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Marander
07-19-2018, 10:03 AM
Terragen 4.2 released with massive render speed improvements (for example 12m19s down to 2m34s).

https://planetside.co.uk/news/terragen-4-2-update-release/

LWO3 is not supported unfortunately, I just tested this with the newest release of Terragen Professional 4.2.

Many great landscape updates recently!

Currently I'm working in Vue xStream 2016.6 which is more stable than ever, GAEA which gets frequent updates, now with sculpting / directed erosion and World Machine 3022 with the new Snow device and many other improvements.

alexs3d
07-20-2018, 12:25 AM
Hi Marander,

thanks for the info.

can you talk a bit about GAEA, i am thinking of buying it, but i am not sure if it can compete with world machine, which makes really great landscapes, actually a cannot decide :)

thx alex

prometheus
07-20-2018, 05:47 AM
Just curious, does this release write over the previous install..meaning you can not open and test your already made scenes with that version, It doesnīt matter if this release can not open those scenes..but I would like to go back
and check my older scenes.

To note..the rendering speed enhancements seem to only pertain Terrains, not the atmospheric and clouds.

Marander
07-20-2018, 06:44 AM
Hi Marander,

thanks for the info.

can you talk a bit about GAEA, i am thinking of buying it, but i am not sure if it can compete with world machine, which makes really great landscapes, actually a cannot decide :)

thx alex

Hello Alex

This is a quite difficult question / decision because they have their individual strenghts. I sometimes use a combination because you can also import height maps in GAEA and make some refinements there.

World Machine 3 / Quadspinner GeoGlyph 2

+ WM (specially in combination with GG2) can produce the most accurate and realistic height maps in my opinon
+ WM is great to draw splines or primitives with fractal breakup for mountains, rivers, paths etc.
+ WM has specific River and Snow devices
+ WM can produce tiled maps and therefore giant landscapes
+ WM in the last couple of releases provided significant speed updates and some UI improvements
+ WM's UI runs also on slower machines
+ WM allows to view the end result in stunning 8k with butter smooth navigation
+ GG can produce outstanding results
+ GG improves the WM UI
- WM is developed by only one person and mostly is not very close to the userbase
- The WM UI is very outdated in most parts
- GG is end the end of its life cycle because Quadspinner develops GAEA now
- The GG implementation in WM is a bit a hack

GAEA

+ Very nice UI
+ Very frequent updates with new features
+ Some very nice features like Directed Erosion, Breaker, Heal etc.
+ Fast build time up to 8k
+ Very easy to use
- Still in Beta
- Preview only in 2k (output up to 8k)
- No splines or primitives for landscape design (yet), mostly procedural
- the application and UI requires more power and .NET
- the application uses an online activation for the Indie and Professional version (therefore I got the GAEA Enterprise)

Here are some screenshots:


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Marander
07-20-2018, 09:36 AM
Just curious, does this release write over the previous install..meaning you can not open and test your already made scenes with that version, It doesnīt matter if this release can not open those scenes..but I would like to go back
and check my older scenes.

To note..the rendering speed enhancements seem to only pertain Terrains, not the atmospheric and clouds.

I have upgraded already all machines, I removed TG 4.1.x a while ago because I was using 4.2 Beta / Frontier.

However I think you could select a different path when installing if you like to keep the old version.

jaf
07-20-2018, 10:53 AM
Is it "GAEA" or "GAIA"? I'm having problems finding the GAEA website.

Marander
07-20-2018, 06:00 PM
Is it "GAEA" or "GAIA"? I'm having problems finding the GAEA website.

See top left on my 2nd screenshot, GAEA

http://quadspinner.com/gaea/

jwiede
07-22-2018, 06:10 PM
Terragen 4.2 released with massive render speed improvements (for example 12m19s down to 2m34s).

https://planetside.co.uk/news/terragen-4-2-update-release/

LWO3 is not supported unfortunately, I just tested this with the newest release of Terragen Professional 4.2.

My maintenance expired last month, so to get 4.2 atm I'd need to renew. I'm certain I will eventually, but I'm trying to decide whether 4.2 is worth the renewal right this minute.

