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Making leaves for a tree
show user profile  ACWN
I'm trying to add leaves to a basic foliage tree in Max 8 (no vray), but I'm having a hard time of it. I used a hair/fur mod with the strands pulled wide, but it doesnt render shadows so it looks very strange in my scene. When I attempt to turn it into a mesh, it comes out as large boxes.

I have since made a leaf shape to use. Now, I'm wondering if there is a type of modifier or something I can use in Max 8 with out vray to attach said shape to the tree branches to put leaves on the branches? Or if there is a way I can do it with a spline?

If there is, please go through it step by step and be specific as to where I can find everything. I'm still a bit of a novice when it comes to Max in some ways, so please talk to me in layman's terms.

read 1029 times
6/23/2010 11:43:03 PM (last edit: 6/23/2010 11:43:03 PM)
show user profile  Davious
I would use a article flow, using certain polys on your tree as emmiters for the leaf geometry.
If you havent used pflow before its good to learn. I'm no expert though :)
Hopefully someone will jing one up for you

" Difficult, yes. Impossible , no..."
read 1018 times
6/23/2010 11:46:15 PM (last edit: 6/23/2010 11:46:15 PM)
show user profile  ACWN
Can you talk me through it, Davious? Like I said, I'm still a novice in some aspects of Max.
read 1017 times
6/23/2010 11:55:03 PM (last edit: 6/23/2010 11:55:03 PM)
show user profile  9krausec
alright, this is what I would do... Make a super awesome tree, cut the outer branches off as a separate part of the tree (object), but so everything looks interconnected. Create the outer part of the branches as your PF source and a variety of leaves that you have created as the instance for the particles. Do not place a speed operator on you PF screen/flow. Have the particles be distributed from the verts of your PF source (the outer branches). Putz with the rotational operator to position the leaves correctly and POW, tree.

The only downfall to this would be-

A. Texturing the tree would be much harder

B. Complete waste of polys for a tree (you will need a vert for each leaf)

C. Probably a better way to do this...

For practice try doing this-
(actually I don't think that tut uses PF for anything so nevermind...)

- Portfolio-

read 999 times
6/24/2010 1:12:12 AM (last edit: 6/24/2010 1:14:04 AM)
show user profile  parkerfamily
gah..... i messed up a couple times in the video, but here you go. i was very, very glad i found the mat. ID trick.... before i had a video that contained 4 mins of clicking leaves with my delete key held down.

read 990 times
6/24/2010 1:24:32 AM (last edit: 6/24/2010 1:25:21 AM)
show user profile  ACWN
Thanks, Parker.... unfortunately it seems to be too many polys for my computer to handle. It doesnt want to render... it just sits there at "preparing lights" when there are no lights.. *sigh*

So now... does any one know how to link shapes? I'm not sure how else to explain it. I found a tutorial that will work, with no real polys (though I'm not sure how it will render with lights yet). Basically what I do is take the American Elm foliage and remove everything but the leaves, then turn it into a mesh and scale the size up to match the size of my tree. However, the leaves dont match the branches so I end up with these floating leaves and it looks funny.

So is there any way to attach these leaves to the branches so they stick to the branches properly and dont float?

And does any one know how to make a simple thatched roof? I had a great set with the hair/fur, but I had the same problem that it wouldnt shade with the lights. So I turned it into mesh, it looked great but it was WAY too much for my computer and wouldnt render out.
read 974 times
6/24/2010 4:52:04 AM (last edit: 6/24/2010 4:52:04 AM)
show user profile  parkerfamily
you could use a 2d leaf, that might reduce polies. thatched roof..... continuing my demonstration of pflow's awesomeness:

obviously you'll want to add a better texture to get a nicer look, and possibly more than one of those triangle shapes slightly different shaped, but it's pretty good, and very easy on the hardware. man, this is fun!

also, it's shadow compatible!

edit: woah, sorry about size, this is bigger than it is on my monitor for some reason... guess i'm zoomed in on MF

so, trees and thatched roofs, whatever are you making?

edit: on the topic of a better texture, by using the "mesher" compound object you can turn it into a regular mesh instead of particles. you can then use a quick planar map to UVW unwrap it and then texturing looks much nicer. i'll upload a picture if i get around to messing with this. bitmapping to make some segments in the grass could be fun.. if a little tricky...
read 966 times
6/24/2010 6:02:03 AM (last edit: 6/24/2010 6:12:43 AM)
show user profile  ACWN
I've never been able to do unwrapping. The school I went to barely taught me how to run Max. Most of what I know of it and can do in it is self taught.

