Terragen Pro or Vue 2016 Complete (+Plantfactory)?


This may be an "old one", and, yes, I have searched the net about this question, but the problem is, that they either discuss older versions or things I'm not looking for.

I have a specific interested and that is, that my primary goal is not to recreate realistic landscapes but instead build Fantasy/SciFi Landcapes (For example like this: http://hivewire3d.com/shop/shop-by-artist/3dtoons/matte-paintings-sci-fi-landscapes.html / not mine of course, but to give an idea...) for illustrating a free Pen & Paper game (and for fun). Their also should be the possibility to import own 3D models.

Since both software-packages are between 600 and 700 $, pricing is not a critical point.
Usability is also not a primary decision point, it only would matter if everything between Terragen and Vue is the same.
Animating is not relevant, I'm not planing in this direction.

Also, I have no commercial interested, so licencing for commercial use doesnt matter.

I'm looking forward to your suggestions! Thank you in advance.


  • FeralFeyFeralFey Posts: 2,955

    Have you looked at Bryce? It generates mountains and other landscapes. To be honest, Bryce was my introduction to the world of 3D and I still love it (even though I create content for DS). You can find Bryce here at Daz3d.

  • FirstBastionFirstBastion Posts: 4,399
    edited February 2018

    As Feralfey said,  Bryce could deliver the type of images shown in your link.    Old software and a bit dated.  But you can make heightmaps terrains,  and shapes using boolean operations.   It was also my first intro to 3D in 1999.   https://www.daz3d.com/bryce-7-pro

    Used in conjunction with DazStudio, bryce could be used to import obj terrains, then use ultrascatter in DS to make your scenes.

    Carrara could also deliver that type of images because it has a buildin plant creation module,  a terrain module, a vertex modeller,  a scatter replicator,  builtin skies,  a robust material/shader system.  For what it can deliver it is very reasonably priced.   https://www.daz3d.com/carrara-8-5-pro


    I have Vue complete and it is an exceptionally robust program, and delivers realistic landscape scenes,   but it needs to be noted that the company has been going through some online turmoil for an last month or so. 


    [edit to add] Carrara also has physics!!!!

    Post edited by FirstBastion on
  • There was a thread recently where various alternatives were discussed: https://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/222351/landscape-modeling-software-vue-terragen/p1

  • Thanks for your suggestions! I'll look into Bryce and Carrara, the last I own, but never went into the landscaping module and since I didnt use carrara for a long time (poor speed in rendering), perhaps its time to give it a second chance...

  • You don't say whether you use Mac or Windows. Based on my own experience, I'd caution against using Vue on Mac. It gives beautiful results, but I've found it very unstable. Typically, the first release of each new version is a nightmare, crashing constantly. Subsequent releases usually smooth out the worst of it, but it still crashes far more often than almost anything else I use. 

    Because it is used by many professional artists, I can only assume that it's better-behaved on Windows: I can't imagine that it would have lasted as long as it has if it were equally unstable on Windows.

    In fairness to Vue, it's quite easy to learn and use. Terragen, which is also capable of producing impressive images, has a very steep learning curve. Producing an image with Terragen requires careful planning and a fairly good understanding of the technology, whereas Vue approaches the kind of point-and-click simplicity found in Bryce.

    If you have Carrara already, give it a look. I've had good luck with creating landscapes using Carrara. For example, the first six images on this page were made with Carrara 8.5 Pro, and show off its landscape abilities reasonably well. (For comparison, the first 12 images on this page were made with Vue; for completeness, here are some made with Bryce). Vue has the edge in terms of realism, I think -- and more gifted/experienced artists can do much more with it than I can -- but depending on your needs Carrara might still be worth looking at.

  • Thanks a lot! I'll give Carrara another try and keep vue in the back of my head.

    PS: Using Windows

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