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Making trees - TomorrowPlusX - Oct 28, 2005 02:13 PM

I'm looking to spruce ( it's a pun, laugh ) up my environment by adding trees to it. Now, I'm perfectly capable of using wings3d to make simple trees, but frankly, automated systems with tweakable parameters will do a better job.

My questions are:

1) Are there *free* packages that are reasonably good?

2) If not, are there affordable non-free packages? By affordable, I mean a lot less than $100 US.

3) Should I just break down and write my own generator Cool

My main issue is that while I'm a well-employed adult, game dev is my pasttime, and I don't have the money to buy Maya or some other professional package. That said, I'm decent in Wings3D and I can learn Blender.

Also, it would be nice to have the foliage/leaves be separatable from the trunk. I'm using stencil shadows, and I don't think that single-sided leaf quads will work too well when performing silhouette determination. So ideally I'd have one trunk model which is a closed solid, and a second model which is basically a list of quads and texture coords.

Oh yes, it would be nice if I could get nice textures too, procedurally created ideally.

Can anybody help? If I have to take path #3, this is the kind of thing I could spend months on. Fun, but not my primary goal...


I just found this:

But it's four years old, and several blender revisions back. I don't know if it would still work, and I'm not proficient with blender enough to know how to make it work if it doesn't.

EDIT2: I've futzed, but I have zero experience with Blender's scripting. It doesn't work, it chokes on importing basic python libs, like string and math.

Making trees - TomorrowPlusX - Oct 31, 2005 06:30 AM

I decided to make my own trees... I've decided to go for a continuous randomly generated forest. As in, every tree being unique and randomly generated following configurable parameters.

Over the weekend I worked out the algorithms on paper and began writing an "editor" for developing trees. I don't actually have trees yet, but the underlying datatypes and editor are working.

[Image: Screenshots-2005-10-31-00.png]

Stay tuned...

Making trees - Leisure Suit Lurie - Oct 31, 2005 08:28 AM

Wow. Its like Reubert's weed growing game...on a much larger scale.

Gorgeous looking. Nice job, man.

Making trees - TomorrowPlusX - Oct 31, 2005 08:42 AM

Thanks, but I don't have any trees yet -- just an editor for changing parameters, and a "Tree" object which has an empty generate() function. But, the infrastructure is done, now I just have to make the tree actually build itself.

Making trees - TomorrowPlusX - Oct 31, 2005 03:57 PM

It begins...

[Image: Screenshots-2005-10-31-02.png]

Making trees - blobbo - Oct 31, 2005 04:39 PM

If this were Darwinia you'd be finished Wink

Making trees - TomorrowPlusX - Nov 2, 2005 06:40 AM

As of last night I've got solid, shadow-casting geometry. No leaves yet, though.

[Image: Screenshots-2005-11-01-03.png]

[Image: Screenshots-2005-11-01-04.png]

[Image: Screenshots-2005-11-01-05.png]

Once leaves are in I can probably bring down the recursion depth quite a bit. It's easy to make *really* complex trees which bring my computer to its knees...

Making trees - blobbo - Nov 2, 2005 07:49 AM

I really don't want to be impaled on one of those Wink Yup, some leaves or texture would make it look more real Smile

Making trees - Leisure Suit Lurie - Nov 2, 2005 08:05 AM

Is that the Tree of Woe?

More importantly, will we be able to race riding lawn mowers in this?Rasp

Making trees - TomorrowPlusX - Nov 3, 2005 05:54 AM

Now, with texturing and "leaves". By "leaves", I mean I've got textured quads up but I haven't actually drawn the texture yet, so it's a green square Rasp

[Image: Screenshots-2005-11-02-12.png]
[Image: Screenshots-2005-11-02-20.png]

Making trees - Nick - Nov 3, 2005 08:29 AM

That's so cool that you can make formulas and equations that figure all that stuff out and just make trees. They look awesome. Good job.

Making trees - blobbo - Nov 3, 2005 10:18 AM

Now if you make the trees leaves change colours and fall from the trees, that'll make you a true guru. Wink

Making trees - TomorrowPlusX - Nov 4, 2005 05:33 AM

I'm no guru. OSC and arrekusu are. I just work hard.

Making trees - TomorrowPlusX - Nov 7, 2005 02:05 PM

Well, I spent the weekend finishing the implementation. It took some work, and while I'm not "done" yet ( I still need to make good textures, and whip up a number of good parameter scripts ) I now have a system for continuously generating trees on the fly as you move around. I also have a separate implementation ( which is faster ) which clones from a set of 64 "prototype" trees, based on four parameter sets.

Anyway, the point is that you can move around and for all intents and purposes, my environment has *thousands* of trees in it, each being a shadow casting, collidable 1st class entity in my scenegraph ( though it only exists if you're near it ).

Here's some shots:
[Image: Screenshots-2005-11-07-12.png]

[Image: Screenshots-2005-11-07-10.png]

[Image: Screenshots-2005-11-07-08.png]

[Image: Screenshots-2005-11-07-06.png]

The neat thing is that while the trees are created as you approach, since they use a reproducible seeding algorithm you'll always get the same random tree in the same place!

Making trees - blobbo - Nov 7, 2005 04:05 PM

Just phenomenal. These screenshots just blow me away - this looks like a professional calliber game. Really.

Got a build we can play around with? What's the gameplay going to be like?