News PlantCatalog Release

The winter 2021 release of PlantCatalog is here

Daniel Seebacher

Dec 2021

The third PlantCatalog update of 2021 adds willows, reeds, sedges, material conversion for Redshift & Renderman, an Unreal Engine 4 plugin and NVIDIA Omniverse live sync and extensions.


A new batch of plants for the PlantCatalog has just been released. This update adds 10 new species, including three willows, two sedges, two perennials, one lotus and two reeds. It also contains a RT version of the Phoenix Dactylifera.

As always, all plants are highly customizable and were designed with a huge number of shape and stage presets. The White Willow (Salix Alba) alone ships with 206 presets.

PlantCatalog 2021.3 winter release grid

Here is a full list of all new species:

 

Download now

To use the new species, the latest update of PlantCatalog Exporter software is required. If you want to use the plants in VUE & PlantFactory, please ensure that you updated the applications to the latest 2021.2 release. With the new builds, plant computation when changing parameters and switching presets is now up to 40% faster.

Please head to the Software Center and download the 2021.3 archive as well as the latest software builds.

On our YouTube channel, you can watch all PlantCatalog species in action. Subscribe and don't miss out on the next updates to the Catalog.

 

 

Alongside the plants, new PlantFactory plugins and extensions were added to this release.

Redshift material creation

You can now use the PlantFactory integration plugin for Maya and Cinema 4D to output native Redshift materials for all PlantCatalog plants.

This feature requires at least Redshift 3.0.46 (or any higher version) with the new OCIO workflow

In Maya or Cinema 4D, set the render engine to Redshift and then load any PlantCatalog plant with the PlantFactory plugin. When you then convert the plant to a native polygon mesh, Redshift materials are created automatically.

Before converting, you decide how you would like to transfer alpha maps: they can either be linked to Redshift's opacity channel or they can be loaded into a Redshift sprite node for best rendering performance.

 

In this first technology preview, Redshift conversion is supported in Maya 2020 and up and Cinema 4D R23 and up. We plan to extend the support to more versions and other applications with upcoming releases.

Renderman materials in Maya

The PlantFactory plugin now supports Renderman 24 in Maya 2020 and up. Set the render engine to Renderman, load a PlantCatalog with the PlantFactory plugin and then convert it to a native polygon object with Renderman PxrSurface materials.

This release supports basic material properties such as color / albedo, alpha and normal maps. More material properties will be added in the future.

 

Unreal Engine 4 Technology preview

We are proud to announce the first version of the PlantFactory plugin for Unreal Engine 4. The plugin supports Unreal 4.24 through Unreal 4.27. Just like our other integrations, the new plugin allows opening PlantCatalog plants directly inside UE4 and making adjustments to Season, Maturity, Health and any published parameter. You can generate new variations, adjust wind intensity, polygon resolution and switch between presets.

Once satisfied, convert the plant to an Unreal actor, animated or static, with native Unreal Engine shader graphs for the materials pre-setup by the plugin. This is a much more convenient way of bringing PlantCatalogvegetation into your game than using traditional Export - Import workflows.

 

In addition to the plugin, a new "Export one part per primitive" mode in the Export settings from PlantCatalog Exporter will allow producing an individual mesh for each plant part. With this option, native, procedural wind shaders from UE4 can be applied to static PlantCatalog vegetation. Exported geometry with individual meshes per primitive can also be pre-processed for Unreal in other applications, for example with the Epic Pivot painter script for 3DS Max.

Introducing Live Sync & Extensions for NVIDIA Omniverse

If you watched our #GTC21 presentation, you already heard the news:

PlantCatalog now supports Live Sync for NVIDIA's Omniverse platform. Using the Nucleus core, you can easily sync changes made to a model in PlantFactory back to your Omniverse stage in real time.

 

We also developed an Omniverse Extension for editing previously exported USD files, even when picking up a project that no longer has Live Sync enabled.

Thanks to this extension, any PlantCatalog USD mesh exported to Omniverse remains fully procedural and retains its editing capabilites in PlantCatalog Exporter. Create your own Omniverse vegetation asset collection and apply changes to your assets at any time.

For more information and installation instructions, visit our dedicted Omniverse page.

More about Omniverse integration

Enjoy the update and happy rendering.

I joined e-on software in 2020 as Product Marketing Specialist, after having used VUE and PlantFactory for many years. I love sharing knowledge and helping the community. In my former jobs, I was responsible for agile software development as a Product Owner and for customer support, on-site workshops and KPI reporting. In my free time, I enjoy making music, cooking for friends, reading, cycling and all kinds of videogames and movies.

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