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MTree - Tree creation

Discussion in 'Assets and Asset Store' started by mherpin, Aug 31, 2018.

  1. mherpin

    mherpin

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    Great !
    I haven't tried to optimize the saving part yet. I know that baking AO takes time as well, so I will try to find ways to make it quicker.
     
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  2. mherpin

    mherpin

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    I am working on improving the leaves creation. I have added an option to generate procedural leaves that follow gravity.
    Here are two examples cases:
    procedural leaves.PNG
     
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  3. NeatWolf

    NeatWolf

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    That sounds great to me.
    I mean, I've already tested and checked the photogrammetry and Yggdrasil scenes/packages, already own most of the grass solutions/terrain shader packages out there, but would be nice if the solution was part of MTree. I simply didn't ask for it to be in the same package since it felt quite a stretch to me. Also, some people could just prefer it to be optional.
    There are... plenty of options but they may require extra work to make them blend seamlessly with MTree.

    Being able to grow bushes at the base of the tree (or separately) would be nice (what about being able to grow visible root branches?). Maybe slowly fading out, or growing around a radius where the tree/roots occlude the terrain, with some feather.

    In the ShaderGraph samples there's a grass VFX solution which is pretty nice, but it's working in HDRP only tho.

    It would be cool if the grass/bushes coverage used a similar technology as the trees. Or, at least, a similar shader (for syncing it the wind).

    Maybe not grass, but I believe bushes should be already possible :)

    Grass can be performance heavy, and I'm not sure about how performant it would be by using MTree's leaves to simulate it, I should give it a try :)
    (but, unless you want to cut out some target platforms, it may needs a completely different approach, possibly taking a lot of time off the development of the core MTree)

    I think I'm in love with that palm :D
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2019
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  4. marcatore

    marcatore

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    yesterday I did a quick test with the lastest update and I think it's going to the right direction.
    Polygon counter is more managable and the branch creator is really a good tools.

    In my opinion, the next step to optimize the trees is to make an atlas editor. This could give us the opportunity to have more leaves or branches textures (and materials) and have just one material (or at max 2: bark and leaves/textured branches).
    Do you think it will be doable?
    Another good feature I'd like to see is a UV control that give the opportunity to rotate the texture used as leaves/branches. This use UV space more efficiently cause tipically leaves or branches groups have a triangle/diamond shape.
    I suggest, if you want to understand better, to see what Tree-it does in this case.

    In any case, congratulations... this asset it's shaping very well.
     
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  5. Kilonne

    Kilonne

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    Nice tool :)To experiment with MTree I copy paste a tree from the examples.
    I change some values, and when I press Play button to see effects in a scene, all settings of the current tree are back to the initial ones. It is possible to avoid this?

    It is possible to hide branches and leafs to keep only one visible when 2 or 3 are used?
     
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  6. CaliCoastReplay

    CaliCoastReplay

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    The best MTree workflow, I find, is simply to have a Builder scene that never sees the play button, and is used to export prefabs to other scenes.

    It would certainly be good to have non-prefab previews that work with the Play button though.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
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  7. dan_wipf

    dan_wipf

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    with the addon i’m doing, there will be a builder scene, quite simple like the prefab editor in 2018.3+
     
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  8. NeatWolf

    NeatWolf

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    Hi there!

    I'm not sure if it has been asked before, yet:

    is MTree compatible with GPU Instancer? Could you please enforce it to be GPU Instancer compatible?

    Because if so, the Grass/bushes problem is mostly solved already :p
     
  9. dan_wipf

    dan_wipf

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    Finished the Mtree Randomizer.

    Key Features
    - Seed Randomization for multiple Trees.
    - Quick and Custom Randomization of available Values from Mtree Component. Choose which values will be randomized. (choose Quick Setup or Custom inside Mtree Settings tab).

    - Ambient Occlusion baking for multiple Trees => takes quite some Time until process is finished.
    - Export of Prefabs for Multiple Trees => takes quite some Time until process is finished.

    - Only for Trees which are placed in Scene!


    Preview of MtreeRandomizeTree
     
  10. dan_wipf

    dan_wipf

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    The Preview Scene / Builder Scene is working out great and can indeed increase the Work process I guess. => simply add a new Empty(not included in this Video) or one of the example Trees to the scene by a Menu. All Trees will exported with a single Click. Builder Scene can be saved and be Edited later on!

