View Full Version : Need to create a forest that stretches for miles....

09-20-2006, 06:20 AM
Hi guys,

I am embarking on a project that is ambitious for my knowledge, but I am keen to learn it and enjoy a challenge!

I am looking to render a cosy, wintery landspace, for a christmas card. I want to render a little village in the snow, but want to surround the village with miles of rolling forestry.

Can anyone tell me where the best place to start is with regards to how I would go about modelling this forest? I can manage the building modelling and landscape geometry, but I am not sure of the following problems....

1) what is the best way to model my pine trees so that I can render 1000s of them reasonably quickly.

2) how do I place them across my landscape geometry plane randomly?

3) Is there any way I can play with the number and density of them reasonably quickly?

4) Is all this possible without a plugin?

Thanks in advance folks.


09-20-2006, 06:42 AM
If it's only for a still shot, just use a backdrop image for most of the trees.

09-20-2006, 06:46 AM
Point clone plus would probably work. I would also suggest modelling only the tops of the trees, as the only time you'll see the whole tree is when they are in front (those you'll have to model entirely). Creative use of perspective with camera angles is a good way to achieve the appearance you're trying to achieve as well.
Alternatively, you could render a small portion of the trees, then use it as a backdrop, like a matte painting in the movies, to render a few more in front of it, and so on until you get a deep enough forest, kinda like oddity said, if you can't find a good enough match for your shot.

09-20-2006, 06:52 AM
If you want thousands of them, you are pretty much forced into using images with clip maps.

For placing, use pointclone. You will need to get the points in the right place so I suggest:

1. Take a copy of your underlying landscape.
2. Subdivide it up a lot, so that the points are closer together than your trees will be by a bit.
3. Merge points at the typical distance you want your trees to be apart.
4. Kill polys.

You now have a set of points that are exactly in the plane of your landscape, and can use these to clone your tree objects with the point clone plus stuff.

09-20-2006, 07:19 AM
Take a look at this thread, you might find it useful


landscape with 30,000 trees

09-20-2006, 07:42 AM
HD_Instance! Millions, heck even billions of trees with the ability to add variety to them with no more of a memory hit then the one(s) you use for the base tree(s).

09-20-2006, 08:07 AM
Yes HD Instance all the way.

09-20-2006, 08:23 AM
Ditto. HD Instance, although if you don't want a 3rd party plugin & aren't planning to get particularly close, you could probably also fudge the canopy in the distance using particle FX and Hypervoxels. Use an insanely high birth rate per frame to snap all the particles into existence on frame 1.

For closer-to-camera, you can then use models and/or texture-mapped+clip-mapped polygons. Pointclone plus should help you place these.

09-20-2006, 08:51 AM
Oh man, HD_Instance looks absolutely perfect for my needs, shame I have not a penny to my name just now after buying LW 9.0!

Will put this project on hold until I have the resources.

Once again, thanks for the tips guys. :thumbsup: