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Node-based Modeling

Artwork by Aron Kamolz

Take Full Control with Nodes

Modeling from scratch with nodes provides maximum control and flexibility. A node is a building block for assembling the full model. Each plant part is represented through a single node in a bigger node network. Edit a node parameter and the model updates immediately.
 
Create highly detailed plants with just a hand-full of nodes or go beyond the capabilities of pre-built parameters and design elaborate node setups with advanced growth rules.
 
Geometry nodes

Geometry Nodes

Geometry nodes generate primitives such as spheres, planes or cylinders. Use multiple parameters to deform each primitive into a plant part, e.g. a cylinder into a trunk or branch. Choose between nodes specifically designed for trees / bushes, grasses and flowers.
 
A single geometry node generates many more copies that will be scattered on the previous parent geometry, e.g. a single branch node will create hundreds of branches.
 
Fine-tune each geometry parameter with curve editing. A curve changes the intensity of a setting either along the length of the geometry or according to the position on its parent. For example, branches can get shorter the higher up they grow on a trunk.
 
Botanically accurate parameters for sap or phyllotaxis growth angles help with achieving realistic, believable models.
Leaves

Leaf Creation

PlantFactory offers several methods for creating leaves.
 
For lightweight leaves, the leaf node provides an easy way to shape any leaf with textures and alpha maps. Optionally, set the node to one of various crossed-plane modes which simulate leaf clusters with low-polygon geometry for real-time pipelines. Choose between different normal computations for enhancing the depth perception of leaf clusters.
 
Blades generate leaves with real 3D geometry and depth. They are especially useful for close-ups and hero vegetation. Blades are the best method for modeling fronds for palm trees or ferns, for example.
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Custom Geometry Import

Custom meshes can be imported when the need for more complex geometry arises, for example fruits or highly detailed petals and leaves.
 
Imported geometry can be procedurally distributed along the plant or used as a replacement skin for a specific plant part.
 
Imported geometry is also useful for adding sculpted details to meshes. A live link through the GoZ bridge enables interactive sculpting of geometry in Pixologic™ ZBrush® 2021, all while retaining the node's procedural nature in PlantFactory.

Artwork by Aron Kamolz

Loop Nodes

Alternatively, using one node per plant part, a single geometry node can be looped (repeated) a set number of times. This creates organic, self-repeating branching structures with minimum effort and is more powerful than any traditional L-system.

Additional geometry such as leaves, fruits etc. can be grown on all loop iterations, on just a specific one, on all but the last or on the last one only. Loop nodes are the perfect companion for creating believable growth structures with ease.

Autogrowth

Based on the loop node system and biological growth algorithms, PlantFactory includes an Autogrowth node which generates a whole tree or bush with just a single node.
 
Branches and leaves decay naturally depending on the amount of light they receive and the model can grow seamlessly from a seedling into the full tree, thanks to built-in maturity.
 
Creating natural looking vegetation was never easier or quicker.

Advanced Node Dependencies

Advanced Dependencies
Need even more control? There is no limit to how simple or complex a plant can be. Select from any of the 400+ available nodes, which range from dozens of noises and fractals for adding displacement and shading details to filters, to math nodes and color operations.
Any parameter can be extracted as a separate node into the graph or driven by other nodes. Create your own rules and algorithms for shaping each detail exactly how you want it. 
 
Import polygon meshes as nodes and let plants grow over them to create species such as ivy. Nodes can be included or excluded from growth influences and branches will realistically gnarl when they crawl across an object's surface or across the floor. 
 
You can also use nodes to design completely procedural materials directly within PlantFactory.
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