     
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  11. Ryan-Hayle

    Ryan-Hayle

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    How does bleeding work with MTree leaves?

    How do you rotate the leaves?

    Can you rotate individual leaves?

    Will it generate a power of 2 leaf texture as the saved output?

    How do you save your leaf setup/preset in the branch editor window?

    Will I lose my settings if I close the branch editor window?

    Does MTree support PBR textures?

    What is planned for the next release?

    Do you have a discord channel?
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
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  12. Ryan-Hayle

    Ryan-Hayle

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    Q : How do you rotate the leaves?
    A : You control the leaf angle with it's parent branch with the "Leaf Angle" Slider in the branch editor, and with the "Leaf Weight" slider in the Mtree component. I will add more control over the direction of leaves in an upcoming version.

    Q : Can you rotate individual leaves?
    A : No, not yet anyway.

    Q : Will it generate a power of 2 leaf texture as the saved output?
    A : The height of the texture is a power of two, the width of the texture depends on the branch. More control will be added in a future version.

    Q : How do you save your leaf setup/preset in the branch editor window?
    A : You can't.

    Q : Will I lose my settings if I close the branch editor window?
    A : Yes, this is an issue that will be fixed.

    Q : Does MTree support PBR textures?
    A : Yes, Mtree materials are PBR and use PBR textures. More control over the materials will be added in the future.

    Q : What is planned for the next release?
    A : Beside the improvements mentioned before, faster AO generation, the Mtree randomizer, procedural leaves, and quality of life improvements.

    Q : Do you have a discord channel?
    A : Not yet, but I am making one as well as a website for Mtree.
     
  13. Ryan-Hayle

    Ryan-Hayle

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    Branch Editor
    -----------------
    I want to zoom in on branch.

    When adjusting the Stem Length, why does it completely change the whole look?

    I have no idea what the texture size of the branch is going to be when creating?

    I want to randomize the leaves, not the whole branch.

    How do you make different sized leaves on the branch?

    I have no control of where the leaves are going to be?

    Very limited leaf angle.

    General
    -----------------
    error when using it:
    GUI Error: You are pushing more GUIClips than you are popping. Make sure they are balanced.
    UnityEngine.GUIUtility:processEvent(Int32, IntPtr)

    When I clicked on a tree prefab the tree's outline is in a different place to the tree?

    Why am I seeing 2 branch instances on the Birch example instead of 1?
     
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  14. Waterlane

    Waterlane

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    This is looking like a really interesting asset... hoping it develops more and more. :)
     
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  15. Rustychops

    Rustychops

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    Can we use custom shaders and textures with this tool.This thing looks great! Good job
     
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  16. dan_wipf

    dan_wipf

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    you can use both, but the wind animation will be maybe a problem => not working with nature manufacture assets. can’t tell you right now how it works, but i’ll guess maxime can for sure. but there will be an easy fix, if you have some time and knowledge about shader programming!
     
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  17. Jokermax

    Jokermax

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    great tool thanks for making it!
    are you working by any chance on adding connective geo between trunk/branches?
     
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  18. mherpin

    mherpin

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    The problem with connected geometry is that it adds quite a lot of triangles to the mesh (and it is honestly quite complex to implement). I did it for the blender addon, but the trees made with it are not targeted for game development.
    Another solution I am working on is to improve the transition between the main branches and the trunk.
     
  19. CaliCoastReplay

    CaliCoastReplay

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    I've been researching this problem, and it looks very approachable if one has access to Amplify or other serious shader programming experience.

    It's not entirely trivial, though.

    Possibly Maxime would be willing to share some of his advice with us on how best to expose the wind features to external shaders and plugins?
     
  20. CaliCoastReplay

    CaliCoastReplay

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    One of the big problems right now is that Unity's default grass shader is a super-pain to override. You can't do it automatically; you have to do it in a way that overwrites it in the Unity installation itself, making it the default grass shader in every Unity project on that machine.

    I will possibly reach out to this developer at some point, because I totally recommend this for anyone working with MTree right now - this pack does it as part of the installation process, and seamlessly, which is great.

    https://assetstore.unity.com/packages/vfx/shaders/soft-grass-shader-63096

    However, none of these solutions are good long term and they interfere with WYSIWYG principles with regard to the notion that other packs might not look like what they do in their own previews if they have their own grass solutions.

