VFX Fridays: Dancing With SpeedTrees

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Straightface Studio and the Pacific Northwest Ballet

Sometimes SpeedTree shows up in where you least expect, such as a performance of the Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” by the Pacific Northwest Ballet. Straightface Studio livened up the overture by creating an animated intro to set the stage (pun intended) for the performance.

We were honored to be asked by the Pacific Northwest Ballet to create an opening video for the new version of The Nutcracker by George Balanchine featuring original designs by ‘Olivia’ illustrator Ian Falconer.
The animation is played live during Tchaikovsky’s Overture to open the show and takes you through an 1880’s New England forest, a small town, and finally arrives at the Stahlbaum house where you join up with some unexpected little visitors.

Be sure to check out more of Straightface Studios work at their site.


Josh Johnson of VFX Daily and “Looking Glass” by Derek Lam

We’ve seen Josh Johnson’s SpeedTree work in indie films such as One & Two and in the above video, he uses SpeedTree Studio to add multiple animated vines to match the stationary vines that were already in place in the last two shots (Spoiler Alert).  We often talk about SpeedTree when it shows up in huge films, but this is a great example of how the right tool can make a difference in a smaller project.  SpeedTree Studio doesn’t offer animated growth so Josh used C4D to create the effect. All compositing was done in NUKE along with some flower petals rendered with Arnold.

Check out more Josh Johnsons impressive work at www.vfxdaily.com  as well as his SIGGRAPH 2015 talk on his work in indie films.

Learn more about SpeedTree studio or go to Store.SpeedTree.com to try an evaluation today!

Happy Valentine’s Weekend!

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Coupon Code:  TREEHUGS

Coupon valid for single use until 2/15/2016

From everyone here at SpeedTree we’re thankful for all of our wonderful SpeedTree Users, so enjoy a discount on us.  Remember, SpeedTree users with an active subscription get an extra 15% off that stacks.

What makes SpeedTree models so special? How many features are packed into each model? Details here.

  • Hero, desktop, and mobile resolutions
  • Tuned lightmap UVs for UE4, all LODs
  • Tuned LOD transitions
  • Tuned wind effects
  • Preset ambient occlusion
  • Leaf map maker SPM files
  • Branch seam blending used

Unity 5

Unreal Engine 4

Don’t forget about our February Bonus Content as well, free for active subscribers!

VFX Fridays: SpeedTree in Jurassic World

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Industrial Light and Magic is nominated for a 2016 Oscar for their work on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but that wasn’t the only major blockbuster they worked on in 2015. Jurassic World roared into theatres this past summer breaking box office records and almost taking the prize for biggest movie of the year, if not for that other film involving a war in outer space. In the latest ‘Behind the Magic’ VFX breakdown Industrial Light and Magic used our award winning SpeedTree Cinema to bring the titular park to life.  Starting at 16 seconds in, the camera pans out of a hotel room to offer a sweeping view of the park featuring lush jungles created using SpeedTrees.  SpeedTree Cinema was created exactly for shots like this, giving artists the ability to quickly fill entire worlds and to blend easily with the real trees shot on location as well as the ability to fine tune individual trees to stand on their own. It’s one of the many reasons it’s become the standard for VFX vegetation in everything from movies to tv and even Taylor Swift’s latest music video. ILM first made use of SpeedTree in Avatar and has used SpeedTree in many of the films they’ve worked on since, including a shot featuring animated growth developed explicitly for Noah.

For more prehistoric VFX, check out our friends at Image Engine’s breakdown of their work on the film. If the future is more your speed, ILM also released a ‘Behind the Magic’ video showcasing their work on Tomorrowland (which also featured SpeedTree).

Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more VFX and SpeedTree news!

 

 

February Bonus Content

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February Bonus Content

2016 is almost here and we’ve got a new set of models for all active subscribers to our Unity 5 and Unreal Engine 4 Modeler. Each model comes in either a Hero, Desktop, or Mobile resolution. These assets will include all the variations (Fall, Winter, Summer) as well as any leaf map makers associated with that model.  Once you’ve downloaded these assets they will be yours to use whether you maintain the subscription or not. Each month will include a hero model, a desktop model, and a mobile model.

