Volumetric Trees.....

(NRK) #1

So it occurred to me that from a distance volumes look a lot like trees so I took a stab at it. This test looks a lot more like moss than trees, but I wanted to post the idea for others to try and improve. I still think volumetrics is a majorly under tested and utilized new feature that has a great future.

This a a point density volume texture emitted from the hills with tree trunks as objects assigned to the points. For more info and tutorials I did on how this was done see my thread here:



VolumeTree.blend (642 KB)

(3pointEdit) #2

Definately onto something here! Great look for distant trees. Maybe usefull for 1 tree’s leaves too?

(Atom) #3

Thanks for the tutorial on clouds!

tree trunks as objects assigned to the points

So how are you doing the trunks with the trees? The points of which object? Is a particle system distributing the trunks across the land scape? Are you dupliverting them?

(spacetug) #4


well, not quite there yet…

it’s a really cool idea :slight_smile:

(NRK) #5

You’re welcome on the tutorial, glad you like it. I emitted the particle system out of the hillside. I then use the particles as a point density for a separate volume box. I assigned an object(tree trunk) to the particle system as their instance forcing them verticle with coordinates setting. I originally tried to assign cones with a volume material, but wow talk about slogging your computer down when you hit render, I gave up waiting. I think blender tries to pre cache 5000 separate volumes and never comes back. Anyway, I can post the .blend tonight if you’re interested.

(ccherrett) #6

Please do post a blend. This is looking very promising!

(NRK) #7

I uploaded the .blend (see above) I had to reduce the number of particles from 5000 down to 2000 to get it under the file size limit. I am using a fairly recent blender build so make sure you get the latest one from graphicall.org (it should work with Alpha 0 but I haven’t tried it.)

(ccherrett) #8

very nice!

I wonder if it would look decent to have many volumetric textures all with slightly different colors to give more variation

I played with your file a bit but was not able to get color variation in the volumetric texture itself. Perhaps I am missing something?


(NRK) #9

I haven’t been able to figure it out either… I will look into it. Perhaps multiple volumes in the same space?

I have moved on to figure out virtex groups for particle emissions, thus you can make a tree with branches and emit particles from the branches only and voila! Here is what I have so far, but it will take me some time to add more branches and obviously this will look better from a distance. I figure the problem with my picture above is the rudimentary trees.


(Atom) #10

Thanks for giving us a look at the BLEND file. I still don’t understand how you are synchronizing the tree trunks with the volume? The trunk particle distribution system seems to be based upon random, not texture based as I supposed. Is it just luck that some of the tree trunk don’t end up in the open areas?

(NRK) #11

The tree trunk is an object with it’s origin at the top. In the render tab for a particle system you can select Halo or even an object as it’s instance. So each particle that eminates from the surface can be visualized in the render as an object. It is INSANELY useful… see this tutorial:

I made the tree trunks sufficiently long to disappear into the ground and selected the trunk as the object of visualization.

(ccherrett) #12

If you were to create a few tree trunks, group them and select the group in the particles settings, I believe that at that point you can use the Instanses in the render settings to save on ram.

You can also set it to randomly select from that group so you get automatic variation.

(ccherrett) #13

the only way I can see at this time is to have multiple volume textures

(NRK) #14

Ok, two possiblities for affecting color of a volume:

  1. When you check the RGB to intensity box on a texture the pink color becomes the emission color for the texture in the volume. If you turn up emission you will see pink in the volume or whatever color you change the pink to in the volume texture.
  2. Add two volume materials to the same volume box and assign it a second point density texture to make certain trees a different colors and change the color of that material to be what you want(this should work, but I have not tried it yet.)

I will try this tonight if I get a chance.

(NRK) #15

I’ve spent so much time figuring out clouds I never bothered to do color in volumes so I think I’ve figured it out. See settings below… add a texture and type in a value larger than 1 since you can’t slide to a higher number on the reflection value(s). Why there is two reflections I don’t know…

P.S. I always enable ramps for textures and the picture below has two textures both clouds added to the one above, one yellow (settings shown) one black subtracting.


(ccherrett) #16

can you post a blend with your new findings so I can see exactly what you did?


(NRK) #17

Here ya go… have fun!


VolumeTreecolor.blend (184 KB)

(Modron) #18

nice trees. don’t put multiple volumes in the same space, that will result in negative space. also, only use manifold meshes, as compound meshes that intersect will result in crash.

(3pointEdit) #19

I thought that volumetric domains could only be cubes anyway?

(NRK) #20

Here is a volume I did that wasn’t a cube, but a dragon:

Ander here is a volume mist around the dragon(a volume inside a volume if you will):