New features in F12 visuals’ tree creation add-on for Blender include:
- New wind tools to animate foliage, including the ability to create looped animations.
- The ability to export still and animated trees in Alembic format and use either material groups of vertex colours to instance twigs in another application.
- The ability to write layers of simulation data to the tree mesh.
- The ability to use vertex groups to enrich modifiers and particle systems and for use as selection sets.
- Support for vertex colours to add variation to materials.
- Improvements to simulation including a Tip thickness Decrease value that recreates the characteristics of trees that heavily squeeze their child branches; a drop low feature to automatically simulate the regular pruning of low level branches; branch bend fatigue to better simulate the gradual effects of gravity on branches; light required mode to dictate the amount of light required to spawn a new branch and much more.
- Improved interface, with options that are seldom used hidden to streamline workflow.
- New and improved presets plus improvements to the way they are managed.
The Grove is available as an add-on for Blender for €109 and runs on OSX, Linux and Windows. If you want to use The Grove’s output with other DCC applications it’s possible to export in a variety of formats and there are instructions for retaining instanced twig geometry here. A collection of seamless bark textures is included and detailed twig models are available as an extra purchase, or you can use your own. To celebrate the second anniversary of the software, The Grove is currently available at a 20% discount until December 15. More on The Grove’s website.