AVAILABLE 2/1/16


Hero Resolution:
 Southern Magnolia (5 Models & 3 Leaf Map Makers)

Desktop Resolution: Date Palm,  (2 Models)

Desktop Resolution: Bird of Paradise,  (1 Models)

Mobile Resolution: Elderberry, mobile resolution (5 Models & 2 Leaf Map Makers)

15% Off Our SpeedTree Store

Our store is constantly growing and offers a variety of packages and individual trees. Now with an active subscription to our modeler you can get 15% off our models to use as a starting point for new species or simply to fill your world with unlimited variations of the foliage of your choice. Our models come with artist-tuned wind and LOD effects as well as multiple seasons and variations for any project. (Learn more about what makes our SpeedTree’s special for UE4 or Unity 5)

If you are already a subscriber, you can take advantage of this discount simply by logging into our store.

If you aren’t already a subscriber, head over to our store to get your subscription for just$19 dollars a month  stop or start at any time and keep all the assets that you’ve created.

New content available Feb 1, 2016
Unity 5 Subscription
  and Bonus Content

UE4 Subscription and Bonus Content

 

 

January Subscription Modeler Bonus Content

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January Bonus Content

2016 is almost here and we’ve got a new set of models for all active subscribers to our Unity 5 and Unreal Engine 4 Modeler. Each model comes in either a Hero, Desktop, or Mobile resolution. These assets will include all the variations (Fall, Winter, Summer) as well as any leaf map makers associated with that model.  Once you’ve downloaded these assets they will be yours to use whether you maintain the subscription or not. Each month will include a hero model, a desktop model, and a mobile model.

AVAILABLE 1/1/16
Hero Resolution:
 American Sycamore (3 Models & 5 Needle Map Maker)

Desktop Resolution: Hollywood Juniper,  (4 Models)

Mobile Resolution: Cherry Tree, mobile resolution (4 Models & 4 Needle Map Makers)

15% Off Our SpeedTree Store

Our store is constantly growing and offers a variety of packages and individual trees. Now with an active subscription to our modeler you can get 15% off our models to use as a starting point for new species or simply to fill your world with unlimited variations of the foliage of your choice. Our models come with artist-tuned wind and LOD effects as well as multiple seasons and variations for any project. (Learn more about what makes our SpeedTree’s special for UE4 or Unity 5)

If you are already a subscriber, you can take advantage of this discount simply by logging into our store.

If you aren’t already a subscriber, head over to our store to get your subscription for just$19 dollars a month  stop or start at any time and keep all the assets that you’ve created.

New content available 1/1/16
Unity 5 Subscription
  and Bonus Content

UE4 Subscription and Bonus Content

 

 

Happy Holidays! Free SpeedTrees!

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Holidays3We’ve had a great year thanks to all of our amazing SpeedTree Users. As a thank-you, we’re offering a coupon for 25% off a purchase from our store as well as the return of the free Christmas Speedtree! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Coupon Code:  Holidays2015

Coupon valid for single use until 2/1/2016
Free Christmas Tree!

Thumb_Christmas_Tree_Hero

What’s Included?

  • Christmas tree in hero, desktop, and mobile resolutions
  • 42 high-resolution diffuse, normal, and specular maps
  • 5 leaf map maker SPM files (utilities for easily creating and adjusting leaf-group textures,Modeler subscription needed)

Extras

What makes SpeedTree models so special? How many features are packed into each model? Details here.

  • Hero, desktop, and mobile resolutions
  • Tuned lightmap UVs for UE4, all LODs
  • Tuned LOD transitions
  • Tuned wind effects
  • Preset ambient occlusion
  • Leaf map maker SPM files
  • Branch seam blending used

Unity 5

Unreal Engine 4

Bonus Content

Don’t forget about our December Bonus Content as well, free for active subscribers!

Decemberbonuscontent

 

UPDATE-New Ground Cover Models On Sale Now!

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We’ve added four new varieties of ground cover plants to our SpeedTree store that range from the shrubbery to the cultivated cash crops.  These models come with multiple variations each in different resolutions to work in as many different projects as possible. Whether you are working on an arch/viz render that needs some greenery for an apartment or you are doing a mobile farm simulation game, these should get you on the right track. Also don’t forget about our December bonus content and the 15% discount that all active subscribers receive!  This knocks the current on sale price of $16 dollars to $13.60!

