copyright (c) 2006
|Terragen and PD
Hello Terragen and MojoWorld users! :)
I recently discovered a wonderful app, PD Particles which I
quickly realized can help me improve a lot of my 3D images rendered
from Terragen and my other favorite 3D programs.
For example, my current version of Terragen (0.9x) doesn't have
any kind of vegetation. It would be great to have tall grass and bushes
at least nearby in the foreground.
This little tutorial will show us how to add vegetation by painting
over the rendering (post work) and to improve a Terragen image
adding some DOF and a different sky.
Here is my original Terragen render. I called it
|First I wanted to change
the appearance of the clouds. In the original render, they look too
I opened the image in PD Particles. This program is made for
quick and easy dabbles. When you start the program, it asks how you
want to start: with a blank image (you can then select its dimensions),
or one from a file or one which you temporarily copied into the
Interesting note: There are even some programers of other imaging tools
who have made a plugin for their own tools that connects it to PD
Particles - like the DogWeaver plugin
for the freeware Artweaver program at www.artweaver.de)
which can send an image to and read it back from PD Particles directly
through the ActiveX server connection. Hopefully we'll see more
programs do this.
||Then I choose the Oils
tool and Large cover option. This is a fantastic tool for
There are many presets, including of course for particle based brushes,
which we'll use soon for the foliage.
I always wanted to learn more traditional hand painting, and the
presets for oils and others are great to do just that
||Next, in the Brush
settings pannel to the far right, if we change the Default
mode to Smear or
Paint Smear, a simple
experiment of playing with the mouse over our flat clouds will
transform them into wonderful 3D clouds!
It can also help to change the Opacity value, and the Bleed. Play and
try, this is fun!
||Don't hesitate to adjust
the Size of the Brush for each situation.
We can repeat this method on the background's hills to obtain a DOF
(depth of field) effect. Atmospheric blurring is easily added this way.
If you paint a few brush strokes in this manner but don't like the
result, just use 'u' for undo. I like this shortcut, reminds me of
If you want more blue'ish (or Los Angeles-grey 'yellowish') tinting for
some kind of Phosphorous smog layer, just change the brush primary
color (with left mouse button over the color wheels and other color
|Now it's time to add some
vegetation in our scene. There's nothing more fun or easier to do this
than with with Pd Particles!
We must choose what plants we need in the Particles menu and
cutomize all parameters in the right pannel:
There are many presets directly accessible from trhe Presets button
menu. And of course I can now customize them to new settings, or find
additional ones to download from the freebies
Once you select a preset, that's not the end of it, it's just the
beginning of your exploration. So many parameters exposed and easily
used to create many other types of shrubbery, tall grass, thick or
starving bushes, lush green or something not even from this planet.
For example, I can change the total number of particles, their
velocities, lifespan, the gravity, initial size, skylight shading and
fog or tinting, etc.
More tutorials to know all the possibilities here: PD Particles Tutorials
copyright (c) 2006
After all of this, this is my final image with better clouds, DOF
and vegetation in the foreground.
||At this point I might take
it back to my favorite image editor, or even just a viewer like
Irfanview to make a screensaver or add some filter fx to it.
PD Particles doesn't do much on that side, and that's intentional,
because it wants to be a companion to what you're already using. But
there are just a few essential color correction tools that you might
enjoy here too.
Fade Last Action is
awesome when the effect of a brush stroke was at the right place on the
paiknting but too strong.
Adjust Color has some great advanced options for mid tones, shadows and
highlights to be affected separately. It can be used to turn a warm
summer image into a cold winter scene.
copyright (c) 2006
|And this is my image after
some tonal adjustments (I had all I needed right here in PD Particle's Filter
menu). It's a dry, dusty planet.
We have a lot of other possibilities to improve our 3D/2D images using PD
I hope this mini-tutorial has helped you realize how powerful this tool
can be for TG users. Happy rendering, and happy waffling!
Cristian Mihaescu (aka criss)
criss digital art
September 27, 2006