View Full Version : Urgent help needed!

02-14-2006, 08:43 PM
Alright everyone,

I'm working on a pretty big project (it will probly make or break my college experience portfolio wise). I've been fumbling around with a bunch of different methods and i cannot get anything to work, so i am here to ask you of your assistance and suggestions.

Okay, basically i have a huge list of trees that i need to model and then animate them growing. That is all. Well, i've gotten the modelling part to a place where i like, thanks to Xfrog. I really enjoy the program and it seems to suit my work flow well.

I just cannot get the animating part down. Basically, i model my tree in Xfrog, then export an .lwo. It exports fine with UV and all and i am satisfied with the final renders of my trees. The problem i am having is that the way Xfrog works is every branch is a new piece of geometry. I originally had the plan, before i started the project, to use fertilizer to make my trees grow. Well, the object must be one solid, welded, continuous mesh for this to work the way i wanted.

Is there a way to connect these branches to one one another? They do not fall perfectly on each others points, so merging is not an option as far as i could tell.

Is there another plugin that could generate the same growing effect as fertilizer, but allow me to have the mesh not be continuous?

Is there maybe a way i could do a couple of morphs and have them overlap or something to fake this effect?

Should i give up on this method and try something else? (suggestions appreciated)

Well, any help is greatly appreciated, and this community has not let me down yet, but i know i'm asking for a lot here.


p.s. If you want to try hands on, PM me with your email and i can get you some example files. Thanks again :)

02-14-2006, 10:17 PM
Theres the trees and bolts plugin, as well as vue. Plus theres that other tree plugin from the european dude. All those solutions will cost you money, but they are probably more in line with what you are looking to do.

02-14-2006, 10:37 PM
It sounds like a job for the bridge tool.


02-14-2006, 10:45 PM
It sounds like a job for the bridge tool.


I was going to suggest something similar.

This might sound kind of dumb, but how come welding some points and making it one continuous mesh, work? Would it take to long?

I guess, to me, that seems really like the only possible solution. Though I'm sure there is a plugin out there (the ones mentioned in previous posts) that might do the job for you. I'm curious to see if I can help, perhaps send me your files? PM them to me, or email, my address is in my profile.

02-14-2006, 11:07 PM
well the thing with going through and welding is that on some trees there are about 80 main branches that branch off the trunk, then there are another 60 that branch off of those branches, etc.. so going through and welding 250 or so branches would just not be logical i dont think haha i will email you an example..

and as for the bridge too.. i am not familiar with that? what exactly does it do and how does it work?

02-15-2006, 02:59 AM
I think the full version of x-frog allows you to animate plant growth, there are some videos on their site that show some sort of growing animations.

02-15-2006, 08:33 AM
the full version does allow animation. which i have learned how to do. the only thing i cannot get to work successfully is to export it to lightwave. i can export the model fine, but any sort of animation i cannot get to load into lightwave. maybe i'll try Max? i dunno haha i'm running out of options.

02-15-2006, 08:42 AM
There is a free lightwave export plugin and tutorial you can download from the greenworks site- might be wirth a look if you don't already have them.

02-15-2006, 09:51 AM
Could you export the various stages of growth from XFrog, then use object replacement in Layout? Might get a bit heavy model-wise, but could be easier than welding all the branches on and whatnot. I haven't gotten 'round to installing my copy of XFrog onto my new system, so I'm not even sure this is possible, but it just popped into my head as an idea. :D

02-15-2006, 09:55 AM
maybe you could make a bunch of extrusions, nest them inside each other,weight these faces,with the center being 0 or 100, make morphs from weight, copy these nests to a bunch of layers, load into layout and then animate the morphs.

02-15-2006, 10:05 AM
Maxx: yes you can actually haha.. i did that but did not try the replace method. what Xfrog will do is export each frame as a new .lwo.. so you end up with tree001.lwo, tree002.lwo, etc.. i will have to give that a try and see if my system doesnt crash :)

02-15-2006, 10:46 AM
well, tried the object replace.. and with one tree having 100,000 polys lightwave really didnt like that haha i'm going to try a few things with morphs i think now.. see how far that can get me..

02-15-2006, 10:58 AM
This may not be useful, as your models are already built, but have a glance at the Germinator plug-in on flay.com....it may pop an idea into your head that hasn't already been mentioned

02-15-2006, 11:05 AM
i have germinator already.. i've actually had it since i knew i was going to be doing this project.. i cant seem to figure out how to use it though.. know of any good tutorials or anything?

02-15-2006, 11:14 AM
well i feel that i came up with a couple morph's that get the point across enough for this particular project.. the only thing i am having problems with now is the leaves..

is there any possible way to scale each leaf down individually without having to go through and select one, scale it down, select another, etc.? is there a different selection mode that could allow this? or is there a deformer in layout maybe? as you can see there are a lot of leaves and selecting each individually isnt an option haha

my plan is to have the trunk and branches morph into their full grown state and then i basically just want the leaves to be in there location, but not visible, and sort of "appear" over time.

02-15-2006, 04:24 PM
well, over the past day of having a mental breakdown over this problem, i've come to the conclusion i either need to model the trunk and branches in lightwave (lots of magic beveling) and use fertilizer, or just use a basic scale change in layout to the Xfrog model..

thanks everyone,

02-16-2006, 05:12 AM
I found the tutorial for Germinator at 3drecursions.com...