The Terrain Stage allows you to customize the terrain of your design to create multiple slopes and elevations.

In this stage, there are different tool sets for the 3D and 2D views. The toolset for the 3D view allows complex elevations and slopes to be created. The toolset for the 2D view sets a general slope for the entire property. Most of the work on this stage will be done in the 3D view.

Controls in 3D

VizTerra Terrain Stage Controls in 3D

In the 3D view, you have the ability to create custom slopes and elevations. With these controls you can create realistic terrain by naturally shaping the ground and painting it with materials.


VizTerra Terrain 3D Tools

The six terrain tools will replace the regular VizTerra tools when in 3D view in the Terrain Stage. Elevations created in the 3D view will appear as topography lines in 2D.

CTRL KEY: All the terrain tools require that you hold down the CTRL KEY on your keyboard to activate them. Holding down CTRL will switch the functionality of your mouse buttons from zoom and pan to whichever terrain tool you have selected. The CTRL KEY is located in the bottom left of most keyboards.

VizTerra View of Terrain Brush
Terrain Brush: When a terrain tool is selected, the terrain brush will display with the mouse pointer. The area inside the brush is the area that will be affected by the tool. The elevation of the currently covered area will be displayed next to the mouse pointer. The shape and the size of the brush can be changed under Parameters.

VizTerra Elevation ToolElevation: This tool will elevate and lower the terrain. With the CTRL key held, your left mouse button will elevate the terrain and your right mouse button will lower it. This is the primary terrain tool.

VizTerra Terrain Random ToolRandom: This tool will create a random pattern of peaks and valleys when elevating or lowering terrain. This will give the terrain a more natural appearance. With the CTRL key held, your left mouse button will elevate the terrain and your right mouse button will lower it.

VizTerra Terrain Smooth ToolSmooth: This tool will smooth the terrain to make it more consistent. Perfect for mounds. Press CTRL to use.

VizTerra Terrain Flatten ToolFlatten: This tool will even out the surface of the terrain. Perfect for packed earth. If Auto Height is selected under Parameters, it will flatten based on the average height inside the brush. Press CTRL to use.

VizTerra Terrain Smear ToolSmear: This tool allows you to push or smear a region of the terrain. Useful for creating cliffs or turning a cliff into a smooth grade slope. Press CTRL to use.

VizTerra Terrain Paint ToolPaint: This tool allows you to paint materials directly onto the terrain for natural coloration. Each material used will occupy a material slot in Parameters. Up to 10 materials can be painted. The longer you use the tool, the more intensely the material will be painted. Press CTRL to use.

Material Slots

VizTerra Terrain 3D Paint Parameters

The Material Slots are located under Parameters.

Material Limit: A limit of 10 different materials can be painted in any design.

Selecting materials from the Material Slots: Left click on the slot to select the material and paint with it. You may also right click on the Material Slot for a close up view of the material.

Changing Material Slots: You may replace the material in any Material Slot with a different material from the library. Select the Material Slot and then click on the Jump to Materials Stage button located underneath the Material Slots. This button will automatically take you to the Materials Stage and select the material in your design. Select a new material from the Material Library and the new material will replace the old material in your design and in the Material Slots. You can now return to the Terrain Stage and paint with the new material. Please note, you can only change materials that you have already painted in the design.

Clearing Painted Materials: You can easily clear materials you have painted in your design by using the Clear Materials button located underneath the Material Slots. Select the Material Slot and then click on the Clear Materials button. The selected material will then be removed from the design. The first Material Slot is locked and its material cannot be cleared in this way. Please note, this does not clear or delete the Material Slot, it removes the painted material from the design.

Resetting All Material Slots: The Reset Material Slots button will remove all painted materials from the design and reset all the Material Slots to the program default. Please note, this command will remove all painted materials from your design and reset all Material Slots.


