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Signal to Noise
12-12-2018, 09:47 PM
I am in the process of moving away from e-on products, VUE Infinite & Plant Factory.

I have decided on Terragen for the Vue replacement, also seriously considering to add Gaea.

But for PF alternative I'm perplexed. XFrog & Speedtree are rather pricey, not to mention Speedtree's dubious licensing and commercial policy. In the process of searching the interwebs I've come across othe tree creation software:

The Grove 3D looks good but very Blender orientated. The dev does mention excellent output for LW and other software packages, tho. It seems the newest ver7 is Blender only. Would have to use ver6 for other platform export?

Flora3D looks like it has potential but seems to be last updated in 2016.

OnyxTree looks..okay? The website makes my retinas bleed with its webpage design circa 1998.

Anyone use any of these and can offer comment? Are there others, free or pay for, that I should be looking at?

alexs3d
12-12-2018, 11:36 PM
Hi, was also looking for some tree generation tools and decided to buy the grove, the price is unbeatable, now there are also 20%off, you canīt to something wrong if you buy it now ;)
It is an amazing software, i did not test ver7 now, but i still thing you can export it to lightwave.
Also the developer ist constantly making updates and the software better, and he is very friendly and responding when i had problems with exporting.

I will ask about export to LW in ver7 and give you feedback.

JohnMarchant
12-13-2018, 04:35 AM
I wish Denis would revisit Verdure for LW. Also for trees dont forget Pawel Olas Tree Designer

alexs3d
12-13-2018, 04:41 AM
this is his response, so this should work somehow

...Good question. To answer it I just added this paragraph to the page https://www.thegrove3d.com/learn/plays-well-with-others/#lightwave
"In release 6 and 7, trees are built as a single mesh instead of 3 separate objects. To get the 3 object back, select your object and search for Separate, then choose By Material. You now have the same 3 objects to work with. I have not had the chance to test with Lightwave recently, so there may very well be a better way to export, and probably you can more easily export the one-object tree and split it up in Lightwave instead. Let me know if you find a better way and I’ll update this page."...

Marander
12-13-2018, 05:16 AM
I am in the process of moving away from e-on products, VUE Infinite & Plant Factory.

I have decided on Terragen for the Vue replacement, also seriously considering to add Gaea.

But for PF alternative I'm perplexed. XFrog & Speedtree are rather pricey, not to mention Speedtree's dubious licensing and commercial policy. In the process of searching the interwebs I've come across othe tree creation software:

The Grove 3D looks good but very Blender orientated. The dev does mention excellent output for LW and other software packages, tho. It seems the newest ver7 is Blender only. Would have to use ver6 for other platform export?

Flora3D looks like it has potential but seems to be last updated in 2016.

OnyxTree looks..okay? The website makes my retinas bleed with its webpage design circa 1998.

Anyone use any of these and can offer comment? Are there others, free or pay for, that I should be looking at?

If you had Plant Factory before, you can still use your existing license. Not much has changed in the new (subscription only) version, mostly PBR support.

Speedtree offers amazing quality but is very costly.

There are no good vegetation plugins for LW unfortunately. I use Forester and XFrog as plugins and they're great but not available for LW (well not surprising).

Ztreem
12-13-2018, 06:27 AM
Modular tree for Blender is a free addon, maybe could be something to try.

143566

RPSchmidt
12-13-2018, 07:16 AM
Check this out... the price is very reasonable and it is a Lightwave native plugin. http://www.treesdesigner.com/

Signal to Noise
12-13-2018, 09:09 AM
Hi, was also looking for some tree generation tools and decided to buy the grove, the price is unbeatable, now there are also 20%off, you canīt to something wrong if you buy it now ;)
It is an amazing software, i did not test ver7 now, but i still thing you can export it to lightwave.
Also the developer ist constantly making updates and the software better, and he is very friendly and responding when i had problems with exporting.