Any way, I'm working on a tree house scene. Its the house for a set of dragon characters of mine. They live in these massive (800+ ft tall) trees with the houses perched on the branches. I'm more or less done with the outside of the scene and what I'm hoping to be able to do is set up a camera (never learned that one either, gonna have to play with it) so that it goes up the stairs around the trunk of the tree and then looks at the first level outside, then goes inside. This is where I will use another camera in another scene to look around the inside of the house, then go back outside and jump back to the outside scene to continue up to the second level and repeat this till I get to the third level, then splice it together in a video maker. Basically I want to make it look like the viewer is the one checking this house out.

I'll give this pflow another shot, thanks. :)

EDIT: Okay, I have a problem here. I switched out the leaf shape to a 2d shape and even so my computer doesnt want to render out the scene. It sits there at "preparing lights", doing nothing. But I remove the PF and it renders. And its still trying to render hair/fur even when its no longer there. Put the PF back and it goes back to just sitting. When I cancel it, the screen grays out and I cant get it to come back unless I shut the program down.

So back to my first question... do you know how to link shapes to get them to form to another?
read 941 times
6/24/2010 4:20:37 PM (last edit: 6/24/2010 5:30:52 PM)
show user profile  9krausec
Parker- That's great if you want a tree with leaves growing out of its trunk... Maybe there is a way to control where the particles grow by separating the tree into two objects?

- Portfolio-

read 916 times
6/24/2010 6:22:40 PM (last edit: 6/24/2010 6:22:40 PM)
show user profile  ACWN
Thats what I was doing, 9krausec, I had the small branches as their own object.... but that still doesnt help the problem I have of it not wanting to render.
read 912 times
6/24/2010 6:25:34 PM (last edit: 6/24/2010 6:25:34 PM)
show user profile  parkerfamily
all you can really do to make it render is lower poly leaves or maybe alpha mapped ones. and yeh it's all separate objects in the foliage things so you can easily just pop the trunk out of the picture.
thatch roof works alright no?

sorry if i seem a little wierd moving windows around on the vids, they kept getting on the split between my monitors so it was hard to use.
read 901 times
6/24/2010 7:04:17 PM (last edit: 6/24/2010 7:05:27 PM)
show user profile  ACWN
I havent tried the thatched roof yet and I'm not sure I'm going to, to be honest. If the leaves with a single face make my computer refuse to render, then I know the thatched roof will too most likely as I have 3 of them to make (and they're also round... sorry, forgot to mention that). And I dont know what "alpha mapped" is.

So theres NOTHING else I can do besides a particle? I have a hard time believing that...
read 898 times
6/24/2010 7:08:35 PM (last edit: 6/24/2010 8:49:31 PM)
show user profile  ACWN
read 821 times
6/26/2010 4:14:45 PM (last edit: 6/26/2010 4:14:45 PM)
show user profile  Poopsmith
Take a look at this thread, it's how crysis does there trees, it won't look as good as pakers method (nice jing btw), but It will run a hell of a lot faster:
Alpha Mapping:
Essentially a black and white image denoting what you can see and what you can't.

For the roof you could use displacement or normal mapping if you want to keep it lower poly, but It may be better just to hide the trees until render time and let the render take forever. (See if you can find normal/displacement mapping on your own.)

3d 2d digital artist special effects poopsmith

read 815 times
6/26/2010 6:16:34 PM (last edit: 6/26/2010 6:16:34 PM)
show user profile  ACWN
Thanks for explaining alpha mapping. That link you gave on doesnt help too much as it denies me access unless I'm a member. Yes, I am aware that I can simply join and look but I'd really rather not just for one thing.
read 804 times
6/26/2010 7:05:51 PM (last edit: 6/26/2010 7:15:55 PM)
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