Anyone with 4.2 have any thoughts/comments/etc. on the performance improvements? Do you find significant performances improvements are fairly "across-the-board" in rendering, or only in highly-specialized cases? In particular, has rendering of skies/cloudscapes and similar volumetrics rendering improved significantly in performance?

I would really appreciate hearing from any folks with 4.2 as to how significant the 4.2 improvements have wound up being for them.

Thanks!

alexs3d
07-22-2018, 11:55 PM
Hi marander, thx for the explanation, i think i will wait some time and see how GAEA is evolving

alex

prometheus
07-23-2018, 07:33 AM
My maintenance expired last month, so to get 4.2 atm I'd need to renew. I'm certain I will eventually, but I'm trying to decide whether 4.2 is worth the renewal right this minute.

Anyone with 4.2 have any thoughts/comments/etc. on the performance improvements? Do you find significant performances improvements are fairly "across-the-board" in rendering, or only in highly-specialized cases? In particular, has rendering of skies/cloudscapes and similar volumetrics rendering improved significantly in performance?

I would really appreciate hearing from any folks with 4.2 as to how significant the 4.2 improvements have wound up being for them.

Thanks!

I think the render speed enhancement was only for the terrain..nothing new for the volumetrics/ skies as I understand it.
I need a better enhanced UI before I seriously start to look in to terragen..I think, I simple loath the controlls of positioning clouds, I also feel them to respond very slowly when tweaking, no good drag sliders either, and weird inputs as punctuation only for it to work properly..no commas.

jaf
07-23-2018, 09:35 AM
"I need a better enhanced UI before I seriously start to look in to Terragen ..."

Yes, I've been complaining about the UI for years. Things that come to mind:

Some Tab orders are (my opinion) ridiculous, such as, changing a axis value and hitting Tab takes you to a slider for the same axis instead of the next axis value field (why would you want to do that?)

When you do a crop render and then want to make another one, the program insists clearing the whole render view first. Wouldn't it be nice to do a crop, make a change and do another crop ext to the previous one (to see the effect of your change?)

The "copy this view to the current render button": The button image changes very slightly, say when moving the render camera few meters to the right. The button image change is easy to miss why not make it blink or use some more contrasting color...) This is quite aggravating when you notice you forgot to update your current render after a six hour render (not uncommon for a complex 4k render.)

I really like Terragen but don't understand why the developers think the UI needs to be complicated/unhelpful.

prometheus
07-23-2018, 09:52 AM
"I need a better enhanced UI before I seriously start to look in to Terragen ..."

Yes, I've been complaining about the UI for years. Things that come to mind:

Some Tab orders are (my opinion) ridiculous, such as, changing a axis value and hitting Tab takes you to a slider for the same axis instead of the next axis value field (why would you want to do that?)

When you do a crop render and then want to make another one, the program insists clearing the whole render view first. Wouldn't it be nice to do a crop, make a change and do another crop ext to the previous one (to see the effect of your change?)

The "copy this view to the current render button": The button image changes very slightly, say when moving the render camera few meters to the right. The button image change is easy to miss why not make it blink or use some more contrasting color...) This is quite aggravating when you notice you forgot to update your current render after a six hour render (not uncommon for a complex 4k render.)

I really like Terragen but don't understand why the developers think the UI needs to be complicated/unhelpful.

yes...it needs a massive overhaul, color UI as well, when checking and unchecking the shader, atmospher and lighting for active parts to be employed within the realtime preview, it is hard to see which one is active or not..they should change that drasticly..preferably with a darker scheme and when those button is checked, they should be highligthed in yellow, blue or something agains a dark grey background..would look great.
May have to do a UI mockup and send to the developer, as well as ask for simple rotational controlls for easy clouds..it frankly is horrible to adjust position, rotation for clouds...
moving around with camera and other stuff in navigation isnīt their sweet spot either.

jaf
07-23-2018, 12:20 PM
"May have to do a UI mockup and send to the developer ..."

Unfortunately, they don't seem to respond to UI changes -- not sure why. Maybe it's the "expert mentality" where one has to "live in the program" so you can generate a complicated node network to accomplish things the should be simpler, starting at the UI.

And let's not talk about the documentation or the lack of an updated benchmark scene (especially important for new users

Marander
07-23-2018, 01:22 PM
I really like Terragen but don't understand why the developers think the UI needs to be complicated/unhelpful.

