View Full Version : Trees for Games
OK so there's a billion tutorials and DVD/CD packages out there for creating characters for games. However, I'm interested in environment design (buildings, terrain, vegetation, etc.). Right now my focus has shifted specifically to trees. Unique trees, twisted and gnarled, something with a lot of character not something spit out by a tree generator.
So, does anyone know of any resources, be it websites or DVD/CDs that teach the art of tree modeling? Anyone have first-hand experience doing this sort of modeling work that wants to impart some knowledge? Thanks in advance!
03-04-2011, 06:49 AM
I do my trees in a modular way most times with splines as branches. This gives me full control. If you want your tree to be a hero object with a lot of attention on it you can do the trunk with zbrush or mudbox and paint a nice texture on it and use the spline (or extruded along spine made branches) for the top of it.
For material I like to use bended planes with loose leaves scattered on them. PLus make sure you use 2D branches too. This will break up the leaves and make the tree looking more detailed.
For trees with lots of character a good reference are old landscape paintings. Those ancient artists made great trees in oil. :)
You can also bake in vertex shadows to get the feel of a bit more volume. There is a good vertex normal and vertex light baking tutorial in the wiki here.
I think Speedtree is nice too if you use UDK. I never used it but the trees are looking nice with a fantasy mood in most cases.
03-04-2011, 04:17 PM
03-05-2011, 02:34 PM
I do mine this way. Trunk and big branches as one model. 1-2 small branches with leaves placed where i want. And LODs for performance optimization.
and trees in the scene
03-06-2011, 05:39 PM
Nice trees Jonsnow. Can you show the wireframes for these two models?
03-06-2011, 08:29 PM
I love the way the leaves on that willow catch the light! Looks amazing.
03-07-2011, 12:11 AM
Must have more pics of that willow tree!!!
Please show wires and texture sheets per favore!!
03-07-2011, 04:28 AM
I made this for a racing game 2 years ago.
03-08-2011, 04:41 AM
I dunno if my trees look good but I have usid this technique to make them :
1 model a 3d shape by hand , once satisfied I used splines to add over a tube and texture it , so easier , then I clone that and the splines and I modify them by twisting etc , then once I am satisfied , I use a 2d texture of branches and a 2d txture of leaves and compose them in natural manner with the larger branches , then once I have severall branches I start playing around by moving the xyz pivot to the origin of the branch and I move around the tree to get a figure shape that is natural for that kind of tree and nice to me , once done I merge the branches with the 3d main trunk and I start fixing the textures and the uvmapping overall , once this is done the tree shoudl alreadyhave a shape but then I need to start the animation process that in crysis is made with vertex painting , finally I make lods....
I dunno if my workflow is good but this is what I do so far and I woul dlike ot know if I am doing well ....
Btw I use tiled textures for the trunks because making specific baked texture , custom textures would adapt well on one tree only and not severall types , I usually make 5-10 variations of each tree so I can reuse the main texture a lot but if I had to make one specific texture for each tree I think I would make lag the game area ....
03-10-2011, 06:17 AM
Oh! this is something I am intersted in. I have a collection of tutorials on the sibject, but haven't got round to making any trees yet.
Yes, some wires of those trees would be awesome, please!
03-10-2011, 10:12 AM
Nice trees you have there. Would be awesome if you you made a short mini tutorial on how you made the leavs. (like 3-5 steps) Or at least show us wireframe and texture maps. Thanks. :)
03-10-2011, 03:19 PM
I would also like to see more detailed pics and the process for Jonsnow's willow tree!!
03-11-2011, 01:25 AM
all: thanks guys
there is link on WIP video of scene with those trees, and if i have a time i will make some wire screen shots, i have to find the files on my hard drive 1st ;]
03-11-2011, 03:54 AM
Aha cool. Thanks. I'm keen to see them.
03-11-2011, 02:24 PM
Hey. I hope you post those wireframes and even a text break down of your work flow.
Your foliage is amazing.
Do you use photo's or hand paint most of your leafs and plants?
How many poly's is that willow tree?
03-19-2011, 08:59 AM
.. if i have a time i will make some wire screen shots, i have to find the files on my hard drive 1st ;]
No response? Did you find the file?
03-19-2011, 01:39 PM
Sorry guys, a lot of work ;]
Some pictures for you.
Trees are little bit old so i would make a lot of things different way. Maybe new trees will come ;]
03-19-2011, 01:50 PM
Sorry guys, a lot of work ;]
Some pictures for you.
Thank you! :-)
Wow. I've just been able to get back to this thread and look at all this! I've got a lot of reading to do. This is great stuff.
04-09-2011, 03:07 PM
Thanks for posting the wires!
Are those textures painted or photo?
That willow must be a very high polycount?
03-07-2013, 02:38 PM
I know this is an old thread but still very helpful. I'm about to start my first tree and came here first for knowledge. Thanks for the info!
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