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Billboard leaves.
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Dampire Offline
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Post: #1
Billboard leaves.
Allows render very realistic trees with minimal polycount. This feature uses in Oblivion and even Risen. Opensource implementation here.
02-08-2011 09:17 AM
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Dynad Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Billboard leaves.
Lots of tree feature requests lately pfft

There is always evil somewhere, you just have to look for it properly.
02-08-2011 09:53 AM
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Dwight Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Billboard leaves.
Trees are a very big subject here indeed.

Personally, I don't like tree generators (not even any generator in general!). To get real control over your world, modelling everything yourself is always the best solution. Creating a game takes a lot of time and dedication.

Generators take away the fun and satisfaction of your "own" work.

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02-08-2011 11:03 AM
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Dampire Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Billboard leaves.
I'm not talking about the generation. I am talking about rendering of realistic leaves.
02-08-2011 12:54 PM
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llynx Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Billboard leaves.
:\ Those are hardly realistic IMHO esp compared to speedtree/xfrog etc
02-08-2011 10:36 PM
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Chris Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Billboard leaves.
I agree with llynx, billboarded leaves are not the way to go for realism, they just look previous-gen. This topic is similar to http://www.esenthel.com/community/showth...9#pid20939
02-08-2011 10:40 PM
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Dampire Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Billboard leaves.
I think it's
[Image: risen_scr_12_icon.jpg]
more realistic, than this
[Image: 89efc04405f6.jpg]
No?
SpeedTree is very (VERY) costly.
(This post was last modified: 02-09-2011 10:53 AM by Dampire.)
02-09-2011 10:50 AM
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Dwight Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Billboard leaves.
How on earth does that tree have 4k vertices?

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02-09-2011 10:53 AM
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Chris Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Billboard leaves.
But exactly; the top screenshot is from Risen, which used an older version '08/'09 of SpeedTree, http://www.speedtree.com/gallery/images/...f48c55.jpg

For tree's closer to the camera, its better to have lots of geometry/quads/etc. In later versions of SpeedTree, they use shaders to fade between the different LOD's. Billboards are only used at middle-LOD stages; copying this hybrid-approach would be nice (and at the final stage having a pure sliced billboard imposter + additional horizontal slice in the canopy), but i'm still against pure billboard implementations.

My vote goes to this (with current technology) pipeline:

High Poly Geometry Tree (< 15,000 triangles) <-> Billboard+Geometry Leaves (< 7,000 triangles) <-> Billboard Leaves (< 2,000 triangles) <-> Billboard Tree + Horizontal Slice (< 100 triangles)

To automate/tweak these approximates as much as possible would be great.

Edit: E.G. Some ideas, have an in-engine "leaf spray painter" - setup the textures and it manages all vertex shaders, billboard LOD's and animations for you. You only supply the trunk models, but be able to setup PhysX destruction/bending/breaking joints on them.
(This post was last modified: 02-09-2011 11:37 AM by Chris.)
02-09-2011 11:14 AM
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impi Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Billboard leaves.
Yes, good foliage is very important, and speedtree is out of price range of most. It's also not all that efficient as they make out. And there's no real good alternatives (nice product opportunity there).

(02-09-2011 11:14 AM)Chris Wrote:  For tree's closer to the camera, its better to have lots of geometry/quads/etc. In later versions of SpeedTree, they use shaders to fade between the different LOD's. Billboards are only used at middle-LOD stages; copying this hybrid-approach would be nice (and at the final stage having a pure sliced billboard imposter + additional horizontal slice in the canopy), but i'm still against pure billboard implementations.

The tree models have 8 snapshots taken at 45 degree angles to capture the shape of the model, depending on the angle you view the imposter from those are blended to give the correct imposter ... so its not completely 'dead' imposters, and you can easily see how that improves a tree-line at distance from normal imposters.

But it also uses normal maps, shadow maps etc via the shader system to calculate accurate depth and shadow casting on the leaves etc.