Per usual all models come with:

  • Hero, desktop, and mobile resolutions
  • Collision objects
  • Tuned LOD transitions
  • Tuned wind effects
  • Preset ambient occlusion
  • Branch seam blending used

Vinca Major (Vinca Major)-Just Added

Vinca_Major_Cluster_Hero_1 Vinca_Major_Hero_1 Vinca_Major_Hero_2

 

 

 

Commonly known as Greater Periwinkle or Blue Periwinkle. This evergreen perennial often used as cultivated ground cover can grow up to 10 in. (25 cm.) tall.

What’s Included?

  • Four models in hero resolution
  • Four models in desktop resolution
  • Three models in mobile resolution
  • 13 high-resolution diffuse, normal, and specular maps

Unity 5

Unreal Engine 4

Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum l.

Thumb_Tobacco_HeroThumb_Tobacco_Cluster_HeroThumb_Tobacco_Cluster_Desktop_Flowers_1

 

 

 

 

Tobacco plant, harvested for its leaves which are dried and processed for smoking and chewing. Prominent crop in the southeastern United States.

What’s Included?

  • Six models in hero resolution
  • Six models in desktop resolution
  • Six models in mobile resolution
  • 16 high-resolution diffuse, normal, and specular maps

Unity 5

Unreal Engine 4

Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)

Thumb_Boston_Fern_Hero_1

 

 

A popular house-plant, this fern is native to Florida, the West Indies, and the Asian Pacific.

What’s Included?

  • Four models in hero resolution
  • Four models in desktop resolution
  • Four models in mobile resolution
  • 18 high-resolution diffuse, normal, and specular maps

Unity 5

Unreal Engine 4

Rock Fern (Cryptogramma acrostichoides

 

 

 

This fern, also known as a rockbrake, grows on craggy cliff faces in mountainous regions. They are known to grow in dense blankets.

What’s Included?

  • Three models in hero resolution
  • Three models in desktop resolution
  • Three models in mobile resolution
  • 9 high-resolution diffuse, normal, and specular maps

Unity 5

Unreal Engine 4

Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens)

Thumb_Ocotillo_Hero_BareThumb_Ocotillo_Hero_2Thumb_Ocotillo_Hero_1

 

 

 

Ocotillo (also called Vine Cactus or Jacob’s Staff) is native to the southeastern US and Mexico. During periods of drought its branches appear dead, but quickly become covered in leaves after rainfall. Flowers bloom in spring and summer.

What’s Included?

  • Four models in hero resolution
  • Four models in desktop resolution
  • Three models in mobile resolution
  • 13 high-resolution diffuse, normal, and specular maps

Unity 5

Unreal Engine 4

SpeedTree featured in ‘In The Heart of The Sea’

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SpeedTree at Sea

A top end-of-year oscar contenders, In The Heart of The Sea is making a splash at theatres today and features SpeedTree technology.  Although as the title suggests, much of the movie takes place in the oceans off the coast of South America,  Rodeo VFX used Academy Award winning SpeedTree Cinema for the moments when the besieged sailors find land.

Based on the book of the same name, this epic recounting of the story behind Moby Dick is helmed by director Ron Howard and stars hollywood heavywieghts Chris Hemsworth and Cillian Murphy.

Rodeo VFX has made extensive of SpeedTree in movies and television also includes Game of Thrones S4, Unbroken, Mirror Mirror, Jack and the Giant, and Birdman

Video Game Awards 2015

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game-awards-2015

What a year! The Game Awards 2015 helps bring this phenomenal year of gaming to a close by recognizing the great games being made by both indie and AAA studios.  Judged by an international jury of peers the ceremony in features 22 categories that cover the breadth of the industry, with categories ranging from ‘E-sport Player of the Year’ (Kenny “KennyS” Schrub) to ‘Best Fan Creation’ (Portal Stories: Mel ‘Prism Studios’).