    The better answer is getting at Unity about their default grass shader. Performance reasons or not, it was a terrible decision to enforce strict 100-or-0 opacity on the default grass. It is keeping Unity from true competitiveness versus UE regarding the best foliage demos. Grass is too small to be considered fully "opaque" at a macro scale; it seems to have to do with the notion that a single blade of grass at distance is generally far less wide than a single pixel; therefore the cumulative effect of whatever that pixel is blended to be *must* incorporate partial transparency to represent the notion that a certain amount of light gets through even a grass tuft no matter what.

    As far as tiny plants go, I have developed a good simple small plant model for things that are basically just a stem and a single, reasonably flat piece of main foliage - 12 tris and very fast to draw, works for, for instance, your average flower or tiny leafy shoot - but it's not at the level of being suitable for a pack or plugin yet.

    However I would like to continue sharing these techniques and a limited number of my assets with the community to help continue the stimulation of this asset and its related assets. Quixel is great and I may upgrade to it myself for my most serious work, but the Unity community badly needs things like Mtree that enable less restrictive licensing at the indie level.
     
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  21. mherpin

    mherpin

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    Hi everyone, this is just a quick message to let you know that Mtree for the HDRP and LWRP pipelines does not work with unity 2019.1 since unity changed the api used to make custom shader graph nodes.

    To avoid such issues in the future, I have bought the Amplify shader editor and I have started to adapt Mtree shaders with it. This means that I will no longer be dependent on Unity's ever changing shader API, and that I can bypass my poor shader skills and provide more advanced materials for the next version of Mtree.

    I also think that I will release versions more often with less changes to be able to quickly respond to any bugs that might arise.
     
  22. dan_wipf

    dan_wipf

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    Bildschirmfoto 2019-05-02 um 16.44.26.png Bildschirmfoto 2019-05-02 um 17.08.46.png Bildschirmfoto 2019-05-02 um 17.16.58.png Bildschirmfoto 2019-05-02 um 17.13.34.png Bildschirmfoto 2019-05-02 um 16.44.26.png Bildschirmfoto 2019-05-02 um 17.08.46.png Bildschirmfoto 2019-05-02 um 17.16.58.png Bildschirmfoto 2019-05-02 um 17.13.34.png
    Just a quick example how you can modify a Surface Shader so it'll work with MTree Wind.

    Just for any knowledge the Calculation / Simulations of the the wind in Mtree is based on it's Vertex Colors => see picture. I've modified a new Standard Surface Shader and the results are as expected with the Wind.

    See the Images, I did some simple Comments (leafs.shader) where I've added / removed / replaced something.
     
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  23. CaliCoastReplay

    CaliCoastReplay

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    That is immense, thank you dan.
     
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  24. CaliCoastReplay

    CaliCoastReplay

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    I feel your pain, I am on Amplify too because Unity seems way more interested in making shiny demos with HDRP/LWRP than providing a stable platform that users can depend on long enough to get a game finished.

    Don't get me wrong, they look great, but most of the working Unity professionals I know are giving HDRP/LWRP a few years before it will be truly production-ready and safe for anything other than marquee graphics demos.

    I will happily work on some Amplify shaders for the community if you can give us a small tutorial on integrating wind in Amplify nodes!
     
  25. dan_wipf

    dan_wipf

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    if you need any more explenation, feel free to ask

    Btw. as for the SRP, the main problem is, that there are like several versions to use. which are devided by 2018.x and 2019.x the api’s for custom shaders are diffrent. like maxime mentioned. on hdrp 4.x you can add a hlsl file for custom shader nodes, which is in 5.x settled in a diffrent approach. aslon as hdrp is in preview. it’s mainly not worth it to develop on this pipelines. unless you are independent on assets from third parties, which in my case is not true.. so yes. we need to wait until it’s defently stable and changes are made only with specific unity versions.. not everey week or month..
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
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  26. CaliCoastReplay

    CaliCoastReplay

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    Is it just as simple as getting a WindStrength parameter in to the shader?

    'Cause, that seems pretty easy.
     
