Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Free Tree Downloads

If you are into rendering in any way you may have seen Xfrog.com which offers a tool for creating and editing trees and plants.  Well they have just released quite a portion of samples for you to try out.  Among the strange list of download options for max, maya and terragen you also have the old 3ds format for 3DStudio which I think is now a defunk product.  Using the 3dsin command, these tree files (oops see below) can be brought into AutoCAD for rendering.   Each zip folder downloaded contains a number of 3ds files along with bitmaps (tif) for leaves, bark etc to be applied to the tree. Whilst the tree is modeled, the leaves are a single face for a bitmap to be applied. 

There are some tricks to getting the 3ds file into AutoCAD though.  It seems it can't handle so much data (another memory handling problem?) and so you are best to load portions of the info at a time.  But oh dear in trying to test this thru my ACA2009 crashed each time trying to bring the file in. So I loaded 2011 which can save the files down to 2009 (for non ACA items) though I am wondering what the translation does to the material definitions.

FAIL again.  Crashed every time with xfrogs 3ds files?  I had loaded a couple earlier so perhaps I need to reboot.  I'll report the problem with xfrog and see if they offer any solution.

If you get past the crashes, and the load fails, try loading without leaves and roots. once imported, do it again and this time load the leaves (do you need the roots?).  I have a technique for simplifying the number of materials so I might not assign any material, using my own oft repeated material (e.g. Leaf1). In this case the leaves are just a square face and require the leaf bitmap to look somewhat realistic so I might include materials. I also don't allow multiple layers and put it all on layer 0.

Anyway, until I get it successfully loaded I can't post a picture of what you might expect.  If I do I will update this post with a sample pic but it's all there on xfrog's site.

er...happy rendering

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