Yes that is also my biggest problem with Terragen, the UI, selection and navigation are really weird and not user friendly. I mostly use the XYZ input fields to place objects and that's not really fun. And often I forget to copy the current view to the camera which you will only notice during the render, very annoying concept.

Another thing is the very incomplete online help system / documentation, and the screenshots don't even match the current version.

Let's take for example, description of the Planet_Atmosphere node
(yes there are some animated pictures and from most names of the parameters you get an idea but still, there should be a complete documentation. This is how the Atmosphere parameters are documented:

https://planetside.co.uk/wiki/index.php?title=Planet_Atmosphere

Enable primary: TBC
Enable secondary: TBC

Haze density: TBC
Haze horizon colour: TBC
Haze type: TBC
Bluesky density: TBC
Bluesky horizon colour: TBC
Bluesky additive: TBC
Redsky decay: TBC

Haze exp height: TBC
Bluesky exp height: TBC
Ceiling adjust: TBC
Ceiling: TBC
Floor: TBC

Haze glow amount: TBC
Haze glow power: TBC
Bluesky glow amount: TBC
Bluesky glow power: TBC
Enviro light: TBC
Enviro light tint: TBC
Anisotropic enviro light: TBC

Shadow function: TBC

Ambient: TBC
Fake dark power: TBC
Fake dark sharpness: TBC
Bluesky density colour: TBC
Redsky decay colour: TBC
Improved glow model: TBC
Reset tweaks: TBC

Number of samples: TBC
Adjust to distance: TBC
Sample jitter: TBC
Receive shadows from surfaces: TBC

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For example the parameter Ozone factor is not even mentioned as parameter in the documentation nor is any of the other parameters described. The learning material by GeekAtPlay are ok but I find them quite tiresome.

Overall I prefer working with Vue which improved the UI and stability quite alot in the last couple of releases. Nevertheless, Terragen can produce very nice images.

Marander
07-23-2018, 01:27 PM
I would really appreciate hearing from any folks with 4.2 as to how significant the 4.2 improvements have wound up being for them.


I tried to install the old version in a different path but it finds that a newer version is already installed and I cannot proceed. Sorry, maybe someone else can test before/after the 4.2 upgrade.

If you render lots of landscapes, it might be worth to upgrade but in your situation (maintenance just expired) I would also hesitate because there are not many other improvements.

jwiede
07-23-2018, 02:48 PM
I tried to install the old version in a different path but it finds that a newer version is already installed and I cannot proceed. Sorry, maybe someone else can test before/after the 4.2 upgrade.

If you render lots of landscapes, it might be worth to upgrade but in your situation (maintenance just expired) I would also hesitate because there are not many other improvements.

Yeah sounds like I'll wait until after my R20 MSA payment (ugh), etc. If the render speed improvement is strictly to terrain speed, that's not enough by itself to merit the maintenance cost (IMO, given my needs).

Agree with many of the UI comments, and yes, find it frustrating how "resistant" they are to UI/UX improvements. Seems like they've got a nasty case of "Ton UI Syndrome", as it were.

prometheus
07-23-2018, 04:08 PM
Yeah sounds like I'll wait until after my R20 MSA payment (ugh), etc. If the render speed improvement is strictly to terrain speed, that's not enough by itself to merit the maintenance cost (IMO, given my needs).

Agree with many of the UI comments, and yes, find it frustrating how "resistant" they are to UI/UX improvements. Seems like they've got a nasty case of "Ton UI Syndrome", as it were.

well all we can do is provide examples on how it should look like, and refer to specifi people complaining about it, it is actually one of the things that prevents me from purchasing, if that has no weight for the developer, I wouldnīt trust the future of the software anyway and may consider vue instead despite the fact that Terragen has the best quality in ligthing and clouds.

The renderspeed with what we had previously in the previewer withouth the newly 4.1 (realtime) introduced previewer was a major thing though, If they had fix the UI only..I still wouldnīt go for it until they improved that previewer..which they now have, so...just a little more love on that UI please.

prometheus
07-23-2018, 04:14 PM
Yeah sounds like I'll wait until after my R20 MSA payment (ugh), etc. If the render speed improvement is strictly to terrain speed, that's not enough by itself to merit the maintenance cost (IMO, given my needs).

