View Full Version : Trees?

09-04-2005, 08:49 PM
hey all long time no see..

Looking for a tutorials on creating trees. i dont need plugins just tuts..
so if any one has any links pass them on to me thanks all.

09-05-2005, 10:03 AM
Check the foliage under Landscapes. There are some there. Didn't look to see what they consist of, just some links.

Mr. Black
09-05-2005, 10:17 AM
Do you need individual "hero" trees, or something more random like these..

09-05-2005, 11:41 AM
Looking for hero trees big mosterus trees that take forever to render. lol . :thumbsup:

09-05-2005, 01:51 PM
If you have vue infinite (current upgrade bundle) you can grow yours in vue, export it to LW and press render...
that's the theory - just beware of 'out of memory' issues - export is quite buggy in Vue.

09-05-2005, 04:31 PM
kinda looking for hands on stuff. still learning thats why..

09-05-2005, 05:34 PM
I was really impressed with the clipmap trees in this thread:


which includes Cholo's tree in ZIP format. If you study the geometries and images in that thread, I think it gives a really good method. Clipmap trees can be tricky to illuminate, though.

If you want actual geometry for the branches and so forth, you might check out Germinator, available here:


The ZIP file contains several sample L-systems as demonstrations, called "Packet of Seeds" and includes a couple of generic tree systems.

Germinator is an L-systems parser which produces Lightwave geometry. L-systems is a recursive language developed by biologists (primarily Aristid Lindenmayer, for whom they're named) to simulate the growth of real plants, as described in great detail in the book "The Algorithmic Beauty of Plants" by Prusinkiewicz and Lindenmayer. My guess is L-systems are what's used to produce the trees and other vegetation in Vue and other landscape generators.

My own experience is that I've spent large amounts of time building some *really bad* looking trees by hand, with occassional success stories. The clipmap method can work quite well, especially for the crown and leaves using layered objects, but building the clipmaps and lighting them can be tricky, as I mentioned. Building realistic branching structures in real geometry by hand is time-consuming and exacting and frustrating, so some sort of automation (like Germinator) can be helpful.

Unless I have a tree really close to the camera and the focus of attention, I use a landscape generator (VistaPro) with pictures of real trees to generate backgrounds. For trees that occlude LW geometries, I either use VP's rudimentary compositing, or planar project real tree pictures onto flat geometry with hand-constructed clipmaps.

Hope this helps, at least as a start,

09-06-2005, 07:38 AM
I know you said you're not looking for plug ins, but if you want hero trees that take a long time to render, a plug in is the smart way to go. I treat Lightwave as the central core of my 3D software, but the plug ins are the great time savers. For trees, I tried a lot of variations and found xfrog to be the best. Have a look at the demo. It works really well with lightwave, and does what its meant to do really well.

09-06-2005, 10:05 AM
holeycow: Thanks for the pointer to xfrog. Looks very good.

Elemental233: To summarize my rather lengthy post (sorry!), unless you're really interested in the mechanics of how 3D trees are built, I'd go with a plug-in or a scenery generator. If you really are interested in the mechanics, then definitely check out clipmaps, L-systems and the book I mentioned.


09-06-2005, 10:54 AM
Actually for the price, I've found Pawel Olas' Tree designer to be the best out there. His plugin was actually used by Dosch for their trees Cd from what I've read on these forums.

I use it, can't imagine working in Arch without it.


09-06-2005, 11:13 AM
don't forget TreeGen from Eki's Modpak.

09-06-2005, 11:30 AM
There are only 2 tree tutorials that I know of atm. I went to Flay.com and did a search there, as well as on the lightwave tutorial site (shaw something). Sorry I am not of much help, but I am not at my PC atm.

One of those aforementioned tuts was also printed in Newtekniques.

09-06-2005, 05:28 PM

Haven't built too many trees but what I can tell you is methodology is everything, it's very easy to get in one **** of a mess, Watch the poly count, it's hard to get a good sense of volume with foliage without using a lot ( the above tree is 170,000 aprox} Think of your tree as a kit of parts, only three different clumps of leaves endlessly repeated comprise the above, and uv map them before you start to copy and paste them, and that's all there is to it.

09-06-2005, 05:33 PM
Perfect... post results when i have em

09-06-2005, 05:55 PM
It wouldn't be a bad idea to make the general shape/volume of your tree with spheres where the clumps of foliage are too. You could use that in the background while you're working on the actual thing to keep your scale/shape in check :P