Tutorial for a starry sky

Right from the start I was interested in creating a starry sky. However, the result was never quite what I had been looking for. The "stars" always looked like yellow spots. A case in point is the picture "Stars in the sky".

As it is not possible to generate stars directly in Terragen, the clouds have to be adjusted so that they look like stars. In this tutorial I will explain how that can be done.


As the stars are actually tiny clouds that are spread over a big sky, following settings should be made:

Sky size
Density Contrast
Density Shift
Cloud Persistance
Largest Cloud Size
1000 bis 2000 (depending on the terrain)
200 (slider completely to the right)
-62 bis -58 (depending on how many "stars" are wanted)
min. cloud size (slider completely to the left)

After clicking on "generate clouds" a lot of small white "stars" should be visible in the cloudscape window.

The altitude should be as high as possible in order to get stars that look far away. But as the sky gets smaller the higher the altitude/clouds/stars are, care has to be taken that no black areas occur between sky and terrain.

Lighting Conditions

As stars only exist at night, some changes of the lighting conditions have to be made for a night sky with stars.

Direct Sunlight
The sunlight strength should be reduced to approx. 50 % and the effect of atmosphere to approx. 15 % - 25 %

Background Light
The shadow lightness should be reduced to approx. 20 % - 30 % in order to strengthen the night feeling; the multi-directional shadow lightning should be activated.

Sun's Appearance
If the sun is to appear as the moon in the picture, the corona size should be reduced to 1 or 2.

Lighting of Atmosphere
The glow amount should be reduced to approx. 80 % and the glow power to approx. 40 %.


Atmospheric Blue
The standard blue of the sky will probably look too bright. Therefore, it is recommended to adapt the colour "Edit Colour" as requested. I used Red 15, Green 35 und Blue 45 for my blue.

Simple Haze
The lower the half heigt, the darker the sky.


After all settings have been made a preview can now be rendered.

Do not worry if the "stars" cannot be seen in the preview, they are far too small.

The cloud colour (Edit Cloud Colour) and the colour for Simple Haze are always the identical.

If the size of the picture is reduced after rendering, the stars may disappear.

Stars beside the moon look brighter.

Here are my starry skies:

Sternenhimmel 1 Simple Haze - Half Height = 512 m
Simple Haze - Colour = weiß
Density Shift = -58
Sternenhimmel 2 Simple Haze - Half Height = 1200 m
Simple Haze - Colour = white
Density Shift = -58
Sternenhimmel 3 Simple Haze - Half Height = 150 m
Simple Haze - Colour = yellow
Density Shift = -58
Sternenhimmel 4 mit Mond Simple Haze - Half Height = 150 m
Simple Haze - Colour = yellow
Density Shift = -58
With moon

In order to get visible stars, I deliberately used quite a big density shift (-58).

Have a lot of fun experimenting with starry skies!