Agree with many of the UI comments, and yes, find it frustrating how "resistant" they are to UI/UX improvements. Seems like they've got a nasty case of "Ton UI Syndrome", as it were.

well all we can do is provide examples on how it should look like, and refer to specifi people complaining about it, it is actually one of the things that prevents me from purchasing, if that has no weight for the developer, I wouldnīt trust the future of the software anyway.

And to the others..thanks for the heads up on a different installation path may not work..I will skip this demo update until something massive is introduced next time.
I got the vue release to try as well.

jaf
07-23-2018, 05:12 PM
Another TG thing I'm not happy with is the $249 USD yearly maintenance fee. If it was a lot of new features, fine, but it seems the majority is bug fixes. Since the UI and documentation seems to be ignored, I'm not sure it's worth the cost.

jwiede
07-24-2018, 03:35 PM
Another TG thing I'm not happy with is the $249 USD yearly maintenance fee.

Yeah, that's relatively new, and I'm not particularly fond of it either, for similar reasons. They really aren't providing near enough to justify such a high annual maintenance cost -- particularly given the really poor docs, minimal examples, and failure to address UI/UX or improve many functional areas in V3 or V4 cycle.

Worse, the "full" app itself isn't cheap either, so now they're kind of burning the candle at both ends. I think they're likely to drive off a lot of customers if they're not careful. Raising the price significantly with V4 then also requiring expensive annual maintenance in same version probably wasn't the best idea.

(edit) I posted similar comments over in Terragen support forum here (https://planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,24751.0.html). I'm sure I'll get flamed for it, but wanted them to know my feelings. Competition in their genre is increasing lately, and they need to wake up and adjust accordingly.

jaf
07-24-2018, 06:51 PM
Saw your post on the TG site -- good one! It will be interesting to see the response. I think they really need to cater more to new users -- you see the same newbie questions year-after-year, and I believe the UI should/could handle a majority of them.

Planetside is quite small -- maybe only one developer now, so I guess that's a major reason there's not much response to the whole UI thing. Also, the SDK ... I can think of only one plugin (Daniil Kamperov's erosion) that's active right now. I suspect some quality plugins could really enhance the product and take some load off the developer(s).

omichon
07-25-2018, 01:17 AM
I share the same feeling about Terragen. Too expansive annual maintenance fee for a software that has not been updated significantly between 4.0 and 4.2.

prometheus
07-25-2018, 09:17 AM
Yeah, that's relatively new, and I'm not particularly fond of it either, for similar reasons. They really aren't providing near enough to justify such a high annual maintenance cost -- particularly given the really poor docs, minimal examples, and failure to address UI/UX or improve many functional areas in V3 or V4 cycle.

Worse, the "full" app itself isn't cheap either, so now they're kind of burning the candle at both ends. I think they're likely to drive off a lot of customers if they're not careful. Raising the price significantly with V4 then also requiring expensive annual maintenance in same version probably wasn't the best idea.

(edit) I posted similar comments over in Terragen support forum here (https://planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,24751.0.html). I'm sure I'll get flamed for it, but wanted them to know my feelings. Competition in their genre is increasing lately, and they need to wake up and adjust accordingly.

I made a reply on that as well, letting my points come through a bit as well...for what itīs worth.

jaf
07-25-2018, 01:23 PM
I plan on responding too -- just waiting for some of the TG vets from the site to "speak up". I think what I'll be pushing is nobody is saying it's not a great program. It's complicated enough to challenge anyone to really master it, which is a good thing. But (I believe) my computer and programs should help me. Like spell check. Or you need to update your camera position before rendering.

What about a group object move (select several objects/populations and move them over there by that small outcrop)? Now each object/population has to me moved individually.

What about a save partial render to disk and resume later? I could do that with Bryce 20 years ago.

Another thing. Why isn't data entry locked out when a render is active? I'm getting old and forgetful and if I'm interrupted by the phone or someone knocking on the door, I sometimes forget I started the render and crash TG by making data changes. A nice "render in progress" message would work for me.

These are things that I would welcome as maintenance/features. The wizards would still have their blue nodes and still be wizards.

jwiede
07-25-2018, 04:56 PM
What about a group object move (select several objects/populations and move them over there by that small outcrop)? Now each object/population has to me moved individually.

