Are enviro artists expected to be able to make trees from scratch or is it ok to use library.

Irraka
polycounter lvl 3
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Irraka polycounter lvl 3
Looking to improve my portfolio as an Environment Artist but I haven't tried nature scenes. Is it considered lazy or a no-no for you to just grab trees, rocks, etc from SpeedTree or other library's for your scene? Or is that something that would be expected to make from scratch.

Thanks!

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  • radiancef0rge
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    radiancef0rge Polycount Sponsor
    learn speedtree, its a high value skill.
  • Eric Chadwick
    Depends on the developer. Speedtree is one of the best solutions, but sometimes it requires a license fee. Making good foliage is a good skill to have as an enviro artist. We have some tips on the wiki http://wiki.polycount.com/wiki/Foliage

  • BucketOfNuggets
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    BucketOfNuggets polycounter lvl 6
    It'll depend on the studio size and resources. Here I've had to get stuck in to speedtree for the new project. It's a pretty easy tool to dive in to and learn although I would have killed for some Substance Painter level of tutes when I was starting out. 
  • sprunghunt
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    sprunghunt polycounter lvl 14
    SpeedTree only makes realistic trees suitable for first person games. You might have to make trees for isometric games. You might have to make trees for a stylised game. 

    I would expect an environment artist to be able to make trees from scratch. Learning the principles is important.
  • Klunk
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    Klunk polycounter lvl 3
    speedtree is reasonable, if you create your own in it probably 1 tree in 25 is any good (realistic shape wise) the bark textures and their normal maps are pretty good... foliage is hit and miss, you'll end up making your own (as speedtree are not well matched so they can look odd and mismatched ie not from the same environment which in nature tends to blend nicely).
  • poopipe
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    poopipe ngon master
    Speedtree is pretty much your only option if you have to make hundreds of the bastards and you need to lod them. 

     It has a lot of benefits if you're able to integrate speedtree models into your engine (wind rigs, leaf lod scaling, billboard baking etc.) 
    It's a shame the supplied textures and shading setup are absolute shit but you'll likely want to make your own anyway so not too big a deal

  • zachagreg
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    zachagreg interpolator
    poopipe said:
    Speedtree is pretty much your only option if you have to make hundreds of the bastards and you need to lod them. 

     It has a lot of benefits if you're able to integrate speedtree models into your engine (wind rigs, leaf lod scaling, billboard baking etc.) 
    It's a shame the supplied textures and shading setup are absolute shit but you'll likely want to make your own anyway so not too big a deal

    I can't agree with this more, speedtree is awesome but it requires you to go in and play with near every slider to really get a handle on how it works. Their documentation is barebones and their tutorials, while getting better, are the same. 

    The way Speedtree handles materials in the modeler is wretched in my opinion and not being able to make multiple cards derived from one atlas using one material is nonsense to me. With that being said the system for making branch and bundle cards is awesome and very well worth it just so you don't have to hand place leaves if anything and then generate random variations to throw on a tree. Basically as stated above learn both because Speedtree is useful for a lot of broadstrokes and automatic randomization but falls flat in areas such as shader setup, material setup and teaching.

    Also the sliders are awesome and numerous, they can be complex at times but the way nature made trees is also complex so its understandable just wish theyd document it a bit better.
  • poopipe
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    poopipe ngon master
    An update more than once a decade wouldn't hurt.
    And some python bindings so I can edit modeller files en masse and don't have to parse the compiler files manually to set stuff up and rebuild them. 

    Then again, if I could rake in a shit load of money for cock all effort I'd do it too so I can hardly blame them ;) 
  • zachagreg
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    zachagreg interpolator
    poopipe said:
    An update more than once a decade wouldn't hurt.
    And some python bindings so I can edit modeller files en masse and don't have to parse the compiler files manually to set stuff up and rebuild them. 

    Then again, if I could rake in a shit load of money for cock all effort I'd do it too so I can hardly blame them ;) 
    You didn't like the most recent update where the release notes were just additions to their store? #sarcasmenabled

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