Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Terrain Generator


I’ve been playing with the first steps of Terragen Classic*, a freebie computer graphics “terrain generator”. Fortunately, I don’t have to understand the program’s mathematical algorithms that mystically produce hills, valleys, skies, and waters. I only have to imagine viewing scenes through a camera lens -- with numbers and buttons which mimic camera height and angle, lighting, coloration, water effects, etc.

The first step generates an on-screen pattern. The pattern seems to bear no resemblance to what will become the finished rendering. But it’s actually an altitude map. Whites are hills; grays are middle grounds; darks (or blue, as shown here) are low ground. Arrows mark the camera position and the parts of the pattern -- the altitudes -- the “camera” will see.

Random patterns are generated at each session. Therefore it appears that an almost limitless number of different scenes could be rendered.

I used the same pattern for all the scenes shown here. Settings for camera height and angle are the same, but a few other settings have been changed to give different views. The land portions in these frames are all of gray rock (the default), only because I haven’t learned yet to use options such as grass, brown earth, snow, sunsets, tropical settings.)

Often I don’t understand the lights and darks, highs and lows, in the pattern of my life. From my limited perspective, I know (yes, even fear) my ongoing landscape will hold many surprises and strange encounters – and probably some faded colors or ugly lines. However, I like to allow my playing with Terragen to remind me that God is never surprised by what happens to me. He knows exactly how to refine me into the “true me” that he desires me to be.

He who created me in the first place, has not only created my pattern, but is capable of reading it, and continuing to write it in/on/through me.

“He who began a good work in you will see it through to completion…”

This post is shared with L. L. Barkat, “Seedlings in Stone”
And Laura Boggess’ “The Wellspring.

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1 comment:

  1. What a neat progam! I've never heard of it, but will definitely check it out so I can "play" too. I love where you end up in this post too...He knew me before I was knit together in my mother's womb. So amazing. Happy day!


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