New tree addon part II: a better workflow

Version 0.0.4 of my new tree add-on is focused on defining the crown shape with groups of objects

usability enhancements

In the previous version of the add-on the markers or endpoints that represent the resources that the growing branches compete for were distributed inside an invisible ellipsoid. The resulting distribution could me made visible with the show markers option but from a usability point of view that was not ideal. likewise the su bstraction of markers from the distribution for those markers that were in the set of currently selected objects was less than intuitive, the more so since producing a tree would deselectsll objects forcing the user to select them again when trying for a different tree shape.

In this new version we allow for different way to define a crown shape using groups. If you select the use groups option you can choose three different groups:

    the Crown group
    any markers generated will lie inside the objects that are part of this group.
    the Shadow group
    any markers generated will not lie in any objects in this group. This group is optional.
    the Exclusion group
    growing branches will not penetrate into any objects in this group but stop. This group is also optional.
The shape of the marker cloud is determined by the combined shapes of the objects in the crown group minus those in the shadow group. If you use a shadow group it must be different from the crown group otherwise no markers would be produced at all (although there is a safeguard in the add-on to prevent this). If you use an exclusion group this should differ from the crown group as well although it might be the same as the shadow group.


The workflow now becomes pretty straight forward:

  • create a crowngroup, for example a bunch of different icospheres,
  • assign anything casting a shadow to a shadow group (here a box),
  • optional: assign anything impenetrable to an exclusion group (or reuse the shadow group),
  • position the 3d cursor at the place where the bole of the tree should start,
  • click update tree (here shown with the parameter settings that produce the tree in the screenshot),
Of course you can alter the other options as well. Don't forget to disable any objects for rendering that you used just to define a group otherwise you won't see much of your tree.

Code availability

This release is version 0.0.4 and avaible as a zipfile on GitHub

No comments:

Post a Comment