Welcome to the official Alpha Trees discussion thread!
This is a tool for automating the process of making and using alpha mapped trees, which allows you to render massive forests of hundreds of thousands of particles in a fraction of the time and memory cost of using full 3D tree models.
You can get the addon here:
The general process for making these trees is shown in this great video by Zacharias Reinhardt:
Though I have made quite a few improvements and updated it for 2.8
For example, I split the models into a trunk and leaf layer and I also add a layer for masks:
This allows a lot of extra control in the materials and for winter/dead trees.
Overall, using the original method, it could take around 15-20 minutes to produce the maps for one tree, which this addon lowers to almost zero. It is only limited by render time, which usually takes around 30s to 3mins depending on settings.
How to use:
v1.3 - 28/03/21
- Added LODs, which let you optimize your scene even more, by using lower quality trees further away from the camera.
- Instead of freezing the screen when generating a tree, the addon now provides useful feedback about what stage of the process is being computed.
- You can now track trees to the scene camera, which is useful with addons like RenderSet, which change the scene camera each frame.
- Fixed a few bugs.
- Laid the groundwork for changing to Geometry nodes.
- Check out the release post for details and a demonstration.
v1.2 - 03/02/21
- Added curve controls for weight maps, meaning that you can edit the distribution of trees in realtime!
- Added camera clipping mask, which lets you even further optimise scenes by removing trees that are outside of the camera view.
- Redesigned the UI for weight layers, making it much more intuitive and easy to use.
- You can now copy whole trees between biomes.
- Added multi import to particles.
- Fixed a few bugs.
- And even more! Check out the release post for a full list.
v1.1 - 19/01/21
- New controls for height offset and width for particles. Makes it very easy to make bushes for example.
- Added camera tracking for single trees.
- You can now select materials for single trees, allowing them to share materials.
- Improved material setting copying. You can now modify the tree materials without worrying about messing up the addon.
- Improved tree icons to accurately reflect material settings. Improves readability drastically.
- Plus way more! Check out the release post for a full list.
v1.0 - Initial release - 04/01/21
If you have any questions, bugs or problems don’t hesitate to ask me on this thread
Hopefully, this can turn into something great!