New Spring 2011 edition of Blender.art

New edition of the free Blender.art magazine

The magazine’s editorial points out that XFrog currently has a host of free professional-grade plant models available, including a very high-poly topiaried ornamental boxwood that could be useful for fantasy-world gardens if you use Vue or Bryce…

The Xfrog trees are quite high-poly (the Boxwood freebie is a 141Mb download, although you do get 8 models in the .zip), although some are acceptable. The Betula Birch (young) / Coulter Pine (young) / Staghorn Sumac (young), for instance, are all around 50k faces. But the leaves are problematic. Once the .obj models of these trees are in 3DXchange you need to select the leaf texture, and drop the opacity to 99% — that cures the horrible fringing effect on the leaves. However, move the model and you’re still getting transparency effects.

The Xfrog trees are still worth downloading, though, since they come with 2D billboard “cuts-outs”, and after extracting all the .zip files to the same directory you’ll get a subdirectory called “Billboards”, containing…

But there’s also another ultra-low-poly alternative, to be found in the Blender.art article on CanTree. CanTree is a free online 2D tree generator in HTML5 (so you may need the latest Firefox or Chrome browser)…

“With Cantree, you can generate 2D trees, that look almost like 3D, because of simulated ambient occlusion. … you can easily change the size and complexity of the tree using sliders. You can also choose your leaf texture(s), wood texture, and flower textures.”

“You can save your trees as transparent PNG image files” [perfect for iClone and CrazyTalk Animator]

“The uniqueness of CanTree is that the trees are generated by your web browser. There is no plugin, installation or download required. It’s also free, and under the MIT licence”

One thought on “New Spring 2011 edition of Blender.art

  1. Another excellent post overall, but CanTree is just incredible. Thank you! You definitely deserve some sort of award from Reallusion for pushing community frontiers. iClone 5 for free, for instance!

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