IF Esenthel adds something similar ... the only improvement I can suggest would be to add canopy imposter support - for flight simulator type games.
02-14-2011 03:05 PM
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llynx Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Billboard leaves.
(02-14-2011 03:05 PM)impi Wrote:  Yes, good foliage is very important, and speedtree is out of price range of most. It's also not all that efficient as they make out. And there's no real good alternatives (nice product opportunity there).

(02-09-2011 11:14 AM)Chris Wrote:  For tree's closer to the camera, its better to have lots of geometry/quads/etc. In later versions of SpeedTree, they use shaders to fade between the different LOD's. Billboards are only used at middle-LOD stages; copying this hybrid-approach would be nice (and at the final stage having a pure sliced billboard imposter + additional horizontal slice in the canopy), but i'm still against pure billboard implementations.

The tree models have 8 snapshots taken at 45 degree angles to capture the shape of the model, depending on the angle you view the imposter from those are blended to give the correct imposter ... so its not completely 'dead' imposters, and you can easily see how that improves a tree-line at distance from normal imposters.

But it also uses normal maps, shadow maps etc via the shader system to calculate accurate depth and shadow casting on the leaves etc.

IF Esenthel adds something similar ... the only improvement I can suggest would be to add canopy imposter support - for flight simulator type games.

This can already be implemented manually and is a good idea for far away trees. But would have to be done really carefully when changing between billboard and poly lods.

Is there a way to smoothly fade between lods in EE at the moment? For example a similar effect to grassRange fade?
02-14-2011 04:55 PM
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impi Offline
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Post: #12
RE: Billboard leaves.
(02-14-2011 04:55 PM)llynx Wrote:  This can already be implemented manually and is a good idea for far away trees. But would have to be done really carefully when changing between billboard and poly lods.

I guess just about anything can be done 'manually' (even rewrite SpeedTree or graphics engine) ... but it'll be a real bastard to do it well ... its pretty intense coding - specially to calculate depth and shadows on the imposters (never mind the rotational angle blending).

I think its something ideally one would like the engine developer to do some time, to help licensees who can't afford SpeedTree etc. And if its really done well, one begins to question 'why license SpeedTree' if you can spend it on something else (Except you then have lots of artwork to do).

(02-14-2011 04:55 PM)llynx Wrote:  Is there a way to smoothly fade between lods in EE at the moment? For example a similar effect to grassRange fade?

Hopefully others will post, as I'm not that deep into Esenthal to have an idea how fades could be done.

But fading is a little tricky ... as you need good cross-fading to avoid tree 'pops' like many 'upmarket' engines have (just watch the trees etc in the background of their demo video's ... not in the foreground). The only other engine I've seen that does it well is the Chrome engine ( Techland's amazing demo .... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iY0xeCYFpI8 ) ... although they are quite clever in their camera use and scene design ... if you can get your eyes past the mouthwatering content into the background you will see a little too. But really amazing result.
(This post was last modified: 02-15-2011 02:02 AM by impi.)
02-15-2011 02:02 AM
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Dampire Offline
Member

Post: #13
RE: Billboard leaves.
I watch SpeedTree Modeller 5 (last).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jn-w45iKqOw
So... As you can see in this video, ST use billboards even on first LOD.
03-05-2011 07:59 PM
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Tobbo Offline
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Post: #14
RE: Billboard leaves.
Isn't there already LOD features in Esenthel? As far as trees looking better and more realistic that's all with the artist. Also Speedtree renders the leaves so the planes are always facing the camera. (You can see that in the youtube video above) It's not really realistic in my opinion.
03-10-2011 02:27 AM
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Voc007 Offline
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Post: #15
RE: Billboard leaves.
Here is a hidden gem, I have tried it out, and it works and looks great, you can download it on last page of the forum. I am not sure of the license. If you have 3d coat, I think you can use it. It is the closest thing to speedtree ?..for nothing .

The link to the forum:

http://www.3d-coat.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=1003

sample of program:

[Image: tree.jpg]

and some work by someone on the forum:

[Image: 3Dtree_test11b.jpg]

and

[Image: 3Dtree_test06b.jpg]

and

[Image: 3Dtree_test03b.jpg]

i have achieved some trees like that with lower poly count. Check it out.
03-10-2011 03:54 AM
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