This update brings Scatter5 integration, updates to the weight layers engine, and a full rewrite of the preset system!
See the release post for a full list of changes: here
3D tree models are slow
Traditional tree models often have millions of polygons, and multiple complex materials, making them very slow to render. They also slow down the viewport and add to visual noise while working.
They also use a lot of memory
Another problem with having all of those polygons and textures is that they can add up and overload the memory limits of your GPU, resulting in having to render on the CPU, which is often 5 to 10x slower.
Billboards are much faster
Alpha Trees uses flat tree cards to speed up rendering and lower memory usage. Each tree card only has 4 vertices, drastically increasing performance when compared to the millions usually found in 3D tree models.
Just as realistic as 3D trees
The tree cards use an advanced material that allows them to react to lighting and translucency.
This means that they can still look 3D, without needing the extra geometry.
Always best side forward
Since the trees are 2D, you might think that when the camera views them from the side that they would disappear. However, they automatically face towards the active camera, giving the convincing illusion that they are 3D
The addon has a powerful scattering system built on geometry nodes that lets you cover a terrain in trees with ease. You get full control over density, scale, rotation, randomness, and even wind animation
With procedural distribution
You can control the density and scale of trees procedurally using the powerful weight layers system, which lets you affect a weight map based on factors such as slope, height, or distance from the camera.
If you want even more scattering and distribution features, you can use the addon easily with the Scatter 5 addon, and get access to powerful features such as clumping, manual distribution and much more!
With 28 ready made biomes
No need to worry about getting a natural selection of trees, with Scatter you can simply find a biome you like and with a single click have a convincing forest automatically scattered for you.
Minimum memory, maximum
Trees that are outside the camera's field of view are automatically culled to reduce memory and render times. If they still use too much memory, you can choose the quality from high (2k) to low (256p), reducing memory usage by a further 64x.
Made for any hardware
All promotional images for Alpha Trees were rendered on a 4-year-old laptop GPU with the minimum recommended VRAM for cycles (2GB). Rendering these images on the same hardware using 3D tree models would simply not be possible.
Each tree can be customised using the material, allowing you to change everything from color, randomness and translucency all the way to number of dead leaves, the color of the trunk and the amount of snow lying on it.
~150 builtin trees
The Addon comes with a rich library of premade trees, including ~70 deciduous trees, ~50 coniferous trees, and ~20 small trees and shrubs. You can also easily search through the library by name, species, size, or tags to find exactly what you want quickly.
Easily create your own
You can convert almost any 3D tree to an Alpha Tree in just a few steps! The addon will automatically render out color, normal, shadow and mask passes, and then combines them into an Alpha Tree that you can use like any other!
|No. of trees:|| |
|Can import individual trees:||✔️||✔️|
|Can generate new trees:||✔️||✔️|
|Can scatter trees automatically:||❌||✔️|
|Has camera culling:||❌||✔️|
v2.2 - 02/07/22
- Added full scatter integration
- Added 5 new weight layers: Normalize, Is inside mesh, Clamp, Camera cull and Blur, allowing for even more fine control over the scale and distribution of the trees.
- Updated the weight layers UI for Alpha Trees to be much more intuitive to use.
- Updated the preset system to be more powerful and easy to use with the new system
- Added three high quality preset biomes: Mediterranean pine scrub, European broadleaf forest and Spruce woodland, which can be added to your scene with just a few clicks
- Added a new method for editing and viewing biome presets
- Fixed many bugs including but not limited to:
- Camera tracking for single trees will now work instead of causing an error
- reloading previews will now actually reload the tree previews
- If a tree in the scene isn't found in the current library, a more helpful error is shown
- Fixed moving the order of adjustments in weight layers messing up
- Updated the documentation to cover all new subjects, and also better cover the existing ones.
- Release post for details.
v2.0 - 15/01/22
- 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.
- Camera clipping and targeting is now fully automatic.
- Added tree search to make it easier to use large libraries.
- Completely rewrote the documentation.
- Restructured the entire addon to be easier to develop, making updates faster.
- Added ability to fade out trees when they get too close to the camera.
- Release post for details.
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.
- You can now select materials for single trees, allowing them to share materials.
- Added camera tracking for single trees.
- 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