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JBT27
11-24-2008, 02:16 AM
I'm wondering what people use most for trees?

Hand-built in Modeler, or plugins or full blown 3rd party apps? Got a bit of a problem - I need some believable European trees fast, though we need them often and varied anyway.

About five years ago we spent alot of money on Xfrog. To my dismay, the two program disks - Xfrog itself and XfrogTune do not load into XP or anything else we can find and try. The data disks are fine, but not the program CDs.....really odd.

Unfortunately Greenworks have chosen not to respond to my emails, though maybe they're not getting them.....

I have Pawel Olas' TreeDesigner which I mostly use now, but wondering if there is anything else that more quickly generates better and more believable trees.

Thanks.

Julian.

ingo
11-24-2008, 02:21 AM
Of course there is always Onyx Tree, i use it often in combination with Pawels LeavesDesigner.

JBT27
11-24-2008, 02:36 AM
Hmm.....looks nice - fairly serious money for the full package.....do you find it stable and the company reliable?

We're smarting badly in the wake of Greenworks ignoring us.

Curious that you use LeavesDesigner - is that because Onyx is good for the tree shape but not leaves, or is it just your preference?

Julian.

jdomingo
11-24-2008, 03:16 AM
i am using onyx tree, can run on both in 32 and 64 bit machine..for the leaves to be believeable, you can save them with an image of the leaves and with an alpha

Exception
11-24-2008, 03:52 AM
I use Onyx tree as well.
If you choose square polygons as output for the leaves, you can then in modeler merge them all so they become quads, apply a polymap and map any leaf on it you like. That renders fast, and looks great. All my recent work has onyx trees.

JBT27
11-24-2008, 06:39 AM
Well, it looks like I'd better take a look at Onyx then.....

Some very nice work being done with it!

Thanks for the ideas.

Julian.

trentonia
11-24-2008, 07:29 AM
Here's an oldie but goodie. This guy has like 40,000 trees in his scene. I thought it was a pretty interesting solution. It's a variation on 2 intersecting polygons. I think his trees are about 12 polys. Check it out. http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=38469&highlight=trees

JBT27
11-24-2008, 07:40 AM
Yeah, that looks nice, though better in the background.....it's a great 'trick'!

The same trick used in 'Gladiator' I think to do that shot of the Praetorian Guard (there were never that many!!) on parade seen from the steps of the palace or whatever it was. I only remember that because I read an interview with the guy who did it, who seemed very pleased with how it worked out.....there wasn't enough of that in that movie, imho.....

anyhoo.....unfortunately, I have to move my camera down a narrow stream flanked by tall trees, so I cannot resort to such scams this time :D

But thanks!

Julian.

Mr_Jones
11-24-2008, 09:00 AM
Andrew (3DCoat maker) has released a trees generator http://3dbrush.kriska.hvosting.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=1003&hl=trees

BigHache
11-25-2008, 10:01 AM
I've used Onyx as well and it's pretty handy.

I have a project I'm working on where I will possibly need foliage from a wide shot, then pull in tight. Are using LOD with trees a bad idea, or does it just depend on how you do it?

JBT27
11-25-2008, 10:43 AM
Hmm.....never really got the LOD thing with a tracking camera. Stuff in the distance and middle-ground get's a lesser res, even cards sometimes, but if you are pushing in from afar to close-up on foliage, I would tend to keep the objects that end up being in shot in close-up at full res and detail. Objects either side can be less so, providing it's the one specific shot you are setting up.....

Julian.

ingo
11-25-2008, 02:25 PM
......Curious that you use LeavesDesigner - is that because Onyx is good for the tree shape but not leaves, or is it just your preference?.....

Sometimes i just need more leaves without having more branches to get a more dense green tree.

JBT27
11-26-2008, 06:11 AM
I did buy Onyx, which I could ill-afford, and then low and behold and thanks to a kind soul off the forums who sent me a pm with a direct contact, Xfrog got in touch overnight and are generously sorting out our problems with that.....the timing is incredible (having spent the money because we need good trees) and the good 'ol gremlin is clearly still sitting on my shoulder.....lifelong 'friend' that gremlin :D

That said, Onyx Tree is really very nice indeed. The tree models are great and believable, and the ability to control them, and modify them following the rules of tree-growth, is pretty nifty. The models play well with LW, though I wish the leaves' UVs were uniform rather than being slightly offset from each other, but a minor gripe.

So after all the hassle, we've ended up with Onyx and Xfrog, and as we do alot of landscape reconstruction I guess that can't be a bad thing.....maybe the gremlin is a friend after all.....famous last words..... :D

Julian.

BigHache
11-29-2008, 09:52 AM
Thanks for the input Julian. My project, I'm not sure exactly yet where the camera will come from (potentially from many different points). I conceivably will have a camera come from a mile or two away, then push in tighter. I know that's kinda asking a lot, but hey, why not.

JBT27
11-30-2008, 02:16 AM
Thanks for the input Julian. My project, I'm not sure exactly yet where the camera will come from (potentially from many different points). I conceivably will have a camera come from a mile or two away, then push in tighter. I know that's kinda asking a lot, but hey, why not.

Well, why not?!! :D

If you're not on major deadlines with such a shot, it's a good time to run some tests. Generally you're designing a specific shot with a set camera move, give or take, so it's much easier. In particular, see how little you can get away with to represent distant and middle-ground forest.

A swathe of forest seen from a mile or two versus close-up is a huge move! What about all the land in-between? Or are you going to 'crash' the camera over that distance?

Post the shot if possible, as you work on it, so we can see how it goes!

Julian.

BigHache
11-30-2008, 07:40 PM
It's actually a personal project (link in my sig), so deadline is self-imposed. I don't have foliage in yet, still figuring out how to handle it.