I will ask about export to LW in ver7 and give you feedback.


this is his response, so this should work somehow

...Good question. To answer it I just added this paragraph to the page https://www.thegrove3d.com/learn/plays-well-with-others/#lightwave
"In release 6 and 7, trees are built as a single mesh instead of 3 separate objects. To get the 3 object back, select your object and search for Separate, then choose By Material. You now have the same 3 objects to work with. I have not had the chance to test with Lightwave recently, so there may very well be a better way to export, and probably you can more easily export the one-object tree and split it up in Lightwave instead. Let me know if you find a better way and I’ll update this page."...



Good info! Thanks for this. I may go with Grove as a result.


I wish Denis would revisit Verdure for LW. Also for trees dont forget Pawel Olas Tree Designer

Check this out... the price is very reasonable and it is a Lightwave native plugin. http://www.treesdesigner.com/

This is awesome, too. I hadn't come across TreesDesigner (don't forget that 's'!) in my googling, even for LW-specific plugins. Good to see it's been updated for LW2018 so I'm going to contact Pawel about a temp license to try it out. I did see Verdure in my searching and realized it was pretty much abandoned. Agree it's too bad.


If you had Plant Factory before, you can still use your existing license. Not much has changed in the new (subscription only) version, mostly PBR support.

...

Yes, I'll continue to use PF, I have 2016 ver. and am not bothering with maintenance...or actually can't even do that any more since e-on has gone subscription now.


Modular tree for Blender is a free addon, maybe could be something to try.

143566

I did come across Modular Tree and some other ones in my search. I've just never could get into Blender.

I appreciate all the feedback everyone! Time to do some experimenting....

Marander
12-13-2018, 09:27 AM
Check this out... the price is very reasonable and it is a Lightwave native plugin. http://www.treesdesigner.com/

Ah interesting, it wasn't around for some time or updated but good to see that it was made ready for 2018.

If one doesn't want to create trees from scratch there are also some paid and free resources available, for example some Mantisse trees or cgaxis has a great library, often on sale.

But yeah it's nicer to create a tree from scratch that looks exactly has imagined.

Dan Ritchie
12-13-2018, 09:34 AM
Tree it is a fun one.

Marander
12-13-2018, 09:53 AM
This is awesome, too. I hadn't come across TreesDesigner (don't forget that 's'!) in my googling, even for LW-specific plugins. Good to see it's been updated for LW2018 so I'm going to contact Pawel about a temp license to try it out. I did see Verdure in my searching and realized it was pretty much abandoned. Agree it's too bad.



You can download a demo, full version is $95.

Well I would test the demo beforehand. I installed it and I don't like it, it's not intuitive, destructive and a typical Modeler plugin. You need to put some background geometry and based on that it will create something like a tree.

If you already have Plant Factory, I don't think its an improvement. But that's just my own perception.

Rayek
12-13-2018, 09:57 AM
This is awesome, too. I hadn't come across TreesDesigner (don't forget that 's'!) in my googling, even for LW-specific plugins. Good to see it's been updated for LW2018 so I'm going to contact Pawel about a temp license to try it out.



I downloaded two of the FBX example trees. and the trunks and branches are extremely boxy, and not round. The sub-divided result was quite lacklustre and unrealistic, but perhaps those are just poor examples? Not sure.




Good info! Thanks for this. I may go with Grove as a result.

I did come across Modular Tree and some other ones in my search. I've just never could get into Blender.


The previous versions of The Grove are also Blender based, but pre-2.8. Just saying...
Version 7 works in Blender 2.8, which is very easy to get into compared to the previous version. So if you had an issue with the GUI of 2.79, 2.8 is quite intuitive and similar to other 3d apps.

