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User avatar   Superstar Dolphin Superstar DolphinMember since: 16.08.2004, 10:46Posts: 9884Location: Finland Likes: 189
 

 Post Topic: So I made some trees - UPDATE UPDATE 6.1.2012
PostPosted 14.07.2010, 11:58 
Hi everyone,

As everyone's making their own custom vegetation these days (it was a fad in 2008 last time), I thought I'd also jump on the bandwagon. :P It's about time this community got some new northern trees to bring some more variation to your maps in addition to the Exodus pines and the other pine pack by michi:be, so here goes. Actually I've been making these models since May 2010 (slowly, whenever I have time), but only now I'm starting to be happy with the outcome. ;)



Hi everyone! It's time for a relatively big update... ;)

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I have recently reworked the textures and the normal maps of the spruces and the pines, and while I'm at it I thought I might as well throw in a few variations of a birch tree I'm working on. :) The birch is not final, all variations don't have touch bending or LODs, but I'm sure you'll be able to use them either way. The spruce trees have one LOD, touch bending, AI proxies and all that, but the pine trees are discontinued and still don't have LODs or anything special. They're there just for looks. :)

Birch variations:
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The birches also have an alternate texture, with sparser, fall coloured canopy:
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The normal maps are improved for both the spruce and the pine:

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The download can be found HERE, so grab your copy, drop the PAK into your Game folder, and try out my improved trees! :) Not guaranteed to work on CE2. The trees are freely usable for any of your non-commercial projects. If you want to use the models for commercial projects, send me a PM. ;)

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Enjoy!




Hello folks! After noticing some performance drops when adding hundreds of spruce trees in a map, I decided to finally add LOD models to the trees to improve performance a bit. I figured out a method to easily reduce the polycount of a tree while maintaining vertex colours (something I struggled with when trying LODs earlier), so I quickly modified every spruce tree to add LOD versions that roughly halve the tri count of each model. ;) Results below:

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The LODs should increase performance nicely, the combined tri count of vegetation in the above scene dropped from approximately 3,5 million to less than 2,5 million (there are a lot of trees in there :P). Drawcalls should be roughly the same. Pine trees are not a priority, so they stay untouched at this time.

Download the updated spruce pack here, and replace any old versions of the trees. Simply drop the PAK file into your mod's Game folder.

Enjoy!



Hello again, it's time for another update. I've been revamping the spruce trees for a few hours, and I came up with a couple of things:
  1. I added touch bending to all spruce trees. Due to limitations of the engine regarding branch amount, the largest variations have some branches that don't bend. Additionally, small branches that have different UV mapping don't bend. It still adds a nice touch to moving through the spruce forest, pushing branches out of the way as you go! ;)
  2. I also managed to get the long sought-after AI obstruction working. Now you can hide amongst the trees, and the enemies won't see you from behind thick foliage!

Also included in this update are some variations of my pine trees, which I haven't got around to finishing recently. They're perfectly usable, but still in need of some polishing, especially with the UVW unwrapping. These trees also don't have touch bending or AI obstruction proxies, though they're mostly so tall and thin that you can't really hide behind them anyway. ;)

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Download the updated spruce pack here, and replace any old versions of the trees. Simply drop the PAK file into your mod's Game folder (made it easy this time :P).

Enjoy!



I've been making some ground plants to populate the floor of my forest, and I'll just release some of them because it seems I won't work any longer on them anyway. I've made one bunch of elder (a small ground-cover plant) and 2 variations of a common fern.

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The ground cover plants and the ferns are included in the release, the round leaf plants are ordinary Crysis models. I'm planning to do a couple more variations of the elder (smaller and larger bunches), but seeing as I haven't done anything for them during the last few months, I might as well give the finished one to you guys. The fern has also been sitting on my harddrive for a while, but a few days ago I played around a bit with the model - the result is two variations of a fern plant, complete with detail bending and touch bending! ;) Kudos to nekosaur and Mr. Guybrush II for a touch bending tutorial which actually worked (unlike the official docs which lack awful many vital steps in the process).


