Alpha Trees - Render massive forests, fast

very strange

Reopened Blender, loaded the scene,
textures not there,

path selected with Ctrl c

has already caused that the textures are there again

alphatree

Hmm, ok, I think this probably has something to do with how the previews are cached, when you update the path, it updates the cache, and it all works again. I’ll try and replicate it and find a fix. Thanks for reporting that, that’s very useful!

1 Like

Ok, I didn’t manage to replicate the error you had, but I have a fair idea what’s causing it, so I’ve uploaded a new version that should fix it :crossed_fingers:.
As a side note though, investigating this bug also made me find another one, which is now also fixed. So overall, that was a good thing to look at!

1 Like

Nice that it became a successful double solution.
Happy weekend

1 Like

Alpha Trees 2.0 has been released!

Alpha Trees header

It’s taken quite a lot longer than expected, but I think it was worth it to complete the update with all features.

Improvements:

  • Moved entire system to geometry nodes for Blender 3.0.
  • Added 133 new trees, increasing the total amount from 15 to 148!
  • Added a powerful system for controlling distribution using layers.
  • Icons now load instantly instead of taking up to 40s for the full library.
  • Icons are now also higher resolution.
  • Added tree search to make it easier to use large libraries.
  • Camera clipping and targeting is now fully automatic.
  • Completely rewrote the documentation.
  • Restructured the entire addon to be easier to develop.
  • Added ability to fade out trees when they get too close to the camera.

+ a lot of bug fixing and head scratching

Trailer:

The price has also now gone up from $35 to $45, but if you get it now, you can use code “alpha20” to get a 20% discount (Only valid till 22 Jan)

It’s been a bit of a marathon, so I’ll be taking a bit of a break from development for a while (Aside from bug fixing etc.), but after that, here are some things I’d like to do in the future (in order of soonest to farthest away):

  • Add better support to Weight Layers and mesh it a bit better with Alpha Trees
  • Redo the entire generation system to also use geometry nodes, and some new techniques I’ve thought of for more reliable and higher quality trees.
  • Add support for types of Alpha other than trees (heathenous I know :exploding_head:). Think grass, rocks, clouds/mist, buildings etc.

And of course, thanks to all the people who used the beta and weeded out all the bugs I managed to leave in! @walt1 @marcatore @giacometti777 @Mash3d + others.

7 Likes

Congratulations! “Add support for types of Alpha other than trees” How does the alpha generator work with buildings etc?

Hi. Will these features be part of Alpha Trees 2.x or will they be in 3.0 (meaning: the user will have to pay more $$ to get them)?

Well, that’s all a plan for the future, so it’s not completely fleshed out yet, but it should be fairly simple, as the shader is probably quite similar to the tree shader but without the translucency…
The general process would be the same, but with some modified steps to make buildings look better.

@xan2622 I’m not entirely sure at them moment since it’s probably a fair way in the future, however, all users who have already bought it will definitely get a free upgrade to 3.0 when it comes out, just like with 2.0

2 Likes

:top:

really easy and fun

3 Likes

Woah, that’s really nice!
I’m surprised how good they look that close up, great work!

Just a quick update to say that I’ve added a new “Lite” version to the Blender Market store.
This version has all the same features as the normal aka “Pro” version, except in only has 50 trees instead of 150, and it doesn’t have access to automatic scattering or camera culling.

The price of the lite version is $25 versus $45 for the full version.

image

My reasoning is that $45 can be a bit of an off-putting price for people with poor hardware, who would probably find Alpha Trees the most useful.

Also, anyone who has already bought the addon will automatically be given the “pro” version.

3 Likes

Hi, I am about to finally buy a copy of your add-on.
Question, if I’d want to sell an Obj version of a 3D landscape model, would it be acceptable if it contains alpha trees. This would be a a one time occasion per model and not on the usual model sale marketplaces.

Hi, yes, that sounds like it’s ok, do you mean as in commission or client work?

Do you mean as in a .obj file or a .blend? Because if it’s a .obj then the shaders for the trees won’t be saved, and it probably wouldn’t be very useful, since the shader is really what makes the trees look good. Otherwise, if it’s a blend file, then it should work well.
Hope that helps!

Thanks single client work.

They want the model which was used to create their images.

I can put a note that they have no right to sell parts of the model individually.

I’ll have to see regarding the file format. Has to have the textures in it. They probably don’t use Blender.
So it needs to be reasonably versitile. Suggestions?

1 Like

If it’s single client work, then it’s completely fine.
The problem with other formats (obj, fbx, etc.) is that mostly they only store mesh data rather than materials. If you exported an Alpha Tree to obj and then imported it again, you would probably just get a plane with no textures on it…
The only real option is to recreate the shader for whichever renderer the client is using, which probably isn’t very viable.

2 Likes

I honestly don’t think is good practice to sell a model which relies on specific add-ons to achieve the visual results. If you’re selling a landscape to a client, it needs to be actual geometry and not a bunch of scattered rectangles. Further – such geometry should be wholly original and not a kit bash from other libraries as most of them will expressly forbid the resale to a third party.

This of course isn’t an issue if you’re just selling the end-result (i.e. an animation or rendered image).

They are paying for the derived images, the model is just part of the deal because they want to back themselves up to some extent should something happen to me or my company.

Once the trees are placed you do not need the add-on to open and read the file in Blender as far as I understand it.

Oh, and by the way this is there very reason why I ask for the permission of the Add on developer.

Honestly, if it was me I would hand them the general blender file – no explanation, no add-ons or even external assets and let them sort it out if/when they actually open it. In my experience when clients ask for the original files it’s because they don’t know WTF they’re asking for and mostly because either they got poor legal advice or, worse, some friend of theirs told them they should.

In my book, projects and files used to derive the images are proprietary information and if a client asks for them I make sure they’re aware that there is a substantial and steep extra cost. It’d be like going to a restaurant, and asking the chef to provide you with the recipe to the meal that you just ate – not going to happen!

2 Likes

I have to ask, are the textures of the tree images PNG? I found that EXR could be even smaller (with WDAB codec) than PNG and in the end make the file smaller, but I’m not sure if it improves performance much.

1 Like