  27. CaliCoastReplay

    CaliCoastReplay

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  28. dan_wipf

    dan_wipf

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    as for the windstrength. this is only a float parameter, which defines the strength of the wind and does not stand for the calculations.

    what you need to know in unity about shaders there are two types of shaders(both are fragment/vertex shaders)

    nr1 is a surface shader which is like a template to write fast a usable shader. it’s a unity thing. and in depth as i said a simple fragment shader.

    nr2 is the fragment shader itself. where you have to write all the functions by your self

    nr1b is like the example from mtree a mixed surface shader with(kind of a custom node for the wind) you can write your own functions aswell in a surface shader. for more details i recomend you to look the examples from unity it self

    https://docs.unity3d.com/Manual/SL-SurfaceShaderExamples.html

    https://docs.unity3d.com/Manual/SL-VertexFragmentShaderExamples.html

    For the wind in Mtree a Vertex function is added to a surface shader which modifies the vertex positions based on it’s color. => as darker the color the less movement, you can see that quite good in the picture above, the trunk itself is black and leafs are quite bright.

    —————————

    As for Amplify i do not know this Asset, i only know ShaderGraph from unity, so i can not really help you out there, but i believe the diffrence on how it works, is similar yo shadergraph
     
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  29. atomicjoe

    atomicjoe

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    Hey @mherpin !
    Your tree creator seems the answer to our prayers!
    I have some doubts though:

    1- can the lods fade smoothly? (dithering fade)
    2- are there enough textures in the package to really make lots of different trees?

    -EDIT:
    3- What size are the included tree textures?

    Thanks! :D
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2019
  30. mherpin

    mherpin

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    Hi @atomicjoe

    1- The shaders support LOD crossfade and the trees are automatically configured to use it when exported as prefabs.
    2/3 - Here is a link to the textures included with Mtree so that you can judge by yourself.
     
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  31. atomicjoe

    atomicjoe

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    Cool! Thanks! :)
     
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  32. dan_wipf

    dan_wipf

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    just a little shader upgrade i did=> snow shader and subsurface scattering
     

    Attached Files:

  33. ogtracy

    ogtracy

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    Can someone help me figure out if this will work for my needs?
    I'm working on a VR game, so I need the leaves to be grouped for fewer vertices and draw calls. I won't be able to handled 10000 individual leaves. But I'll still need the tree to look mostly OK because it's in VR and that means you can see all the flaws.

    I'm also mostly looking to create farm plants - e.g. tomato plants, and all the examples I've seen so far are trees. Will smaller plants be possible?

    Thanks.
     
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  34. CaliCoastReplay

    CaliCoastReplay

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    One big advantage that MTree has over a few competitors in VR (SpeedTree, for instance) is that there's no billboarding on the MTree foliage shader. Billboarding is a technique that involves "cheating" by using polygons that always face the camera; on a flat screen its flaws are often hidden, but in VR as soon as the stereoscopy kicks in, it generally becomes unsuitable in my experience - so in that way, yes, MTree is a good potential tool for VR.

    MTree doesn't model individual leaves, either - usually, you'll have a texture that combines leaves and small branches, so the triangle counts can be made pretty low. Creations can be anywhere from 500-1K tris for something like your needed tomato plant to 10-15K tris for a grand old ancient tree with dozens of branches.

    Generally it's quite performant. I certainly would guess that it would be performant enough for a PC VR game; mobile you'd have to provide more details about your project and/or platform on.

    Midsize farm plants with a stalk/fruiting structure like fully grown tomatoes, bushes, corn stalks, et cetera, yes - though you'll need to provide your own textures and/or meshes for both the "leaves" (which can be tomatoes, corn, etc. and can be mesh-based) and the stalks, since MTree ships with only tree-based textures.

    Non-stalk-based plants like lettuce heads - no. Really small plants such as shoots, sprouts and so on - also no. It simply isn't recommended for smaller foliage that needs to be on mass display generally, since even the smallest MTree creations will require a few hundred polygons at least and it's better to use something custom for small models that keep them to a few dozen tris, for performance reasons. The community is discussing various solutions to this.

    It also doesn't do live, growing plants; I don't know if that's among your needs for a farming game. The plants are static. (Growing plants would be cool! But probably very hard.)

    I am not the creator of this product; simply an enthusiastic user. But I will certainly recommend its worth for any tree or stalk based plant, it's a revolution in Unity foliage. M. Herpin has provided a wonderfully generous license for these early versions of the technology - unlike with SpeedTree/Quixel, he has told us that there are currently no prohibitive third-party business restrictions, so you can do business with and sell your creations without constantly looking over your shoulder at a scary license and paying a monthly fee, and I will say that I am immensely grateful for this and sleeping a lot better at night because of it. :)

    I probably shouldn't presume to speak like a true expert however, or speak on the license terms with authority - Maxime would be able to tell you more. It's great stuff though, and the community here is active and friendly and actively beginning to develop community additions to the technology as well.
     