Winning overall Game of The Year is The Witcher 3 by CD Projekt Red (who also won Developer of The Year) which features one of the deepest integrations of SpeedTree yet.  Our relationship with CD Projekt Red began ten years ago (almost to the day) and SpeedTree has been proud to be a part of the entire Witcher series of games.In The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt CD Projekt Red combined stunning art direction with technical prowess to become the most impressive use of SpeedTree that we’ve seen to date.  Destiny: The Taken King, Assassins Creed Syndicate, and Batman Arkham Knight, Forza Motorsport 6 are a few of the other nominees on this list who feature SpeedTree for Games technology.

Congrats to all the winners and nominees from us here at SpeedTree! We’re proud to be a part of such an exciting industry and look forward to a great year for games (and SpeedTree) in 2016!

Check out the video from the award ceremony below and a list of all the winners and nominees.

 GAME OF THE YEAR

Bloodborne (From Software/Sony Computer Entertainment)
Fallout 4 (Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks)
Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain (Kojima Productions/Konami)
Super Mario Maker (Nintendo EAD Group No. 4/Nintendo)
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (CD Projekt Red/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)

DEVELOPER OF THE YEAR

Bethesda Game Studios
CD Projekt Red
From Software
Kojima Productions
Nintendo

BEST INDEPENDENT GAME

Axiom Verge (Tom Happ)
Her Story (Sam Barlow)
Ori and the Blind Forest (Moon Studios/Microsoft Studios)
Rocket League (Psyonix)
Undertale (tobyfox)

BEST MOBILE/HANDHELD GAME

Downwell (Moppin/Devolver Digital)
Fallout Shelter (Bethesda Game Studios|Behaviour Interactive/Bethesda Softworks)
Lara Croft Go (Square Enix Montreal/Square Enix)
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (Capcom)
Pac-Man 256 (Hipster Whale/Bandai Namco Entertainment)

BEST NARRATIVE

Her Story (Sam Barlow)
Life is Strange (Dontnod Entertainment/Square Enix)
Tales From the Borderlands (Telltale Games)
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (CD Projekt Red/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
Until Dawn (Supermassive Games/Sony Computer Entertainment)

BEST ART DIRECTION

Batman: Arkham Knight (Rocksteady Studios/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
Bloodborne (From Software/Sony Computer Entertainment)
Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain (Kojima Productions/Konami)
Ori and the Blind Forest (Moon Studios/Microsoft Studios)
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (CD Projekt Red/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)

BEST SCORE/SOUNDTRACK

Fallout 4 (Inon Zur/Bethesda Game Studios)
Halo 5: Guardians (Kazuma Jinnouchi/343 Industries)
Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain (Ludvig Forssell, Justin Burnett, Daniel James/Kojima Productions)
Ori and the Blind Forest (Gareth Coker/Moon Studios)
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (Marcin Przybyłowicz, Mikolai Stroinski, Percival/CD Projekt Red)

BEST PERFORMANCE

Ashly Burch as Chloe Price (Life is Strange)
Camilla Luddington as Lara Croft (Rise of the Tomb Raider)
Doug Cockle as Geralt (The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt)
Mark Hamill as The Joker (Batman: Arkham Knight)
Viva Seifert (Her Story)

GAMES FOR CHANGE

Cibele (Nina Freeman)
Her Story (Sam Barlow)
Life is Strange (Dontnod Entertainment/Square Enix)
Sunset (Tale of Tales)
Undertale (tobyfox)

BEST SHOOTER

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (Treyarch/Activision)
Destiny: The Taken King (Bungie/Activision)
Halo 5: Guardians (343 Industries/Microsoft Studios)
Splatoon (Nintendo EAD Group No. 2/Nintendo)
Star Wars Battlefront (EA DICE/Electronic Arts)

BEST ACTION/ADVENTURE GAME

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate (Ubisoft Quebec/Ubisoft)
Batman: Arkham Knight (Rocksteady Studios/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain (Kojima Productions/Konami)
Ori and the Blind Forest (Moon Studios/Microsoft Studios)
Rise of the Tomb Raider (Crystal Dynamics/Microsoft Studios)

BEST ROLE-PLAYING GAME

Bloodborne (From Software/Sony Computer Entertainment)
Fallout 4 (Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks)
Pillars of Eternity (Obsidian Entertainment/Paradox Interactive)
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (CD Projekt Red/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
Undertale (tobyfox)

