Alpha Trees - Render Massive Forests, Fast

by Strike Digital in Models

With Alpha Trees, you can...

Create tree cards, fast:

Superfast
Tree cards can render many times faster than normal 3D models, and only use a fraction of the memory, which means no more CUDA errors! This speed improvement only gets bigger with more complicated scenes.


High quality
Alpha Trees creates more than just one image per tree. In fact, it makes five, all packed with useful 3D information such as diffuse, normal, and mask maps.
Realistic
When these maps are combined, they can create a realistic illusion of 3D geometry that can react to lighting from all directions, including translucency.


Efficient
Alpha Trees lets you generate trees one at a time, or in batches to help speed up your workflow. Compared to generating these same maps by hand, Alpha Trees many tens of times faster, only limited by the render time.
Shareable
You can export packs of Alpha Trees you create as zip files that can be shared and installed by other users. These can even be used commercially (If you are the creator of the original 3D tree model).



Import them easily:


Intuitive
Alpha Trees has an easy to use, but powerful importer that lets you place tree cards in your scene with the click of a button, and even import multiple trees at a time.



Fully customizable
Each tree has a powerful material that lets you control every aspect of its appearance, from color and translucency to snow and number of leaves.




Scatter them, hassle-free:


Powerful
Alpha Trees has a powerful scattering system that makes it easy to create massive forests in only a few clicks. The add-on sets up all particle systems for you, so you don’t have to worry about changing a thousand different settings to get the result you want.


Easy to use
Trees are put into biomes, which are used to organize all of the trees in a scene. These can then be saved as presets and used in multiple files, making creating realistic scenes even easier.


Effortless distribution
With Alpha Trees, you can get natural distribution and sizes on any terrain with procedural weight layers. Alpha trees can currently generate weight maps for slope, height, and water flow (with more coming soon!) which can then be blended to create realistic distributions.



Plus, you get...

Comprehensive documentation
The addon comes with a wealth of descriptive in-addon tooltips (that can be turned off) and also has in-depth documentation that you can access online, or locally.


15 ready-made trees
The addon comes with 15 high-quality trees from 5 different species to help get you started with using the Alpha Trees addon.



5 biome presets
There are also 5 biome presets that you can add to, edit and use in any of your scenes with the click of a button.





Updates:

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 optimize 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



Find out more:

Blender artists
Feel free to ask a question, report a bug, or share a creation here


Youtube
Find time-lapses using Alpha trees, tutorials, and useful videos here