Download the plants here,, just extract the PAK file from inside the zip and drop it into your Game folder (or Yourmod\Game). Try them, and tell me what you think! ;)


UPDATE 2.9.2010


I'm still working on them trees, you know! ;) I made two more variations for the spruce trees, as there weren't really any suitable saplings or young trees in the latest release. I've also been working on pines - the materials are pretty much done (the normal map on the branches needs some more work though), so now I can start doing variations and LOD models! :)

Here's the current range of tree models - new pine tree on the right:
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A closeup of the pine trunk, and the small spruce variations:
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Transition of the pine trunk texture:
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Keep your eyes peeled for further updates! ;)


SPRUCE PACK UPDATE 4.8.2010


Good news everyone! Due to popular request, I reworked the trees a bit this morning. I removed the extra submaterial to squeeze out just a little more performance, UVW mapped the small branches so they only display the tip portion of the branch (so the scale of the needles stays roughly the same), and tried to get rid of the seams and tiling on the trunk. I also tuned the normal map on the trunk to have more depth. ;)


Old version (1465 DP)
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New version (1129 DP)
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Grab your copy of the update here!


Notes:

The small branches are not flawless - I didn't edit the large branch texture, so in the small branches that only have the tip part of the texture, the texture cuts off a bit at both edges near the trunk. I won't make a gap in the branch texture just to make those small branches a bit nicer (it would look odd in the large branches).

Tree variation 7 is not updated - apparently I saved over that max file when making variation 8. If you really love that tree number 7, don't delete it! It's not going to get the submtl treatment like the other ones though. :P

The appearance of the trees is basically unchanged (unless you look really close at those small branches), but the DP cost is cut by about 25%. That doesn't mean you'll get a 25% performance increase, unless your scene consists of only these trees. :P You may expect a 50-300 DP decrease in a scene of 2000 DP, depending on how heavy the scene is on vegetation. This approximation is based on the above comparison (where the majority of the scene is my trees), and Zezeri's optimizing tests (where the entire scene was 2500 DP, of which 200 DP caused by vegetation).


Enjoy, and keep the comments coming! :cheesy:


UPDATE 24.7.2010



Ok guys, enough tweaking, more release! :tongue: I present you...
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This pack includes 6 Norway Spruce (Picea Abies) trees, in varied heights. The materials can be tweaked further with later releases, so you may consider this as a beta if you wish... I won't have much time to work on the trees after this week though, so don't expect frequent updates - I just wanted to get the models out before I go back to work next Monday. ;)

Download:
Follow this link to grab your copy of the Spruce Pack now!

Installation instructions:

Copy the contents of the ZIP archive (the folder named mw_trees into your Crysis\Mods\Yourmod\Objects\Natural\trees\ folder. Launch Sandbox, add the objects to your vegetation list and start creating Northern forests! ;)

Notes:
  • Sprites may have grey blotches in place of the dead branches. The problem went away after relaunch of the editor for some reason, but it came back when exporting more variations and couldn't be removed the same way.. There may also be very noticeable popping with sprites, depending heavily on the time of day.
  • Some variations of the tree might have "floating" branches on the top. This is caused by me being lazy and not checking the placement of each branch after warping the shape of the tree to make another variation.
  • Feel free to use these models in any levels or modifications, provided I'm appropriately credited as the creator. You are also allowed to tweak the materials, modify the textures etc to your heart's content, as long as you distinguish that work as being derivative from mine.
Enjoy! :)

UPDATE 23.7.2010


A small update; I've been working on the trunk texture, you can see my current progress below. I unwrapped the trunks again to prevent stretching, and made all new diffuse and normal maps. ;)

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I'm having some problems with the dead branches on the lower part of the trunk - I'm going to remodel them as individual branches due to the way CE2 lights 2-sided planes. The way I have them setup now (vertical planes running along the trunk), the "back" side of the plane is always dark, even if it's facing the sunlight... :(

UPDATE 21.7.2010


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Hi folks!

Today I've made two more variations of the spruce, complete with dead branches on the lower part of the trunk. My first tree was mere 6 meters tall, the other two are about 14 metres. Lay your eyes on the size comparison below:

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I ran into some problems with performance when making these taller trees - turns out most of the performance hit with the Exodus pines I showed earlier was due to the models being larger than my trees. The engine turns the vegetation instances into sprites at a distance that is dependent on the size of the object's bounding box. For that reason these taller variations perform a little worse than the small spruce; this problem can be tacked by adjusting the SpriteDistRatio in the vegetation object's parameters. The console variable e_vegetation_sprites_distance_custom_ratio_min can also be tweaked down to allow SpriteDistRatio less than 1.

