Author Topic: Custom Vegetation - with same properties as speed trees  (Read 3261 times)

3dmk

    Reputation: 3
Custom Vegetation - with same properties as speed trees
« on: March 02, 2014, 05:09:57 pm »
March 02, 2014, 05:09:57 pm
Hi,
Tried out the free Lumion the last few days & found it's a very impressive program although there are a few issues regarding Custom Plants & trees that seem not so clear. As landscaping is such a vital part of Architectural visualization it is necessary to use custom trees all the time as even speedtree's massive library does not have the species that different projects in different countries require.
1. Custom imported trees do not support double sided polys yet speedtrees seem to?????
2. Custom imported trees do not support 2 sided materials with back-lighting yet speedtrees do.
3. Custom imported trees do not support wind animation yet speedtrees do ?????
It seems that all the things people have asked for on the forums regarding custom vegetation are already implemented, yet they cannot access them??...unless of course you own a copy of speedtree.
I feel it would be such an advantage to Lumion to have other custom tree libraries [created in software other than speed tree] available to customers with the same properties as the speed trees.
Thanks for your time & sorry if I got anything wrong ;)
3dmk


Re: Custom Vegetation - with same properties as speed trees
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2014, 02:38:01 am »
March 04, 2014, 02:38:01 am
Hi, thanks for your interest and time spent with Lumion.

... As landscaping is such a vital part of Architectural visualization it is necessary to use custom trees all the time as even speedtree's massive library does not have the species that different projects in different countries require...

Many visualizations can, and have been achieved with non-specific species.  I suppose it depends on the nature of the project and landscaping/species accuracy required.

That said of course, there's going to (almost) always be a gap between plants provided in the Lumion Library and those required by users, so using custom plants can be required.

For your comments 1 and 2; you should be able to make the plant mesh double-sided and mapped so the textures show both sides.  What software for the plants have you been testing import to Lumion? 
Lumion by default for real-time culls backfaces so models need to be specifically imported already with those additional mesh elements created.  Once you do that, they should import OK.  That does add to the weight of the object for real-time, but can be done.

re 3: yes, thanks for the feedback on this one.  It is only SpeedTree plants that are linked to the Wind system.  It requires specific programming to link any other sort of tree library, some tree libraries only provide the mesh and no capability for wind motion, although there are some that may do so now.  Of course that can also mean special licenses to access such features as well.  Some are also only suitable to other rendering environments and are not optimised for real-time, so may work for a few imports but not large scale usage, as does SpeedTree.

Certainly it would be interesting in the future to see such extended capabilities, time will tell.

Please note that if you can import those other plants and they are not too heavy (for real-time), then lack of wind may not be a defining factor.  Selective camera views, use of library plants to show some wind, whilst others are static, can work and give great results. 

3dmk

    Reputation: 3
Re: Custom Vegetation - with same properties as speed trees
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2014, 08:24:46 am »
March 04, 2014, 08:24:46 am
Thanks heaps for the info Peterm...much appreciated.

I use 3dsmax & GrowFX to produce trees. IMHO GrowFX is the most flexible tree software on the market & can produce everything from low poly game trees to extremely detailed high-res tress for high-end rendering. It also supports wind & vertex colours. [Do you use vertex colours for wind bending like Cryengine...or something completely different???? It would be great to know more about what is required with the mesh to use these features. Maybe it's already possible??
 As all of my arch-Viz projects are Australian, they require very specific species. I build 100% of my trees & plants as they are just not available to purchase in any of the commercial libraries & accuracy of species is very important. I feel that a major part of lumion's success is the huge library you have included which makes it quick & easy to produce arch-viz.
I just feel it would be even more successful with a more easily updated & customizable vegetation library. This is the only thing preventing me from being a Lumion pro customer

Thanks again for your valuable time.
3dmk



Re: Custom Vegetation - with same properties as speed trees
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2014, 09:51:00 am »
March 04, 2014, 09:51:00 am
Thanks for further feedback.

The Wind feature is an integrated part of the connection only between Lumion and SpeedTree, so there is no other way to access such capability at the moment.

If you are used to building your own, including the poly reduction, or creation of own mesh formed branches and leaf clusters suitable for the needs of real-time (gaming) then you may find that you can build suitable for Lumion.  Will still be static though. 

I am aware of some Australian Lumion users.  Licensed users can contribute to a Wishlist for new plants, no guarantees that any specific one will get in the Library, and only done in the update cycles, but it's there  :).

You may wish to experiment further and export some own made plants from GrowFX, export as FBX, and see how things work for those within Lumion.  We (user community) would be interested with outcomes.

Re: Custom Vegetation - with same properties as speed trees
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2014, 10:42:34 am »
March 04, 2014, 10:42:34 am
Do you use vertex colours for wind bending like Cryengine...or something completely different????

Hi 3dmk, this is done in the SpeedTree Modeler where you assign values to leaves, branches etc, depending on how much the wind should affect them. It is possible to create your own trees with SpeedTree Modeler 5.1 - they're fully compatible with Lumion.

Using static trees instead of dynamic ones should not be a showstopper though - unless of course your clients are perfectionists :)

I feel it would be such an advantage to Lumion to have other custom tree libraries [created in software other than speed tree] available to customers with the same properties as the speed trees.

Understood, thanks for your feedback.
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