Xfrog 3 standalone (Windows) is reduced in price to 99 euros. Pretty ancient, but might be an option. Doesn't rely on any 3d platform, but I have to say it's not the most intuitive of products to use (I have a license, and never use it anymore). That said, it can do much more than just trees.
http://xfrog.com/product/XA-08.html

Marander
12-13-2018, 10:05 AM
I downloaded two of the FBX example trees. and the trunks and branches are extremely boxy, and not round. The sub-divided result was quite lacklustre and unrealistic, but perhaps those are just poor examples? Not sure.
...
Xfrog 3 standalone (Windows) is reduced in price to 99 euros. Pretty ancient, but might be an option. Doesn't rely on any 3d platform, but I have to say it's not the most intuitive of products to use (I have a license, and never use it anymore). That said, it can do much more than just trees.
http://xfrog.com/product/XA-08.html

Yes I agree. TreeDesigner looks very outdated and not intuitive. I think the developer just made it run in 2018 but the results don't look pleasing in my opinion.

I also agree about XFrog Standalone. However as a plugin it's nice to create some kind of special effects, growing stuff etc. But not realistic trees, there are far better tools now.

sadkkf
12-13-2018, 10:12 AM
I have both XFrog standalone and TreesDesigner. Both have issues, but once you get used to them generating useful geometry isn't difficult.

XFrog is especially nice because you can create any kind of foliage, not just trees. This includes bushes, plants, grass, etc.

Also, I've been using ZBrush lately to create trees and there is a plugin just for it if you're interested (http://www.zbrushcentral.com/showthread.php?184042-ZTree-Plugin

Signal to Noise
12-13-2018, 10:29 AM
Tree it is a fun one.

Looks okay. Since it's free it's worth a try for sure.


Yes I agree. TreeDesigner looks very outdated and not intuitive. I think the developer just made it run in 2018 but the results don't look pleasing in my opinion.

I also agree about XFrog Standalone. However as a plugin it's nice to create some kind of special effects, growing stuff etc. But not realistic trees, there are far better tools now.

Interesting on the TreesDesigner. For XFrog there is a LW-specific plugin? I don't remember seeing it but will delve into it further.
These "far better tools" is what I'm looking for. Any additional examples in that regard?


...

Also, I've been using ZBrush lately to create trees and there is a plugin just for it if you're interested (http://www.zbrushcentral.com/showthread.php?184042-ZTree-Plugin

That's good to know as well. I bought ZBrush when it when on sale many months ago. Just haven't spent the time to learn it fully yet. Maybe now is that time.

Rayek
12-13-2018, 11:01 AM
These "far better tools" is what I'm looking for. Any additional examples in that regard?



A quick look at trunk and branches generated by even the free modular tree addon for Blender compared to Tree Designer's tells me almost any modern tool will do much better.

sadkkf
12-13-2018, 11:28 AM
A quick look at trunk and branches generated by even the free modular tree addon for Blender compared to Tree Designer's tells me almost any modern tool will do much better.

XFrog can produce very realistic results. As with any software it's only a matter of knowing how. And I agree the UI it has couldn't be much less intuitive, but a couple tutorial videos on YouTube will be get through it quickly enough.

Rayek
12-13-2018, 11:42 AM
XFrog can produce very realistic results. As with any software it's only a matter of knowing how. And I agree the UI it has couldn't be much less intuitive, but a couple tutorial videos on YouTube will be get through it quickly enough.

Agreed, XFrog is a very capable app. It's just too bad the standalone version hasn't seen an update since they switched to the host app approach (which makes sense, of course). The manual states a "400mhz" PC as a minimum requirement. :)

sadkkf
12-13-2018, 11:49 AM
The manual states a "400mhz" PC as a minimum requirement. :)

I laughed at that too. :)

I had high hopes for Plant Factory when it was introduced, but the pricing and stupid licensing upon released turned me off.

Marander
12-13-2018, 12:05 PM
Interesting on the TreesDesigner. For XFrog there is a LW-specific plugin? I don't remember seeing it but will delve into it further.
These "far better tools" is what I'm looking for. Any additional examples in that regard?


From what I've seen, Speedtree offers best quality but very expensive.

XFrog, no LW-specific plugin, only for Cinema and Max. But in these programs you can use it as generator for other things. But the development is stalled or really slow.

