What is Terraform4D?

Terraform4D in action
© by Alexander D.

Terraform4D is a procedural height field-based terrain generator for Maxon Cinema 4D. With it you can create an infinite number of landscapes in very high resolution.

'Procedural' means that you create the terrain in a non-destructive way, where every aspect of the terrain generation is always editable, and the result can be computed in any resolution.
'Height field-based' means terrains are computed from a two-dimensional grid of altitude values. This is a very common and efficient way of defining a terrain, but it also means you cannot create caves, cavities or grottos with it.

Terraform4D is very fast and efficient, making use of all your machine's available CPU threads. That makes it possible to generate very high-detail terrains within seconds.

However, this comes with a price: generating a terrain with 25 million polygons can easily use up to 2GB of RAM, depending on how many Operator Objects you are using. That's because each operator will cache its last calculation results in memory to achieve a good performance. Additionally, calculating very high-resolution terrains is quite processor-intensive. It's recommended to have at least a modern 8-core CPU and 16GB of RAM to work smoothly.

While realism is, of course, key for any terrain generation system, I am focussing on Terraform4D being art-directable and controllable. In case of doubt, I will probably lean more in favour of usability and performance, and less in favour of realistic simulation.