True-Terrain

by Richard Traynor in Models

Please read this first

The above link is a recommended settings document, painstakingly crafted to give you the best setup to allow you to render amazing scenes without your computer turning into a smouldering pile of plastic and metal. 

This is best viewed offline, and using a PDF viewer. It is fully interactive when not in a browser, and will allow for better navigation.

Are you looking to create photo-real environments? Are you tired of having to find reference photos, sculpting the environments, texturing, building grass, trees, rocks and flowers for particle systems?... If so, keep reading!

What is True-Terrain? 

True-Terrain is an 'All-in-one' product. A product with a series of Custom Shaders, models and particle systems, that will allow you to create a fully believable, and photo-realistic environment using just blenders own internal tool-set.

True-Terrain has been created with realism in mind, and ALL of the materials in True-Terrain, generate and render, based on realistic values, which have been carefully put together, to mimic that of the real world. This means that, when you add dust to your terrain, or snow, or generate a water level based wet-map, they will all generate procedurally, and naturally based on that of the true world values.

The best; cheapest, and currently only product that offers powerful, dynamic 'Auto-mapping' terrain shaders.

True-Terrains, shader groups, have been carefully created, so that you can tweak every possible value, and be able to snap new groups into the current node tree, without the need to add all sorts of different mix nodes. If you want to add dust, to the crooks and crevices of your terrains, then the base terrain shader already has this option added in. If you want to add a top layer of heavy snow, then all you need to do, is drop one of the two powerful 'snow mask' tools, into the node tree just before the shader output node, let blender automatically snap into the pass-through and add your top-layer of snow.

Once you apply the True-Terrain material to your mesh, you will discover a world (pun intended) of possible terrain environments you can create.

You need to add some grass, flowers, trees or rocks to your scene? 

Append one of the particle systems from the appropriate .blend into your scene, and there you have it. All the Particle systems, are set up, and ready to render. All you will need to do, is scale the hair particles in the particle settings, to suit your style, and Render!

How does it all work?

True Terrain comes complete with:

  • 3 different HDRi scene files @3 different resolutions each, and a custom world shader to light your scenes.
  • Over 15 different Rock models with custom shaders
  • A Nature pack, including grass, several flowers, trees, weeds and leaves
  • Gravity based snow mapping shaders
  • Gravity based dust mapping
  • Terrain mapping; allowing you to determine where your mesh generates 2 different materials E.G slope materials and ground materials, of which, you can adjust the terrain node group sliders, to determine whether more ground, or more slope is mapped
  • Wetmap generation
  • 6 different texture groups, which have been built so you just need to snap the appropriate connections to your shaders, to map them onto your model
  • A customer water shader, with an 'Snow/Ice' slider, which will allow you to freeze your lakes and rivers realistically.
  • Custom grass, leaf, and flower shaders, with options to turn SSS on or off, change the amount of SSS and ageing of the models
  • Ageing of rocks, leaves, plants and grass, which will age randomly across the objects, so their is a natural variation across your scene.



You no longer need to spend hours of your time, or your hard earned cash; just so you can have a beautiful terrain! 

UPDATE V2.01

  • Help documentation added, to provide detailed information on setting up the correct settings, depending on your machine specifications


UPDATE V2.0

  • New Demo Video
  • Shader overhall for the Nature assets and True terrain main shader
  • New Wetmap Integration 
  • Instructions in the shader on how to use wetmaps
  • New Image texture packs for Terrains 
  • updated Ageing, and weathering of Grass
  • 2 New Tree types added


UPDATE V1.2

  • New Nature pack included:
    • Grass
    • leaves
    • New Tree type
    • weeds
  • conversion of files from 2.79 to 2.80
  • New HDRi packs
  • New Image texture packs for Terrains 
  • Ageing, and weathering of Grass


UPDATE V1.15

  • New Snow mask node groups
    • These allow you to map snow properly to your meshes, based on physical values. There are two groups in the update, 1 is a quick snow group and the other is a pro group. These are simply dropped into the end of your node tree before the surface output and the snow will then generate. (you can add both groups in after another to provide more options)
  • True-Water has been updated, and now has options for adding surface ice and snow
  • Please check the new True Terrain file, to see the groups in action!



UPDATE V1.1

Now has addon support:

  • World Generator addon file
    • Comes with it's own panel in the left hand toolshelf
    • This allows for quick changes to the settings, and allows you to apply one of the 2 default materials without having to append them from the True-Terrain file
    • includes commonly used settings for the dust, and base material
  • Includes updated True-Water 2.0 shader
  • Updated HDRI pack, now has 6k, 8k and 16k for anyone running into RAM issues


UPDATE V1.05

New Rock Pack and material included in this update:

  • Fully procedural PBR Rock shader
  • optimised for render speed
  • 16 different options to fiddle with
  • Full Control over Displacement with 3 options
  • Rock Weathering!!!
  • microscopic level of detail 
  • no need to UV unwrap!
  • 9 different rock models included
    • 3 small (low poly)
    • 3 medium (low poly)
    • 1 large (mid poly)
    • 1 X-Large (mid Poly)
    • 1 Arch (low-mid poly)
  • Full Customisation 
  • Dust shader procedural Colour inputs (you can get rid of those heavy textures now for the dust shader, if you want...)


What People have to say:

Awesome tool to make realistic terrain and fast. This package is all you need to finnish lanscape. Love it- Nejc

Brilliant just brilliant! Love the rock nodes especially, they bake out nicely same for the terrain, well done and a must needed tool for anyone rendering environments.- brent3d 

Things to come:

  1. More Tree models
  2. EVEN More Rock Models and Materials
  3. More GRASS PARTICLES!!!
  4. True Addon support (custom UI and terrain mesh generator built in!)
  5. Texture seed randomization
  6. Auto-Weight paint implementation for procedural particle distribution
  7. Animated wetmaps
  8. Shader optimisations for SSS when 2.8's new SSS shader is implemented
  9. Procedural Rock, Ground, Grass, sand, dust and snow materials (currently texture based)


*decisions have been made. PRICES WILL NOT INCREASE WHEN NEW CONTENT IS ADDED