What about a save partial render to disk and resume later? I could do that with Bryce 20 years ago.

Another thing. Why isn't data entry locked out when a render is active? I'm getting old and forgetful and if I'm interrupted by the phone or someone knocking on the door, I sometimes forget I started the render and crash TG by making data changes. A nice "render in progress" message would work for me.

Those are precisely the kind of UI/UX issues I'm talking aobut: Cases where functionality which other pkgs have offered for years (decades in some cases) that are still utterly missing from Terragen. It's a beautiful renderer, but the UI/UX is really outdated and limited. Precision placement is non-existent, even basic issues like operating on groups of items is extremely onerous and manual currently. Vue's UI has it's own flaws, but in terms of basic usability and efficiency it's light-years ahead of Terragen in (too) many areas.

Terragen's track record for adapting and integrating new de-facto-standard 3D technologies, modern OS services and features, GUI standard updating, etc. is quite poor, really. A wonderful example: Despite a camera-/fly-through-focused viewport approach, Terragen STILL doesn't natively support 3DConnexion devices or other 3D input devices, devices supported by the vast majority of other 3D apps these days -- given their viewport approach, that's downright shameful. Heck, overall UI/UX changes since V3's release have been minimal.

If they were being reasonable about pricing, many of these lacks would at least be tolerable. However, they're charging a fairly high price for the app, with versions upgrades and annual maintenance costs both relatively high percentages of that initial cost. That could be acceptable in a well-maintained, routinely updated and supported commercial product development scenario, but (IMO) given Planetside's rate of development/improvement and relative lack of content and educational support resources, that's asking too much for too little RoI over time.

jwiede
07-26-2018, 11:06 AM
Wow, something appears really messed up with Planetside's forums (or my account there). If you're wondering why I haven't replied to that thread there, it's because every time I try to reply to the thread there, I either get shunted to a "New topic" form when I press either "Post"/"Preview" (after replying), or the forum stops responding altogether. I've now tried and failed with Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc.

Very odd, and very frustrating.

kadri
07-26-2018, 12:24 PM
All good suggestions you have here guys. With the speed Matt improves the software i have given up mostly to say anything regarding in those kind of changes. I just wait and see. I am not complaining actually i know what i get. For me the real problem is that the late price policy but especially maintenance is too much. If Matt don't hires 1-2 at least more software programmers i highly doubt that we will get all those changes in a near time. Later yes probably, but not soon. As a guy who works in the VFX industry too, he knows all the shortcomings you mention certainly.
I think it is just the speed he can work. Just my thoughts of course. We will get a response from Oshyan and-or Matt sooner or later there too.
With kind of "this is on our to do list" kind of response maybe like in most cases. Not that they are lying. It is just that it takes quite a while to see :)
In regarding new things in Terragen Matt is most of the time quite transparent. But really he should hire more helpers especially if he wants to maintain maintenance kind of price policies.

jaf
07-26-2018, 02:30 PM
However, it doesn't take a developer to make a new benchmark -- something that pushes v4 features. I upgraded TG a year ago and because I built a new system, I wanted to see how it stacked up. I asked in the forum and got the "real soon" answer. Asked a couple more time with the same response. Now it's a year later, my maintenance has run out so even if they finally release a benchmark, I won't have the latest TG version.

I agree with general consensus that it's a great program for it's intended purpose. It just needs polishing.

kadri
07-26-2018, 05:35 PM
However, it doesn't take a developer to make a new benchmark -- something that pushes v4 features. I upgraded TG a year ago and because I built a new system, I wanted to see how it stacked up. I asked in the forum and got the "real soon" answer. Asked a couple more time with the same response. Now it's a year later, my maintenance has run out so even if they finally release a benchmark, I won't have the latest TG version.

I agree with general consensus that it's a great program for it's intended purpose. It just needs polishing.

Of course you are right. I remember your posts.
When you look at a thread like this:
https://planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,18285.0.html

You can see how slow or how "Terragen improvement time" works.
Jaf you might remember that even the winners of the VR contest haven't got to see their images there since 2 years.