I use mostly Vue / Plant Factory and 3DQuakers Forester (but it's a native Cinema or Softimage plugin) where all tree parameters are procedural and animatable, with real time wind and snow. It also has flowers / grass, a rock generator and ecosystem cloners.

Here some screenshots. The bullet in front of each parameter is to set keyframes.

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Rayek
12-13-2018, 12:07 PM
I've never really understood Eon software as a company. They seem to be focused on "enterprise" clients only, which is why I avoided them.

I still have an older version (very old: 8.5!) of Cinema4d installed and run it from time to time to create trees in Xfrog. But lately I've been eyeing The Grove, which looks quite impressive. But I haven't had time yet to investigate further.

raymondtrace
12-13-2018, 12:32 PM
Tree it is a fun one.

For those that may question the grammar (like I was for a good 20 minutes), we're discussing "Tree It".

http://www.evolved-software.com/treeit/treeit

This is being continually developed even though the version (1.1) has not incremented for at least a year. The latest executable in the ZIP file is from last month.

Marander
12-13-2018, 12:49 PM
...and here for completion the screenshots of MultiFlora, Rocks and MultiCloner if anyone is interested.

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Signal to Noise
12-13-2018, 12:51 PM
...

I use mostly Vue / Plant Factory and 3DQuakers Forester (but it's a native Cinema or Softimage plugin) where all tree parameters are procedural and animatable, with real time wind and snow. It also has flowers / grass, a rock generator and ecosystem cloners.

Here some screenshots. The bullet in front of each parameter is to set keyframes.
...

Cool! I still keep Softimage installed. Maybe I should look at related plugin if it is still being offered. It would give me an excuse to get reacquainted with an old friend.

Marander
12-13-2018, 01:02 PM
Yes, in that case it could be a real good option! The Softimage version of Forester is still available and offers similar features but is cheaper than the Cinema one (however is not bound to a serial number like in Cinema but to the mac / hardware address).

https://www.3dquakers.com/

Edit: Tip: Ask for a discount, since I don't think he's still selling a lot of Softimage versions!

The developer is very helpful and if I need a new serial for a new version of Cinema he always answers between 5 and 30 minutes time, providing the new code.

Marander
12-13-2018, 05:16 PM
I've never really understood Eon software as a company. They seem to be focused on "enterprise" clients only, which is why I avoided them.

I still have an older version (very old: 8.5!) of Cinema4d installed and run it from time to time to create trees in Xfrog. But lately I've been eyeing The Grove, which looks quite impressive. But I haven't had time yet to investigate further.

The Grove, never heard of it before, interesting! More and more great and affordable Blender Addons available. I got Blender FLIP Fluids recently for a reduced price, very nice tool and exports Alembic just perfect. BoxCutter and HardOps are very nice too (which I got for $5 in the beta phase), but I haven't even used them yet (more or less because I'm not familiar with the Blender shortcuts).

Looks good indeed specially considering the price and compared to the $1'650 for a nodelocked perpetual license of SpeedTree ;) On the other hand it is hands down the best solution available.

TPF: tbh I never fully liked the look of Plant Factory trees. With Forester have everything I need. Vue on the other hand is very nice. Unfortunately with the new subscription model, I'm out as a customer. I'm now automatically on Enterprise license with 25 render nodes (LOL) until end of my maintenance, but afterwards I will just continue using my existing current version of Vue. It will be difficult for e-on I guess because they have a big hobbyist community which is unwilling to pay for rental software in my opinion.

prometheus
12-14-2018, 01:20 PM
I wonder what it is that doesnīt put Lightwave in their list as compatible?
https://store.speedtree.com/cinema/

Itīs probably 3-4 times too expensive in relation to what I ever would accept for a Tree/ vegetation tool.
If I had a paying project or worked constantly with tree renderings/animations...this would be it though.

