Cherry

cherry

The Summer Cherry Tree has about 150,000 polys, but the leaves are sort of billboards – not facing camera but images mapped to planes that don’t look so good side on but also don’t look good if they’re all lined up the same so that the repetition is obvious. I’ve rotated the tree to minimise the problem here, but it is a constraint. I’ve seen some trees with billboards look OK by using several different billboards, but like tiled textures one needs to be careful.

Perhaps I should explore the approach of rendering several different views and compositing the leaves to get a good result. When I did the Vue workshop with Scott Brisbane he usually used that approach (with clouds) to get the result he wanted. No need to be constrained by what Vue can offer in a single image. Must give it a go.

Library

fence

Spending a bit of time going through my plant library, most of which come by default with Vue Infinite. The Plant Factory has some content as well.

This llittle scene has some plum trees and various types of grass. The plum is a fairly low-poly asset, of the old SolidGrowth type. The leaves look pretty  bad up close but on a distant hillside they’re not so bad.

I think I’ve got a fair grip on The Plant Factory now.  Good thing too as I’m back at work next week and won’t have much time to spend learning it. I’d like to be able to use it for my upcoming workshop. Not sure how that is going to work out, as it coincides with the start of semester. I’m not too optimistic actually, I think I’m looking for too much. Attendees are probably expected to bring their own inspiration, which I sorely lack.

Hero

sculpt

I’ve worked out how to do a bit of sculpting on the trunk of the tree. GoZ is meant to work with The Plant Factory but it doesn’t (for me). However there is another process that does seem to work, and creates the possibility of an interesting hero tree for an environment. This example was only a couple of minutes work, but I’m sure if I spend a bit of time on it I can come up with a pretty good result. Happy. Sort of.

Progress

loop

Ths TPF tree uses a different approach from the last couple – using loops to generate branches and single leaves instead of billboards. I think it’s a better result, although still needs a lot of work, but I’m very happy to have worked out (with the help of various tutorials of course) how to set it up. Props to Vladimir Chopine for his comprehensive tutorials on Vue and The Plant Factory (and much else besides). He must have produced more than half the available training material for e-on products.

Cactus

cactus

So here we have a green plastic cactus with red plastic flowers. Still, interesting tutorial, and I’m learning a lot about The Plant Factory. As a would-be environment artist being able to create interesting plants must surely help. I’ve always had issues with plants in Vue, so being able to create and edit my own will be good.

I’ve discovered that I can actually open up TPF plants that I’ve purchased on Cornucopia and see and edit the graph in The Plant Factory. So why the tutor on Lynda shipped all his exercise files as TPFS files that can only be opened in Producer, I don’t know. Perhaps I’m missing something.

Urchin

virus

The Plant Factory has an Urchin primitive, that is basically a ball that attached ‘branches’ grow out of in all directions. Vladimir at G@P has a tutorial on making a ‘virus’ using one of these. Here’s the result. This seems to be affected by wind and I can’t work out how to turn that off for this primitive. Maybe you can’t.

There’s quite a good tutorial on Lynda, but about half way through he makes some change to the model he’s been working on without explaining very well (i.e. in a way that I can understand) exactly what he did. After that it’s very hard to follow. He has provided exercise files but one needs the top version of The Plant Factory to open other peoples files, and it costs $1000 more than the one have, with no obvious other benefits. Good for collaborative work in a studio I guess, and for following tutorials on Lynda, but I refrained from upgrading just so I could see what he actually did. Fortunately Vladimir Chopine has a comprehensive set of TPF tutorials. Finding training for these programs is the biggest hurdle.  They’re not exactly intuitive.