I am actually quite happy that users like Prometheus, jwiede and Marander are stepping in with their suggestions.
It is mostly stale because there are users like me that don't say much any more about those kind of problems and just wait (the 23 years old Lightwave adventure could be a factor too on my side), or some older users who aren't any more there at all, maybe because of some of the problems of Terragen.

I don't care about the difference going on there now between opinions much. The point is Terragen needs quite a change and faster development.
Kind of a fresh blood on the forum.

jaf
07-26-2018, 11:08 PM
Nice to see a civil discussion (is this really the Newtek forum?)

I see that Matt and Oshyan have both responded in the TG forum so maybe they will reevaluate things. From the business side, it's the old 500 user's at$225 or 1000 user's at $112.50 per year. But a friendlier UI might increase the number of user's? Hard to say, but it does seem the number of expert user's I recognize on the TG forum doesn't seem to be growing, so maybe it's time for Planetside to take a different approach?

Ignoring the hobbyist crowd by the smaller 3D companies does not seem to be the way to go (a good example is World Machine -- great software, bad support.) Algorithmic, Unity, and Unreal have all provided lower income/hobbyists an avenue to get their hands on really good software at affordable prices.

Terragen is really a renderer that can also build great clouds and terrains. But most scenes require objects -- vegetation, organic and hard surface models, and more advanced texturing, so programs like Lightwave Modeler, 3D Coat, Zbrush, Painter, etc. are quite important. So it's not just the $225 per year maintenance for TG, it's the cost of the other apps too. Personally, I wouldn't be happy with just Terragen, so I'm in conflict of trying to keep up with the expenses of the apps on a fixed income (as well as hardware expenses.)

kadri
07-26-2018, 11:31 PM
...But most scenes require objects -- vegetation, organic and hard surface models, and more advanced texturing, so programs like Lightwave Modeler, 3D Coat, Zbrush, Painter, etc. are quite important. So it's not just the $225 per year maintenance for TG, it's the cost of the other apps too. Personally, I wouldn't be happy with just Terragen, so I'm in conflict of trying to keep up with the expenses of the apps on a fixed income (as well as hardware expenses.)

Same here.

prometheus
07-27-2018, 09:24 AM
Wow, something appears really messed up with Planetside's forums (or my account there). If you're wondering why I haven't replied to that thread there, it's because every time I try to reply to the thread there, I either get shunted to a "New topic" form when I press either "Post"/"Preview" (after replying), or the forum stops responding altogether. I've now tried and failed with Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc.

Very odd, and very frustrating.

I am experiencing exactly the same thing now, can not reply for the moment, just getīs to new topic form and then nothing despite hitting submit post. :(

prometheus
07-27-2018, 11:50 AM
For the debate around how to rotate cloud layers... though there is no direct rotational control as we have in lightwave or in vue...I think I found the correct nodal setup..




https://planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=24751.0;attach=836 51;image

kadri
07-27-2018, 12:26 PM
For the debate around how to rotate cloud layers... though there is no direct rotational control as we have in lightwave or in vue...I think I found the correct nodal setup..




https://planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=24751.0;attach=836 51;image

I quite didn't understand your question in that regard and thought you know that method.
It can be - is used nearly in everything in Terragen when you want rotation, moving and scaling.

prometheus
07-27-2018, 12:34 PM
I quite didn't understand your question in that regard and thought you know that method.
It can be - is used nearly in everything in Terragen when you want rotation, moving and scaling.

The question was foremost a suggestion to have the basic rotational controls in the main tabs..as most other software does, like lightwave, vue etc...instead of making it harder for most new users to get going with things like this, it is highly unproductively as a UI.

I do not use terragen demo that often, open it ..tries it and leaves it alone for a long long time.

I think I knew this a long time ago..but forgotten it, not sure if the setup can be made to work on easy clouds though.

kadri
07-27-2018, 02:11 PM
...not sure if the setup can be made to work on easy clouds though.

Because it doesn't have all the features for now like the older cloud models,
but is a localised cloud by default you can use the "Centre" options in the Main tab of the easy clouds.

Terragen does have many options for more then it looks at a first sight,
but all this shows that there is room for an easier more user friendly approach.

When i first opened Terragen in the past and was able to change the colour of the ground i was so happy.
I am sure there are many new users who feel lost in a similar way.