I've also been tweaking the materials again, and I'm starting to be happy with the looks of the canopy. It now has an opacity map, which makes the light shine nicely through the needles! ;)

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No close-up shots this time, as the textures are still unfinished. I still need to add the branch showing through below the needles, currently the branches are awfully flimsy for trees that size... :P

That's all for now, stay tuned for more updates (and eventually the release), and keep your comments coming! :) Props for the awesome showcase environment go to Thomy and his Nature map. You can find a couple more shots in the Cryengine Art thread... ;)

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UPDATE 14.7.2010


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Update time! :D I've been hard at work tweaking the textures and materials, and oh I also remodeled the tree itself. :P The polycount is now a bit higher, but the shape looks nicer - the branches point more upwards which is true to the tree species (Picea Abies). I think I'm going to release both variations, as the first one is a bit easier on performance. ;) The DP amount above isn't really comparable, since I loaded multiple materials while tweaking the appearance - it now shows about 1k DP for the old tree version as well, so the jump isn't due to the increase in polycount.

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Left is old, right is new. The old tree looks more dense due to the branches pointing down - if you look at the first pic in the original post, from player point of view the trunk is quite exposed in the old version as well. I'm probably going to do a denser variation in a smaller scale, so the polycount doesn't increase too much.

The material is also now greatly improved, I made an opacity map and improved the normal maps. I also added some more colour variation and contrast to the leaves, which I think looks pretty nice. ;)

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And a close-up of the texture (the trunk doesn't have a normal map yet):

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FIRST VERSION 13.7.2010


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Here's my first model, a medium-sized spruce tree. Texture has been tweaked since that pic to have more contrast. Modeled yesterday in about an hour (my second attempt so I knew how to do it), texture redone 3 times because I wasn't satisfied previously. There are 4 submaterials: trunk, large branch, small branch, and dead branches (not used in this model). Large branch texture is 1024x1024, others 512x512.

Accidentally the model also turned out to be very performance friendly (it's relatively low-poly, there are 544 faces and 611 verts), below are some comparison screenshots: ;)

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1 vegetation object, MaxViewDistance 3x, approximately 4000 instances visible at once. Original Crysis tree model makes the polycount jump up to 9 million, causing unplayable framerates.

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The Exodus pines are slightly better, only 7 million tris, but the DP increases drastically. Still horrible framerates at such a long view distance.

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My trees perform surprisingly well, the scene is still playable with only 2 million tris. DP is lower than the original Crysis trees.



I will be making multiple different sizes of the tree, with a few variations for each size. Remember I made this from scratch yesterday, the model or textures are not finished yet so I'd appreciate any feedback! Expect a release of a couple of these trees sometime next week. ;)


Last edited by the_grim on 22.01.2012, 17:51, edited 18 times in total.

  Beginner BeginnerMember since: 15.07.2008, 14:34Posts: 91 Likes: 0
 

 Post Topic:
PostPosted 14.07.2010, 12:07 
Nice!
User avatar   Uber Modder Uber ModderMember since: 19.09.2009, 09:30Posts: 2687Location: Finland Likes: 182
 

 Post Topic:
PostPosted 14.07.2010, 12:13 
At far distances, your model looks prettier than the exodus pines, as they start to look like normal leaf trees in the distances. Your pines keep their shape better in the scenes, but i think you should work on the textures more.
User avatar   Database Support Database SupportMember since: 04.05.2009, 13:47Posts: 3000Location: GermanyStatus: Online Likes: 152
 

 Post Topic:
PostPosted 14.07.2010, 12:44 
I envy you for the perfomance, because sprites seem to be turned off. Really nice work, though you really got to work on the material. They seem to lack specular highlights and they've no brown branches, only green leaves. Like the Exodus pines, they've actual branches between all the needles. I hope you get what I mean.

Anyway, it's a great start, keep it up :) We really need some good models, who're actually getting released ;)


Lighting/Level Artist

working at metricminds

Portfolio: http://www.behance.net/Zezeri

Crysis 2: The Journey


Last edited by Zezeri on 14.07.2010, 12:45, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar   Superstar Dolphin Superstar DolphinMember since: 16.08.2004, 10:46Posts: 9884Location: Finland Likes: 189
 

 Post Topic:
PostPosted 14.07.2010, 13:26 
Thanks for your feedback! ;)

Zezeri: I'll be sure to tweak the branch texture some more, although there's not really that much bare branch visible in that species of trees (this is one of my references for the look). I also haven't made specular or opacity maps yet, hopefully they'll improve the look.

