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PlantFactory Designer 2016

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PlantFactory Designer 2016
Grafisch, Multimedia Artikel nr.C-PlantFactory Designer 2016

Designer: Create Beautiful 3D Plants
Easily produce high-quality, photo-realistic 3D plants: hand-draw from scratch, assemble pre-made components or cust­omize existing models to fit your exact specifications.
Export as static 3D meshes for use in other applications, or load plants directly in VUE and Carbon Scatter

Compare The Plant Factory versions

  • Windows, Mac


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:

  1. By manually drawing the shape of the plant you want,
  2. By assembling ready-made components, or
  3. 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.

Compositing Ready

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).

Nieuw in deze versie


  • Easily generate geometry using a biologically inspired growth simulation
  • Handles parameters such as growth, duration, shadow sensitivity, apical development etc.
  • Once applied, this basically becomes a "Grow me a tree" button
  • PlantFactory 2015 introduced the concept of Presets. PlantFactory 2016 now introduces the concept of Preset Variations(3).
  • Preset Variations allow you to immediately include subtle differences to your plant (change the number of buds on a blooming flower, or its petal colors for instance).
  • This new feature allows you to easily add variety to create realistic environments with one single plant species!

PlantFactory now offers the ability to configure the level of detail in a plant model(1).

Once you have set the number of LODs you need, there are 3 ways to configure them:

  1. Let PlantFactory automatically decimate the geometry for you
  2. Set the behavior of each node in your plant graph depending on the LOD
  3. Use the LOD selector node to set a different plant graph per LOD

Global LOD options let you select the type of geometry for Offline rendering or Real-time engines(2) and control different aspect of your species LODs:

  • The number of LODs and their distribution rules (depending on plant size on screen)
  • The meshing type: Triangles, Quads or both
  • Manual, Automatic Adaptive or Uniform subdivision
  • Use LODs when rendering (the plant mesh used for rendering will be chosen using LOD rules)
  • Optimize your LODs for use in VUE's EcoSystems
  • And more...

Once set, you can export each LOD geometry independently to many standard file formats.

Finally, VUE, Carbon Scatter and Bentley LumenRT Connect Edition will automatically use the LODs set in your .tpf files, without requiring you to export the plant.

Some new parameters were added in the Segment node to further help you customize your plant designs:

  • Minimum length
  • Branch distribution as absolute
  • Texture mapping applied from branch top
  • Interaction with ground




  • Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7-8-10 64 bits or Mac OS X v10.6+
  • nVidia GeForce GTX 470 / ATI Radeon HD 6950 or better video board, with 1GB+ of Video RAM
  • Core i5 or more powerful CPU
  • 8+GB of free RAM
  • 4GB of free Hard Disk space.
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