BEST FIGHTING GAME

Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign- (Arc System Works/Aksys Games)
Mortal Kombat X (NetherRealm Studios/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
Rise of Incarnates (Bandai Namco Entertainment)
Rising Thunder (Radiant Entertainment)

BEST FAMILY GAME

Disney Infinity 3.0 (Avalanche Software/Disney Interactive)
Lego Dimensions (TT Games/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
Skylanders SuperChargers (Vicarious Visions|Beenox/Activision)
Splatoon (Nintendo EAD Group No. 2/Nintendo)
Super Mario Maker (Nintendo EAD Group No. 4/Nintendo)

BEST SPORTS/RACING GAME

FIFA 16 (EA Canada/Electronic Arts)
Forza Motorsport 6 (Turn 10 Studios/Microsoft Studios)
NBA 2K16 (Visual Concepts/2K Sports)
Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 (PES Productions/Konami)
Rocket League (Psyonix)

BEST MULTIPLAYER

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (Treyarch/Activision)
Destiny: The Taken King (Bungie/Activision)
Halo 5: Guardians (343 Industries/Microsoft Studios)
Rocket League (Psyonix)
Splatoon (Nintendo EAD Group No. 2/Nintendo)

MOST ANTICIPATED GAME

Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerrilla Games/Sony Computer Entertaiment)
No Man’s Sky (Hello Games)
Quantum Break (Remedy Entertainment/Microsoft Studios)
The Last Guardian (GenDesign/Sony Computer Entertainment)
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Naughty Dog/Sony Computer Entertainment)

ESPORTS PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Kenny “KennyS” Schrub (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive/Team EnVyUs)
Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok (League of Legends/SK Telecom T1)
Olof “olofmeister” Kajbjer (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive/Fnatic)
Peter “ppd” Dager (Dota 2/Evil Geniuses)
Syed Sumail “Suma1L” Hassan (Dota 2/Evil Geniuses)

ESPORTS TEAM OF THE YEAR

Evil Geniuses
Fnatic
Optic Gaming
SK Telecom T1
Team SoloMid

ESPORTS GAME OF THE YEAR

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (Sledgehammer Games/Activision)
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (Valve)
Dota 2 (Valve)
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft (Blizzard Entertainment)
League of Legends (Riot Games)

TRENDING GAMER

Total Biscuit
Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles
Greg Miller
Markiplier
PewDiePie

BEST FAN CREATION

GTA 5 – Targets (Hoodoo Operator)
Real GTA (Corridor Digital)
Portal Stories: Mel (Prism Studios)
Super Mario Maker e-Reader Levels (Baddboy78 / theycallmeshaky)
Twitch Plays Dark Souls (Twitch Community)

December Subscription Bonus Content

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Decemberbonuscontent

December Bonus Content

The leftover turkey has barely cooled and we’ve got a whole new batch of free SpeedTrees for our Subscribers. Each model comes in either a Hero, Desktop, or Mobile resolution. These assets will include all the variations (Fall, Winter, Summer) as well as any leaf map makers associated with that model.  Once you’ve downloaded these assets they will be yours to use whether you maintain the subscription or not. Each month will include a hero model, a desktop model, and a mobile model.

December_2015_Wide

Hero Resolution: Colorado Blue Spruce (3 Models & 2 Needle Map Maker)

Desktop Resolution: Scots Pine,  (3 Models)

Mobile Resolution: Douglas Fir, mobile resolution (3 Models & 2 Needle Map Makers)

15% Off Our SpeedTree Store

Our store is constantly growing and offers a variety of packages and individual trees. Now with an active subscription to our modeler you can get 15% off our models to use as a starting point for new species or simply to fill your world with unlimited variations of the foliage of your choice. Our models come with artist-tuned wind and LOD effects as well as multiple seasons and variations for any project. (Learn more about what makes our SpeedTree’s special for UE4 or Unity 5)

If you are already a subscriber, you can take advantage of this discount simply by logging into our store.

If you aren’t already a subscriber, head over to our store to get your subscription for just$19 dollars a month  stop or start at any time and keep all the assets that you’ve created.

Unity 5 Subscription  and Bonus Content

UE4 Subscription and Bonus Content