erikals
12-14-2018, 02:38 PM
Tree It - took it for a test drive, thought it was ok, but seemed aimed at lowpoly for games
Flora3D - it works alright, bit clunky perhaps, but works. (could be better for pine trees) $60
Xfrog Standalone - i might buy it. at the moment this looks to be the best deal at $90. even with a 1980 Ui
other info > https://forums.cgsociety.org/t/tree-and-foliage-plugins/914037/21
Speedtree - starts at $1600 ? ain't got the cash (unfortunately)

Marander
12-14-2018, 02:39 PM
I wonder what it is that doesnīt put Lightwave in their list as compatible?
https://store.speedtree.com/cinema/

Itīs probably 3-4 times too expensive in relation to what I ever would accept for a Tree/ vegetation tool.
If I had a paying project or worked constantly with tree renderings/animations...this would be it though.

Yes interesting find, the discontinued Mental Ray is there with logo but not LightWave. But maybe their export options have specific templates / PBR settings for the listed supported tools and I don't think many LightWavers or hobbyists would actually buy SpeedTree at that price and it being node-locked.

Signal to Noise
12-14-2018, 05:32 PM
Tree It - took it for a test drive, thought it was ok, but seemed aimed at lowpoly for games
Flora3D - it works alright, bit clunky perhaps, but works. (could be better for pine trees) $60
Xfrog Standalone - i might buy it. at the moment this looks to be the best deal at $90. even with a 1980 Ui
other info > https://forums.cgsociety.org/t/tree-and-foliage-plugins/914037/21
Speedtree - starts at $1600 ? ain't got the cash (unfortunately)

The only one left for you to somehow try is The Grove 3D. I think I'm leaning towards this.

I DL'd the manual for XFrog and the copyright on it is 2002. Lol. And a definite pre-1995 GUI.

erikals
12-14-2018, 05:40 PM
The only one left for you to somehow try is The Grove 3D. I think I'm leaning towards this.
simply haven't tried / researched it enough   :)

wesleycorgi
12-15-2018, 08:50 AM
I DL'd the manual for XFrog and the copyright on it is 2002. Lol. And a definite pre-1995 GUI.

Hey, I wouldn't throw stones; take a look at our glass house called Lightwave! :)

Because of its current standalone price of under $100, I've demo'ed the software and find it fairly easy to use. I just don't do a lot of tree/plant stuff; otherwise, I would get. However, I may purchase Tree Designer to support that LW developer.

wesleycorgi
12-15-2018, 08:54 AM
I also appreciate that XFrog has a lot of free content and in LWO Format.

erikals
12-15-2018, 09:27 AM
another favorite is DP Verdure, since branches are merged, Great for close-ups   :)

Ma3rk
12-15-2018, 12:53 PM
I've read through this thread and curious about the XFrog mentions; what's the attraction to the standalone app when you have Lightwave?

With the XFrog libraries anyway, you have three variations of each plant, which you can certainly tweek & modify as you would any other LW object. Not to mention having the textures.

And no, DP Verdure hasn't been supplanted, ... and no, that wasn't an intentional pun before anyone mentions that.

wesleycorgi
12-15-2018, 01:10 PM
With respect to XFrog (and I may be reaching), it would be akin to using cloth dynamics from a product like Marvelous Designer vs. native LW cloth dynamics/soft bullet or Syflex plug-in. If you are ok with exporting in and out of a specialty program, then XFrog is a good option. If you want to stay in LW, you may sacrifice some functionality.

For me I have only toyed around with XFrog a bit and have started to play around with the Trees Designer demo. And I have not played with Verdure.

erikals
12-15-2018, 01:17 PM
XFrog = Speed + Variation

...but not the best polyflow

prometheus
12-16-2018, 07:38 AM
X-frog is using scientific algorithms to produce similar results to real life trees.
Verdure is a manual designed tree generation with some parameters that yield tree branching results, based on how you model the branching cage, but I donīt believe it has any kind of similar algorithms that is based on real samples.

