Instancing/Scatter software for Blender?

Hi Everyone,
I’m a long-time user of 3dsMax and am going to be transitioning away from Max over the next year or two, hopefully. I’m very interested in Blender (Modo also) but there are a couple things that are keeping me from using it in production today. I’m amazed at what has been accomplished with Blender just over the last few years, so I feel pretty confident that Blender will have everything I need at some point in the near future.

I do Arch-viz work primarily, and one of the 3dsmax plugins I find essential to my workflow is Itoosoft’s Forest Pack Pro for landscaping. It’s scattering controls are pretty much unmatched by any other software I’ve seen. With the exception of grass/lawns, I’m not so interested in loading up acres and acres with forest trees and filling in massive landscapes. I know Blender is capable of doing that right now. What Forest Pro does so well is it allows you to use a landscape plan to distribute a variety of plant species precisely where the landscape designer has drawn them. Additionally it converts the models to point clouds so you can have hundreds or thousands (millions?) of plant objects in the viewport with no loss of video performance. The list of features is extensive, but a few notables are that it will place the objects on a surface, allow varying densities, random transforms, and collision detection.

I’m REALLY hoping something like this will come to Blender. I’ve contacted ItooSoft to see if there’s any chance they would port Forest Pack to any other 3D apps and the answer was “no… it’s too dependent on Max’s API and would be too much work to rewrite”. :frowning:

Does anyone know of any plans for a feature like this or addon to be included in Blender??


maybe this is coming near the solution you want?

I’d say that’s a start. Andreas, if you happen to read this thread can you share your vision for your addon? Is it possible to take this to the same level as Forest Pro? Paint/sketch distribution is certainly nice, and Asset Sketcher seems to do that very nicely. But for those not familiar with the process… picture this. You’ve got a landscape plan with 25 species of shrubs. Each specie contains 10-200 instances of itself, each at a specific location. So, then be able to assign 3D plant objects to the location of each instance in a single click (or two). It’s relatively easy to script that all by itself, but you still want to be able to adjust the transforms of the objects randomly. Or if the underlying surface changes, all the plants should be able to adjust to the new surface.

Can Asset Sketcher handle high poly objects? Will the viewports crawl if there are 300 plants that are each 150,000 polys? Some kind of proxy mesh or point cloud display would be necessary.

Another vital feature of this addon would be the ability to include or exclude areas using splines, geometry, or painting. Seams like the painting part is taken care of obviously. :slight_smile: Or distribute objects along a spline.

There are still other features worth discussing. Since I’ve just joined this forum I can’t post links, but anyone interested can check out ItooSoft’s website. Forest Pro really is amazing, and there’s seemingly nothing it can’t do. I’m really surprised the developers aren’t more interested in creating plugins for other 3D apps, though I suppose the majority of the Arch-viz community works with 3dsMax. However I think the trend over the next few years is going to see the industry branching out to other packages.

That is exactly what I am also missing inside of blender. I have had a demo of forest pack and thanks to the point cloud viewport I was able to pull almost 1 billion polygons (500K before instancing) on one of my older 2 core 4 GB memory computer and actually could render a part of it. Currently with blender it chokes very quickly. I am pretty sure that people from archviz would be running from Max if there were alternatives to forest pro, floor generator + multitexture, railclone elswhere (blender :-)). (250$ per month for max is quite a lot)

Also grease pencil scatter addon too!

I am currently playing with railclone and wow. This company has two products and both of them are unbeliavable time savers. Sadly just for Max. On the other hand if someone is willing to put effort in replicating those two products into blender and putting it on the blendermarket there is quite a bit of money to be made.

I want to revive this question since it matches my question perfectly. Any updates on this issue or addon or feature i am not aware of?

Same here for me, we’re currently trying to choose between blender and 3ds and the only thing that’s keeping us from choosing blender is the fact that there is no proper scattering addon.

didn’t read the hole first post but does this help ?
and you can use the particles system to scatter point, and use the weight paint to to scatter in a specific area

Hi so maybe its a late answer, but of course others start looking in it…

There has developed a payed plugin caled “GRASWALD”

it seems to be extremly well done, thinking of the quality of the assets and the ability of changing the look of the scattered Plants …

But… i think it fits to smaler scenes… Trees and scrubs and so on seem to be scatterd by particle systems that you can change in behavior…

missing is interaciton… like in this increadible forrestpack… for example ökosystems doesnt exist… for example you cant tell the flowers to not automatically grow below the scsatterted trees… also i dont know if there existes any proxysystem to cache thousends of plants , nor if theres a point cloud representation like in Forrestpack…

you are totaly right… if there are three plugins i heavily miss… Vray… Forrestpack… Railclone… and also Floorgenerator, psdmanager,

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This scatter addon is nice and better then nothing, but we need a more complete solution like forestpack. If you start to really work on precise and complete landscapes you will very soon see that a simple scattering solution is not enough.

Yes I saw Graswald that but it seems not made for the same uses, I would like to scatter huge grass fields and a lot of trees and plants. This addon seems to be focused on small close-up scenes :frowning:

I add my + 1 here.
If there was something similar to Forest pack for Blender, we would mass-switch from 3ds to Blender immediatly.
Hopefully this long-standing request has come to highest floors in Blender community and we’ll see something in future.