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  35. gregs

    gregs

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    Hi
    Whats the newest Unity version and SRP (and all of its dependencies) versions to get this working?
     
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  36. mherpin

    mherpin

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    Hi,
    Mtree will work for all SRPs on unity 2017.4 to 2018.3 but only the standard render pipeline will work on unity 2019.1
    And there is no dependency except the shader graph for HDRP and LWRP
     
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  37. CaliCoastReplay

    CaliCoastReplay

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    By the way, for what it's worth to the community, dan's improved subsurface scattering shader is the real deal.

    Here's an example of the difference - this is actually the same tree, same light conditions, et cetera.

    I can hardly believe it myself. It starts to approach photorealism in the close-ups.

     
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  38. mherpin

    mherpin

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    I have Improved the trunk/branches intersections greatly, the branches are now projected on the trunk and the normals are interpolated correctly.

    new normals comparaison.png
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2019
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  39. gregs

    gregs

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    Another question - is there a way to set a global wind - so the turbulence is shifted for every other tree? I simply added global X location of every tree object to time in shader and it looks ok, but maybe there is a solution like this already?
    Also, is there a way to change (and set) wind direction?
     
  40. ogtracy

    ogtracy

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    Thanks for the response. I can provide my own textures and I'll provide my own fruits anyway since I want them to be actual interactable objects rather than just props, but I was hoping to at least have the stalks. If you can create the trunk of a tree, you should be able to create the stalk of a small plant - given the textures. For growth I was just planning to have different prefabs for different stages of growth and swap them out when the player is not looking.

    The polygon count you described does worry me. I have a mobile speedtree asset that has 1000 tris in its lowest LOD. It's not the greatest thing, but I found it to be pleasant enough once you get used to the non-realism. If I can't get a good enough tree at that level with this asset, it might not be for me. It sounds fun, but I'm one of those people who get very sick at lower frame rates.
     
  41. ogtracy

    ogtracy

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    Just looked at the asset page again. The picture on there shows a tree between 700 and 5000 tris, so I guess I don't have to worry so much. Thanks again for the help. I'll probably get this. I can get started on putting in fruit trees and figure out the smaller plants later. :D
     
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  42. CaliCoastReplay

    CaliCoastReplay

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    Oh, the numbers I mentioned are for the *highest* LOD. :) MTree provides great LOD customization options. You can totally trim your trees once you've made them.
     
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  43. dan_wipf

    dan_wipf

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    for global wind. simply remove in the shader the _WindStrength property under properties(not others)

    now you can call in a script something like Shader.SetGlobalFloat(“_WindStrength”,YourFloatValue);
     
  44. TomTumbler

    TomTumbler

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    Hi, I'm new to MTree. Let me ask you: Are there any type of documentation and/or tutorials/videos?
     
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  45. dan_wipf

    dan_wipf

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    there is pdf documentation inside the asset folder Mtree/documentation.pdf

    there’s to my knowledge no mtree tutorial video. (i believe there is for the blender addon)
     
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  46. TomTumbler

    TomTumbler

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    Another thing. In post #210 (https://forum.unity.com/threads/mtree-tree-creation.548995/page-5#post-4316884), somebody was asking about a growing feature. But he got no answer. Because I could use it too, let me ask: Is there any way to automate growing of trees and bushes made of MTree? What do I want to do? My plan is to show some - prerendered - slow motion sequences (growing vegetation), made in unity.
     
  47. mherpin

    mherpin

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    I had made some tests with growing trees, but it was quite resource intensive and there was a lot sudden changes in the trees that made the whole simulation a bit unrealistic. Another solution is to have the growing entirely done in the shader, which would be extremely efficient and a lot smoother that the other method.

    Since this feature has been requested a few times, I will post my progress here if I have some success with the shader method.
     
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  48. TomTumbler

    TomTumbler

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    Sounds great. ;)
    If I'm right, the building process is procedural. Is there any way to manipulate or correct the models manually? If the generator is building branches on positions that I don't want - can I delete these "wrong" branches??
     
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  49. mherpin

    mherpin

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    There is no way of manipulating the each branch by hand for now, but it is possible and it will certainly come in a future update !
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
  50. TomTumbler

    TomTumbler

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    Never mind. I bought it. ;)
     
    dan_wipf likes this.