VizTerra Terrain Parameters

The Terrain Stage has unique controls under Parameters in 3D

Brush Size: This slider controls the size of the Terrain Brush and the area it will affect.

Brush Shape: Located to the right of the Brush Size slider, this button will toggle the brush shape between circle or square.

Strength: This slider increases the intensity the tool will exert on the terrain.

Frequency: Only available with the Random tool, this slider increases the frequency of the peaks and valleys.

Auto Height: Checking this box will disable the setting in the Height box and automatically choose the height.

Height: This box will allow you to set a height limit for the selected tool.

Reset Property: This button resets all changes to the terrain made in 3D. Please Note: Be careful, this is not an undo button. It will not undo just the last change you made to the terrain, it will undo every change you have made to the terrain in 2D and 3D in your entire design. You may undo the reset with the Undo button.

Controls in 2D

VizTerra Terrain 2D Grid

In the 2D view, you have the ability set to the general grade of the property. With these controls you can adjust the slope that runs through the entire property.

The image to the left shows the top-down view of your drawing with a dashed line representing the direction the slope will point relative to the rest of your project. With the Move tool selected, you can click anywhere on the dashed line to insert points. Left-click and drag your mouse to move those points along the length of the dashed line. Right-click on any point to remove it.

Using the Rotate tool, left-click and drag on the dashed line to rotate it around the drawing space. If the slope line does not appear to be rotating, or it only rotates 45 degrees at a time, check your Snaps and Constraints and make sure Angle Snap is set to None. Now as you rotate the dashed line, it will rotate freely.

As you create your project, it will be visible in the top view, allowing you to precisely place a height point in relation to a given shape or object.

Using the Pan and Zoom tools at the top of the viewport, you can move around the top or bottom view and see how they relate to each other. As a short-cut, if your mouse has a mouse wheel, rotating this wheel while in the top or bottom views will zoom in and out. Clicking and holding the wheel down while moving your mouse will pan the view around.

VizTerra Terrain 2D sideview
Here at the left, you can see a portion of the bottom view. With the Move tool, you can click anywhere in this view to add a point. Or left-click and drag the mouse to move an existing point around. And again, right-click a point to remove a point. Each point will give you the exact height it exists at relative to zero. At the bottom area you can see the distance between two points.

As you move your mouse around the bottom view, tick marks on the bottom and left graph areas will show you exactly where your mouse is allowing you to insert new points at more accurate regions relative to other points and your project as a whole.


VizTerra Terrain 2D Tools

The Tools section of the panel consists of the Move, Rotate, and Scale tools. The Move tool allows you to insert and remove points. The Rotate tool allows you to rotate the direction of the slope line in the top view.


VizTerra Terrain 2D Parameters

In the Parameters section of the panel, the Slider on the left will allow you to customize individual points so that they transition smoothly or tightly between other points. Checking the box on the right will ensure that the slider affects all points at the same time, equally.

The Add/Move and Remove buttons on the left can be used to add, move or remove height points from your scene. However, this can easily be accomplished by using the Move tool alone.

The Height entry box on the right allows you to customize the exact position of a height point by either clicking on feet or inches and typing a number, or using the arrow buttons, or simply using your mouse wheel while it hovers over one of the two sides. The values in this entry box will adjust as you move points around in the bottom view, and vice versa.

The Reset Property button resets all changes to the terrain made in 3D. Please Note: Be careful. This is not an undo button. It will not undo just the last change you made to the terrain. It will undo every change you have made to the terrain in 2D and 3D in your entire design. You may undo the reset with the Undo button.

The Contour Interval slider adjusts how the topography lines appear in 2D. The lower the internal the more lines will appear.

Slide Graph

VizTerra Terrain 2D Slidegraph

This graph in the bottom view represents various heights above and below zero. You can adjust where zero is relative to your height points by simply left-clicking and dragging the mouse anywhere on the slide graph.

As you zoom in and out, the slide graph will shift the distance values up and down in relation to your zoom level.