needing help with wind and trees

Alright, I have a scene with a large number of trees and bushes. I have had a really hard time getting the branches and leaves to react to the wind currents. I have two empties in my scene that are the wind currents. Here are a couple methods that I have already tried.

  1. I set the branches, leaves and bushes as softbodies, then used weight paint to attempt to keeping them still in the areas where the branches meet one another, but that is not working. The bushes stretch really far and move all around in random directions. The branches and the leaves only bounce up and down.

  2. I have also tried assigning displacement modifiers to the bushes and branches. This does not work either. They are just still with no movement.

Maybe within one of those attempts I did something wrong or maybe didn’t try or click something correctly. Either way, please help me with this. A specific and detailed response as to how I can make this work, is what I really need. Thank you in advance.

If you use the tree from curves script, I think there is an option to automatically rig your trees, and maybe even a wind option. not entirely sure since I have never used the script for animation, but you might have a look.

Yeah I’ve already tried using empty objects as wind currents which is working great for the grass, but not the trees and bushes. This is where I thought the weighted paint would work, but it’s not. What do you mean by curve scripts? Does that have something to do with Python? Is it something that’s built in?

tree from curves is one of the scripts that comes with 2.49. basically, you take a bezier curve, and use it to represent the trunk and branches, make a mesh to represent the canopy shape, add a leaf object, and then you just press generate, and there is your tree, made to order. It is not quite that simple, but @ndy did a good tutorial on it, and I left a quick start tutorial in the tutorials subforum, which I should probably rewrite, but it works. I think the script also gives you some options for armatures, and possibly wind.