The new update for PlantCatalog is out. This release includes everything you need to create a full North American pine forest biome, complete with lone and forest pine tree shapes, dead species, uprooted trees, pine cones and needle litter. Additionally, new features in PlantCatalog Exporter 2023 and the PlantFactory 2023 integration plugins further extend PlantCatalog's capabilites.
And finally, Creator users are now able to export and integrate PlantCatalog plants to any application of their choice using VUE & PlantFactory Creator's export options and the PlantFactory integration plugins.
Read on to find out about all that's new in this major update.
New pine tree features and species
All species combined from this release feature more than 2000 presets in just the HD versions!
Our vegetation modeler Frédéric Bec enriched the pine trees with unprecedented detail and control: barks are multi-layered and peel through customizable settings, trees can be uprooted and can fall to the ground with the "Uprooting" published parameter and branches react to the uprooting state through bending and breaking.
And for those close-up ground renders, did we mention yet that there is also a generic pine cone engine included for creating exactly the cone shapes you need?
Here is a list of all new species:
Rocky mountain lodgepole pine lone (Pinus contorta var latifolia lone)
Rocky mountain lodgepole pine forest (Pinus contorta var latifolia forest)
Dead lodgepole pine lone (Pinus contorta dead lone)
Dead lodgepole pine forest (Pinus contorta dead forest)
Slash pine lone (Pinus elliottii lone)
Slash pine forest (Pinus elliottii forest)
Jeffrey pine lone (Pinus jeffreyi lone)
Jeffrey pine forest (Pinus jeffreyi forest)
Jeffrey pine juvenile (Pinus jeffreyi juvenile)
Ponderosa pine lone (Pinus ponderosa lone)
Ponderosa pine forest (Pinus ponderosa forest)
Ponderosa pine juvenile (Pinus ponderosa juvenile)
Ponderosa pine branch (Pinus ponderosa branch)
Dead ponderosa pine lone (Pinus ponderosa dead lone)
Dead ponderosa pine forest (Pinus ponderosa dead forest)
Ponderosa pine uprooted (Pinus ponderosa uprooted)
Long-needle pine litter
Short-needle pine litter
Generic pine cone engine
Please head to the Software Center and download the 2023.1 plant archive and the updated application hotfix builds. The new builds were just released, so make sure you update, even if you just recently downloaded the apps.
The plant archives are now full installers which automatically copy all plant species files to the directory specified in the PlantCatalog Exporter (or VUE & PlantFactory) program options.
Introducing Full Geometry (FG) versions
We are adding a new plant version to the roster of available model types: Full geometry (FG).
Coniferous trees are demanding to render with their thin needles. They require high sampling for distant shots to eliminate alpha flickering. And sometimes, mip-mapping can make distant populations blurry or even remove needles and branches altogether.
The FG versions are built with full geometry for the needles and do not use any alpha maps. Textures on the needles are kept simple on purpose for efficient rendering performance. This makes the FG pine trees the ideal rendering solution for large populations in the background.
To keep the polygon count reasonable, each needle's resolution is limited to a triangular profile. For this reason, the FG versions are not suitable for close-ups and foreground scenarios. In these cases, use the LD versions for mid to foreground work and the HD versions for close-ups.
Updates to PlantCatalog Exporter and the PlantFactory integration plugins
We just released a new build of PlantCatalog Exporter and the PlantFactory integration plugins. These updates improve computation times, add post-processing options for vertex colors and Ambient Occlusion in both Exporter and plugins and a native importer plugin for Unreal Engine 5 with the option to pre-check nanite-specific settings during conversion.
To find out more about the new vertex color features and Ambient Occlusion computation, visit the Learning Center.
Export PlantCatalog plants from VUE & PlantFactory Creator
Good news for Creator users! If you downloaded the recently released 2023 versions of VUE & PlantFactory Creator, you can now export PlantCatalog plants to any 3D format and application of your choice and also use the PlantFactory integration plugins.
Please be aware that PlantCatalog Exporter does not work with PlantCatalog Creator licenses. To export PlantCatalog plants, you need to export the plant either from VUE or from PlantFactory. We recommend going through PlantFactory for a more streamlined user experience, because the application is specifically tailored around plant customization and export.
The use of exported PlantCatalog Creator plants is subject to our EULA and covers non-commercial use only.
PlantCatalog Trial available
Want to give the capabilities of PlantCatalog a test drive? We offer a trial version which includes PlantCatalog Exporter, the PlantFactory integration plugins for 3ds Max, Maya, Cinema 4D and Unreal Engine 4 & 5 and a sample collection of procedural PlantCatalog plants for you to try, customize and export.
The following plants are included in the trial version:
With the plugins, you can customize procedural PlantCatalog plants natively in your host application and automatically create shaders for native render engines and for Arnold, Chaos V-RayTM, Redshift, Renderman and Unreal Engine 4 & 5. This makes pipeline integration easy.
Please note: the PlantCatalog trial version allows testing the full PlantCatalog product. Use within VUE or PlantFactory Creator is not covered by the trial.
Enjoy the update and happy rendering.