Verdure is pretty cool though, and you can save out presets to load back in again, I do whish it could have some additional scientific algorithms, and also be parametric so we can change it at anytime along with individual branch control, but then it wouldnīt be free and we would be talking about a level comparable to Speedtree cinema.

I somehow thought verdure growth based on weight map didnīt work in 2018, but it does, so animating tree growth is possible within 2018.

erikals
12-16-2018, 09:49 AM
X-frog is using scientific algorithms to produce similar results to real life trees.
Verdure is a manual designed tree generation with some parameters that yield tree branching results, based on how you model the branching cage, but I donīt believe it has any kind of similar algorithms that is based on real samples.
well, Xfrog might claim that, however, i think the examples speak for themselves. They are Ok... nothing more. (imo)


Verdure will merge the branches, much more scientifically correct in that regard.

prometheus
12-16-2018, 11:10 AM
well, Xfrog might claim that, however, i think the examples speak for themselves. They are Ok... nothing more. (imo)


Verdure will merge the branches, much more scientifically correct in that regard.

You know what, I would probably prefer verdure for the sake of more realistic branch merging, though Tropism algorithms to depict plant species based on nature samples is one thing, how branches merges is another thing.
You can get very decent realistic looking trees in verdure, but it means time spent for manual modeling to match a certain type of species, a bit of trial and error, while xfrog may have species already set in the system so to speak, you just pick and choose.

For close up trees where you may need to focus on Cameleonts and ants on branches, I think I would go with Dp Verdure.

Some info on tropism, it would be nice to have a tree branch creation and growing based on parameters of the surroundings etc..how much sunlight it may receive in a forrest etc, other nature elements such as giving the ground and soil chemical parameters like humidity ..near water etc, that would be some kind of sim for forrests, vegetation where you simply set the environment inputs.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropism


???
https://www.fs.fed.us/fvs/

Uhmm..I-tree was mentioned, have no clue though.

prometheus
12-16-2018, 12:03 PM
Modular tree for Blender is a free addon, maybe could be something to try.

143566

Just installed that addon, a bit quirky to get going, there should be a button to put all nodes required in there from starters, for merging branches you need to select final and set a decent level, then create tree.
I do not see a built in root parameter, so I am guessing One need to manually split the tree and add additional growth that goes downward.

Seems nice though but just tested it for 15 minutes.

This tutorial may help a bit..


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PEsSpz2LZA

erikals
12-16-2018, 02:52 PM
Looks alright.

Rayek
12-16-2018, 03:26 PM
That actually looks pretty good for a free plugin. More than good enough for game work. I will investigate further this upcoming week. @prometheus, does it work in V2.8?

Ztreem
12-16-2018, 04:18 PM
That actually looks pretty good for a free plugin. More than good enough for game work. I will investigate further this upcoming week. @prometheus, does it work in V2.8?

The developer has started a port for 2.8 and I think you can try it if you want. Look at blenderartists.

prometheus
12-16-2018, 04:22 PM
That actually looks pretty good for a free plugin. More than good enough for game work. I will investigate further this upcoming week. @prometheus, does it work in V2.8?

I could install it, and it was there, I could add the nodes, but once I tried the button "create tree" I got an error, so it doesnīt seem to work properly in 2.8 beta.

Signal to Noise
12-20-2018, 10:01 PM
Yes, in that case it could be a real good option! The Softimage version of Forester is still available and offers similar features but is cheaper than the Cinema one (however is not bound to a serial number like in Cinema but to the mac / hardware address).

https://www.3dquakers.com/

Edit: Tip: Ask for a discount, since I don't think he's still selling a lot of Softimage versions!

The developer is very helpful and if I need a new serial for a new version of Cinema he always answers between 5 and 30 minutes time, providing the new code.

So after getting in contact with 3DQuakers they are offering a 20% discount for SI. I may actually do this! I just have to figure out the MAC address licensing part. I want to run laptop/desktop. I wonder if using the USB dongle of a wireless Logitech mouse would work? I asked them if it would and they weren't sure and we're going to investigate. No demo unfortunately to test.