SubD Mesh modelWith the release of SpeedTree® Cinema and SpeedTree Studio v7, modeling and rendering of detailed, organic and dynamic foliage becomes even more powerful.  One of the most anticipated new capabilities of version 7 will be subdivision surface modeling, allowing the artist to easily create procedurally generated subdivision surface models that are ideal for “hero tree” pipelines and more.

With version 7, it’s never been easier to generate quads for complex modeling of branch geometry, including branch transitions.  When modeling in the Sub-D method, you can either make one solid Sub-D mesh or combine it with SpeedTree’s traditional polygonal modeling.

SubD model of tree
Sub-D Quad Mesh

The highlights of the new Sub-D feature are:

  • Procedural generation speeds the Sub-D modeling process
  • Sub-D controls are almost identical to traditional SpeedTree controls
  • Use of Hand Drawn features when creating a Sub-D models
  • Precise control of quad distribution
  • Precise control of junctions, including spatial relaxing for smoother intersections
  • Ability to combine Sub-D modeling with traditional polygonal modeling (as shown in the image below)
  • Easy export of subdivided surfaces and cages
  • Bones that are computed inside the cage
SubD graphic icons
SpeedTree Generator

Most importantly, these “watertight” meshes can be exported from SpeedTree and imported into ZBrush and Mudbox® for further enhancement.

Mudbox tree rendering
Example of SpeedTree model imported and edited in Mudbox

Creating a Sub-D model
Here’s a brief preview of how to perform Sub-D modeling in SpeedTree 7.

  1. In the “Generation Window”, you first want to create a “Cage” generator by going to: Add Geometry > SubDivision > Cage.
    TIP: in the “Cage” generators properties, there is an option named “Level” which allows you to set how many times you want the mesh to be subdivided.
  2. Return to the “SubDivision menu to select the “Trunk” generator from the template options.
  3. From here, you can use each generators’ controls and attributes, found in the “Property bar”, to model the tree.
    TIP: Most of the controls that you’ll need to edit the Sub-D mesh will be found under “Branch”, “Spine” and “Segments”.
  4. