The pictures I've done above are just for composition, not the final render products. Terragen2 is capable of much more "real" looking,
photo-realistic quality work. In particular the tree ferns in those pictures appear to be having problems with handling the alpha channel in the leaf
textures (shows the alphas as black rather than transparent), and I've got to figure out how to fix that before final renders.
Here's another picture, made by a different guy, but it looks like the same software (Terragen) was used to me, as well as the same plant models:
Carboniferous forest in the afternoon light
Here's a link to his galleries, most of which appear to me to have been done with Terragen:
Look through it, and you'll get a better idea of what the software is capable of than you can from my cheesy pictures above. He also has different
subject galleries, some with some fairly spectacular imagery of "alien planets".
Link to main galleries page
Here is a link to the home page for the software:
There are two versions of Terragen2, a freeware version and a paid version, which are both pretty much the same under the hood. A software "key"
from Planetside will unlock the free version and change it to the paid version, but all I've really noticed about the paid version is that it will
render larger (higher resolution) that the free version, which is limited to 800 x 600 pixels, and you can set the "quality" settings higher, which
improves quality but a little, but vastly increases render time. The older "Terragen Classic" (also freeware) is easier for me to use, and has a
more user-friendly interface (to me), but I'm trying to step into the 21st century here. Also, the older version won't use imported models, which to
me these day is a must. All you can really do with it is vast, sweeping landscapes, no close-ups of trees or objects.
BIAD: you're doing a great job! I'm just trying to keep it to the point where anyone reading it who knows the actual history will say "damn! It
coulda happened just that way!". I tend to approach things from a technically accurate (not to be confused with technically detailed) perspective. In
other words, I personally might say "Zork blasted the intruder with a laser pulse resulting in a smoking hole in his chest" rather than "Zork
blasted the intruder with a jam-plasma zapper, resulting in a rainbow effect of milticolored starbursts of flesh shards", but I wouldn't say "Zork
pumped 352 milliquarks of modulated UV/radio emissions focused into a tight beam by a crystalline matrix focus nodule powered by twin quantum power
engines manufactured by Holo-Quanta Ltd, and housed in the grip handle, resulting in the complete cellular disintegration of the intruder on a
sub-molecular level." It may be hard to see, but there IS a difference there! Technical accuracy keeps it "real", "believable", and moves it
along, technical details bog it down, and loses the reader. I'm finicky, but not manically so, and your mileage may vary.
Silo: It might be getting close to time for another system overhaul, with a wipe of the hard drive and a fresh installation of everything. That's a
real pain in the fanny, especially if you don't have the Windows installation disks handy. Even if you do, installation of all the subsequent
software is a bear. As I recall, the last time you had to do that, you had to put it in the shop. Still, sometimes bugs find their way into a system,
refuse to be hunted down and destroyed, and then the only thing that can be done to be rid of them is a complete overhaul involving a wipe and fresh
installation of everything. Either that or find workarounds and live with the bug. Wish I could be more help there. It might not be a "bug" in the
virus sense of the word - it really sounds more like some sort of software conflict, brought on perhaps by a recently installed program that doesn't
play nice with the others. That would mean it would have to be something that affects both of the browsers, like a new Flash Player install or upgrade
or something like that.
The fact that a re-named and relocated Firefox fixed it strengthens that notion. The "bug" isn't affecting the new version, because it doesn't
know where to find it. Look for something that used to work in the old version, but doesn't in the new, and you may have the culprit. IE can't be
moved, because it's an integral part of Windows Explorer, the core of it, and Windows has to be able to know where to find it, and so "protects" it
from being re-named or moved. It normally won't allow the program itself to be "cloned", because running both at the same time could result in
system instability and a crash due to the "cross-talk". It's probably just cloning more links or shortcuts to the same program module. Running
those actually runs the same old thing, from the same old place, with the same old problems.