Plants created with PlantFactory can be exported to any 3D application using export formats such as Alembic, FBX, 3DS, OBJ, C4D, LWO, etc.
Plants are exported fully rigged*, fully textured, with UV maps and displacement. Breeze or wind animated plants can be exported as a fully rigged mesh or as a cloud of animated vertices* (MDD style).
You can fine-tune the animation of rigged* mesh plants directly inside your target 3D application.
PlantFactory also offers a variety of export presets, custom tailored for specific host applications. Such presets include export for 3ds Max, Maya, Cinema4D, LightWave, Softimage, Modo, ZBrush, Unity, Blender, and more...
How Do You Create Plants?
Plants created with PlantFactory are built in three different ways:
- By manually drawing the shape of the plant you want,
- By assembling ready-made components, or
- By constructing everything from scratch, using a graph of nodes
PlantFactory provides unprecedented control by letting you drive any parameter of your plant with a graph of nodes. As an example, we illustrate here how easy it is to add detail to the trunk of a plant by driving its displacement with a fractal.
Drive displacement (or any other parameter) using fractals, and easily publish important parameters for later tweaks!
One of the key features of PlantFactory is its ability to dynamically set global plant characteristics such as plant age, health, and seasonality.
These characteristics can drive any node or set of nodes in the TPF graph to add more complete plant definition and realism.
For example, the seasonality node can drive the presence and color of leaves as shown in the picture above.
PlantFactory integrates a Render Engine that automatically generates and saves three channels (Color, Alpha and Depth). You can also generate full G-Buffer and Multi-Pass information for each frame, for maximum compositing options.
PlantFactory can save stills or animations in various file formats such as AVI, Mpeg 1, Mpeg 2, MOV or single frames for animations or BMP, PICT, JPG, GIF, IFF, PCX, PNG, PSD, TGA or TIFF for stills.
Industry standard G-buffer information can be generated and saved in RLA or RPF formats for compositing in dedicated applications such as Combustion, Avid, Flame and After Effects.
Finally PlantFactory provides extensive multi-pass rendering options. Virtually every rendering component, every layer, every material and every single asset can be assigned a separate pass and saved all together as a multi-layer Photoshop file
Recursive Plant Modeling
PlantFactory is so powerful that it lets you create recursion loops inside your graphs, so that you can "program" iterative fractal behaviors directly into your plant species.
This is achieved through a number of dedicated nodes: Repeat, Next, End and Iteration.
In short, the "Repeat" node will repeat the node(s) plugged into it a (user defined) number of times. Once this number is reached, TPF will then continue processing the graph onwards (what's after the "End" node).
This technique will prove extremely useful to quickly generate variations of the same plant at various ages, for instance.
The above video shows how the simple Acacia plant easily creates an intricate branching structure thanks to the use of recursive modeling. Notice how the plant gets more and more detailed with the number of times the loop is repeated.
Not Just For Plants
The PlantFactory modeling engine is so powerful that it can be used to model other kind of meshes, not just plants.
While obviously not plants, the examples shown here illustrate the power and diversity of models that can be created using the PlantFactory procedural modeling technology.
By combining various noise, fractal, and math nodes, an almost infinite variety of organic and geometric shapes are possible. We are not suggesting that TPF is a general purpose modeling tool, but it can be extremely useful for producing models that contain repeating/recursive shapes (such as the spiral staircase) or for adding organic geometries (like the tubes on the turbine).
Grow Plants On Objects
With PlantFactory, you can cause plants to grow at the surface of objects.
This is ideal to create root networks, ivy or vines for instance.
Vines can be created from any branch, by selecting the "Grow on object" parameter. This will force the plant to attach itself to any geometry it finds along its way, including the ground plane.
Of course, all other branch growth parameters are retained (including sensitivity to gravity).