here is the result.
At this point, if you are not satisfied with the result, click on the Lock icon in the Toolbar or press the space bar on the keyboard to lock the 3D view on the selected node. This allows you to go back to any previous node in the graph and modify the parameters while keeping the current view in the 3D View.
or select Create node > Export > Export terrain to export the terrain as a heightmap. In this node, you can preview the result in the 3D View using the icon in the toolbar or the M keyboard shortcut. All you need to do now is choose the appropriate export format.
Here is the result once you have imported your terrain into a game engine, such as Unreal Engine.
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