Single plane leaves and crossed-plane flowers illustration
PlantFactory 2016 R4 offers 2 new options for creating leaves and small vegetation structures:
Single Plane leaves have a grid based mesh (up to 8x8), which allows you to add more realism to your plant species in its finer details.
Single Plane leaves can be curved, bent, folded and are automatically deformed by wind. Perfect for Offline rendering, Single Plane leaves are still light enough for real-time implementations. Additionally Single Plane leaves are compatible with auto and user-defined LODs.
Extending the single polygon leaf technology, Single Plane leaves benefit from all of PlantFactory's leaves features, such as Color Shift, Multi-Material, Two-Sided materials etc.
Crossed-Planes are ideal for representing complex plant geometry parts such as flower groups or dense foliage, yet are very effective in terms of polygon count and memory footprint. Crossed-Plane is particularily suited for real-time engines.
PlantFactory offers either 2 or 3 crossed planes (2 vertical + 1 horizontal). Texturing is fully customizable, from 1 specific texture per plane to fully randomized.
For perfect integration PlantFactory offers 4 Normal computation parameters: Geometric, Leaf Direction, Plant Sphere and Local Sphere.
Single plane leaves and crossed-plane flowers close-up
Advanced pruning algorithms in action
PlantFactory 2016 R3 adds a new Current Primitive node, that allows advanced control over branch growth and natural pruning effects. Additionally, a new set of pruning parameters are now available, such as:
Stylized Meshing Mode - Cycling through various Smoothing and Convexity quality values
The new Stylized meshing mode allows you to quickly and automatically generate a low polygon envelope version of your vegetation model.
This new option allows you to export your models with a small polygon footprint, yet retaining the actual vegetation visual volume. Load the envelope version of your model while working on your scene; switch to highest resolution mesh before rendering.
Envelope resolution, smoothing and convexity quality is user configurable, from none - to get ultra-sharp edged meshes, to ultra-smooth - for more balloony results.
Stylized Meshing mode can also be used creatively to produce non-photorealistic vegetation.
Using Billboard leaves is ideal when working for Real-Time engines, or, in an offline workflow, to create low polygon plants to be seen from a distance. (Billboard leaves are perfect for VUE EcoSystem populations for instance).
PlantFactory 2016 R2 now introduces 3-Axis Billboard Leaves Rotation.
Quick and easy to set up, this new feature is perfect to avoid any obvious linear visual pattern, by letting you add slight randomization to your leaves axis rotation.
Use this option to immediately add more realism to your vegetation models.
PlantFactory 2015 introduced the concept of Presets. PlantFactory 2016 now introduces the concept of Preset Variations(3).
Preset Variations allow you to immediately include subtle differences to your plant (change the number of buds on a blooming flower, or its petal colors for instance).
This new feature allows you to easily add variety to create realistic environments with one single plant species!
PlantFactory now offers the ability to configure the level of detail in a plant model(1).
Once you have set the number of LODs you need, there are 3 ways to configure them:
Global LOD options let you select the type of geometry for Offline rendering or Real-time engines(2) and control different aspect of your species LODs:
Once set, you can export each LOD geometry independently to many standard file formats.
Finally, VUE, Carbon Scatter and Bentley LumenRT Connect Edition will automatically use the LODs set in your .tpf files, without requiring you to export the plant.
Some new parameters were added in the Segment node to further help you customize your plant designs:
Some features are only available in certain versions. Please review the comparative chart.
(1) PlantFactory Producer and Studio
(2) PlantFactory Producer only
(3) PlantFactory Producer, Studio and Designer