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Submitted by Capo Stephane, posted on February 23, 2001

Image Description, by Capo Stephane

Here are some screenshots from my tree generator/editor. Everything you can see here is realtime generated with LOD, animated ( with some wind ) and rendered ( even for the forest ). Framerate is about 10/15 fps on my PII450 with geForce for the forest ( up to 256 trees ) with not optimised openGL rendering. As it's part of my job at Infogrames, I can't tell you a lot about the technical things ( it's secret at the moment ).


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Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active. It is here for reference purposes. This thread was created on an older version of the flipcode forums, before the site closed in 2005. Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.

February 23, 2001, 11:55 AM


Andrew Cox

February 23, 2001, 12:14 PM


Is there a place where I can see the picture at full resolution?

Do you touch vertexes every frame to do the deformation and if you do, is there some plan to avoid that when this tech is deployed?

I know you said it's a secret but you can't be such a tease. This site is about sharing information :-).



February 23, 2001, 12:18 PM

It looks more billboarded than 3d.


February 23, 2001, 12:20 PM

Ah shit, I want to have the first msg
I've never seen such realistic trees, how many polys are these??
I would like to see these in a game

Wayne Marsh

February 23, 2001, 12:40 PM

The leaves are obviously billboarded (at least they are in one of the shots), while the trunks seem more solid.

The Wolf

February 23, 2001, 12:42 PM

great work! are you using a fractal approach?


February 23, 2001, 12:47 PM

looks nice, I like that birch bark :) I can see you're keeping the geometry fairly simple, Compared to real trees, is there any chance you can make an animation for us to download and see?

it looks like you do the branches then fill the foliage to a certain distance from the branch

do the trees bend in the wind? do the branches bend independently from the main trunk?

this is a subject that facinates me and I've been waiting for a while to see someone post this kind of thing, though admitedly I haven't checked this site recently, there could be a hundred tree making posts and I wouldn't know it.


February 23, 2001, 01:06 PM

Looks cool, although the leafy sections do look kinda flat. I like that they bend and sway (or at least they look like it in the shot), instead of being rigid like many games.


February 23, 2001, 01:19 PM

Look closely at the pictures, the poly count and FPS is at the top.


February 23, 2001, 01:20 PM

>>I know you said it's a secret but you can't be such a tease. This site is about sharing information

Its called a contract, no sharing =)


February 23, 2001, 02:49 PM

Looks good :)

I recently saw a demo at glVelovity.gamedev that had trees that seemed similar to those in your picture (but worse). The idea seems simple, have a 3d model trunk and add some alpha tested flat/quad leaves. With modern hardware this should be easily viable and looks far better than billboarded or cutboard cut out trees. I must try it soon. The animation effect is good and adds realism to the scene, specialy when timed with a howling wind noise, rustling leaves and creaking branches.


February 23, 2001, 03:30 PM

Looks good, but is this gonna be useful in realtime applications? cuz after collision detection, ai, etc..This might drop the framerate down to like 5fps.


February 23, 2001, 03:32 PM

It looks cool. I even think that trunks without leaves looks better. :) However, it's possible that trees are just continuos and textured meshes or something like that. However, trunks is the best part :)


February 23, 2001, 03:37 PM

It totally doesn't look like billboarding :)
The leaves aren't oriented to the camera in my opinion.

Looks like an IFS fractal.

You could probably pull some tricks by instancing the base (? or is it called 'stam'?) of the tree a couple of times, just oriented/scaled differently in the world - so for a bunch of trees you'd only calculate the base once - and the leave-polys a couple of times differently.

Looks very nice!

Or, now that I come to think of it, create a couple of base's for trees, create a couple of 'leave-branches', and combine 'em randomly.
(Just use a simple algo to work out where you're instancing the leave-branches randomly according to a base)


February 23, 2001, 03:38 PM

Ah, 'Trunks' - that's what I meant with 'base' / 'stam' :)


February 23, 2001, 04:24 PM

Not trees ! I meant leaves :) They are just simple meshes like my terrain... which after all is not that simple :)

Kim Won Dae

February 23, 2001, 07:41 PM

Very Nice work..^_^v


February 23, 2001, 09:08 PM

NEGA: Don't be so narrow minded. He says that it is not optimised.

Nice :)
I really like the upper right pic.
A good use for heirarchial modelling I expect.


February 23, 2001, 11:59 PM

Maybe not the best place to put some advertisement but since a number of people expressed an interest in nature-based modelling, feel free to take a look at my L-arbor application for creating 3D plants using dL-Sytems :

Stephane capo

February 24, 2001, 06:58 AM

Well, let's say that all the trees are really generated at each frame, with a different LOD, and with a different seed so that they are all differents. The main goal of doing such things is that on a console ( not a lot of ram ), you can generate a tree, and render it in the same time, and then delete it and go on to the next tree, so at the end, your trees just don't have to stay in memory. And on the PS2, you can have most of the mesh generation on the VU part ( processor doing the transform and lightning part ) so low CPU cost. I'll see if I can put an mpeg somewhere to show the animation.


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