Operator Shader

Operator Shader attributes
Example of Altitude mode
Example of Slope mode
Example of Fields Mask mode
(with some peculiar fields at work)

This shader will accept a link to any Terrain Operator or Terrain Object, and render either the height map or the height map's 1st derivative (the slope map) from it. This works ‘live’, without requiring you to fumble around with textures.

The shader can be used as an alternative to Cinema 4D's own Terrain Mask Shader. While the Terrain Mask will always evaluate the actual geometry it's being rendered on, the TF4D Operator Shader enables you to choose which operator to get the data from. That makes it a lot easier to e.g. distribute grass on plains, even if they are in fact very bumpy (as long as the bumps are created in another operator). You can simply choose not to render the bumpy operator.

Note: The shader will only render a default gradient in the material and shader previews.


The Operator Shader offers the following attributes.


Link the Operator or the Terrain Object that you want to render here.


Set the source data here. Available are:

Filter operators also offer:

Include Fields Mask

Enable this option to render Altitude and Slope including the Fields mask's effect.

Obviously, this option is not available for the Source ‘Fields Mask’, and also not if a Terrain Object has been linked.

Custom Direction

Slope, by default, is the difference between the normal of a terrain point and the +Y direction. Optionally, you can change the comparison direction to a custom normal vector, enabling you to e.g. distribute more grass on the sunny side of a hill.

This parameter is only available if ‘Source’ is set to ‘Slope’!


There are different interpolation modes available:


Use this gradient to colorize the shader's output.

© by Think
© by Alexander D.