RaZoR-FIN: Any particular things that look wrong in your opinion? Currently the material looks somewhat cartoonish, but I can't pin down what it is exactly... ;(
User avatar   Experienced Modder Experienced ModderMember since: 21.10.2009, 19:52Posts: 545Location: Slovakia, EU Likes: 6
 

 Post Topic:
PostPosted 14.07.2010, 13:29 
Very nice to see new European vegetation ! Good work .


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User avatar   Database Support Database SupportMember since: 04.05.2009, 13:47Posts: 3000Location: GermanyStatus: Online Likes: 152
 

 Post Topic:
PostPosted 14.07.2010, 13:38 
@the grim

we urgently need some closer shots, one can barely see the trunk and the detail. And perhaps you can try and play arround a bit with the shader settings and color variation for the texture etc. And remember that you want it to look good and fit into Crysis. So that's more important than it beeing 100% identical to the reallife version :)


Lighting/Level Artist

working at metricminds

Portfolio: http://www.behance.net/Zezeri

Crysis 2: The Journey


Last edited by Zezeri on 14.07.2010, 13:42, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar   Superstar Dolphin Superstar DolphinMember since: 16.08.2004, 10:46Posts: 9884Location: Finland Likes: 189
 

 Post Topic:
PostPosted 14.07.2010, 13:39 
Quote:
Originally posted by Zezeri
@the grim

we urgently need some closer shots, one can barely see the trunk and the detail.


They are coming, wait a few hours. :P The trunk texture is far from finished though.
User avatar   Database Support Database SupportMember since: 04.05.2009, 13:47Posts: 3000Location: GermanyStatus: Online Likes: 152
 

 Post Topic:
PostPosted 14.07.2010, 13:42 
Thanks for the info. I could learn from your dicscipline xd Updated my post :)


Lighting/Level Artist

working at metricminds

Portfolio: http://www.behance.net/Zezeri

Crysis 2: The Journey


Last edited by Zezeri on 14.07.2010, 13:43, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar   24/7 Modder 24/7 ModderMember since: 16.12.2007, 16:07Posts: 4713Location: Finland Likes: 12
 

 Post Topic:
PostPosted 14.07.2010, 13:58 
ah those look more like the pine trees i know :D

the exodus trees do have a slight leafy-tree look.


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User avatar   Skilled Modder Skilled ModderMember since: 07.10.2008, 08:33Posts: 716Location: Australia Likes: 0
 

 Post Topic:
PostPosted 14.07.2010, 14:00 
Looking good! I like those pine tree's :)

Can't wait to see some more shots from the trunk up! And what about that tree you posted in the Ce2 Art thread?


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User avatar   Uber Modder Uber ModderMember since: 18.10.2008, 18:54Posts: 1870 Likes: 0
 

 Post Topic:
PostPosted 14.07.2010, 14:05 
Nice work, I could use this for a project I am working on now. Looking forward to seeing more.


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User avatar   Superstar Dolphin Superstar DolphinMember since: 16.08.2004, 10:46Posts: 9884Location: Finland Likes: 189
 

 Post Topic:
PostPosted 14.07.2010, 14:34 
Quote:
Originally posted by Silent.
Can't wait to see some more shots from the trunk up! And what about that tree you posted in the Ce2 Art thread?


That one was ridiculously high-poly and will not be released. When I say high-poly, I mean it - I only modeled half of the canopy (every leaf separately modeled) and tri count was already over 200k... :tongue:


Last edited by the_grim on 14.07.2010, 14:34, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar   Skilled Modder Skilled ModderMember since: 07.10.2008, 08:33Posts: 716Location: Australia Likes: 0
 

 Post Topic:
PostPosted 14.07.2010, 14:57 
:tongue: Still would be nice to see :)
Anyway, look forward to more! Keep it up!


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User avatar   Superstar Dolphin Superstar DolphinMember since: 16.08.2004, 10:46Posts: 9884Location: Finland Likes: 189
 

 Post Topic:
PostPosted 14.07.2010, 15:01 
Well I can release it if you really want it, as I have it exported anyway. :P It's not that good-looking though, even with the high polycount... The texture is too plain.