Creating a building in Terragen

Skill Level: Beginner / Views: 576

The basics of creating a building in Terragen. This tutorial will show you how to create a basic castle, using just a drawing package & Terragen.

Dinalt on 4:34PM Thu, 29 January 2004

Building a castle

I like creating buildings in TG, and a few people have asked me how its done. For that reason, Ive decided to write this tutorial.

Before you start, you should have downloaded & installed the Firmament & For Export Only Plugins. If youre not sure where to find these, youll find the links on the Renderosity Terragen community page. The Firmament plugin is vital for importing your building image the For Export Only will be useful if you want to export a landscape to place your building into.

Youll also need a paint program that can display a palette of 256 colours - PSP, Photoshop, Photosuite or anything similar should do the job. Ive used Photosuite for the tutorial, but the basics should be the same for any reasonable graphics program.
If you havent got anything like this, or like me youre on a tight budget, there are plenty of legitimate free downloads available. You can run a search for free paint software, or pay a visit to , where they offer full free software after a brief registration process. In theory, it may even be possible to create a building using Microsoft Paint but I havent tested this theory out, so dont hold me to it.

You should have all the tools you need now, so lets create a building. For the purposes of the tutorial, well create the building on its own.
If theres any interest, I can always create a brief tutorial on how to drop your building into a landscape.


The first step is to open your paint program, then select greyscale & decrease the colour depth to 256. If youre feeling adventurous you can leave the colour depth at 16.7 million, but I find 256 colours a lot easier to work with. I find it gives better results on the final render too.
Next resize the image to the same dimensions as the TG landscape youre going to use i.e. 513 x 513.

You should have a now have a square white image like that shown in the picture. For the moment well leave the background white, and start creating our building.
Before we start making the building, its important to remember that TG renders an image based on the colours used. A very light colour will be high, whilst a dark colour will be low if youre new to TG, you should see this by looking at any terrains youve already used.

The building were going to create is a basic castle. Ive only chosen this as an example, because you can look in my gallery to see what the finished result might look like. Its also a nice simple structure to start off with.

Tutorial Comments

Rose  3:44AM Mon, 22 December 2008

I just wanted to tell you that I'm trying this in Microsoft Paint Program. Now I do have Paint Shop Pro and Gimp but I decided to give it a try in the paint program. It's working pretty good but you have to "tweak" your grey-scale until you get it looking the way you want.

JpBlitz  2:51PM Sat, 01 April 2006

maybe if you could place that on a cliff and you would have yourself a prize winner!

hexio  3:04AM Sun, 16 May 2004

Great tut man. If you'll do next, more detalied (bout texturing, roofs) i'll be in haven. :)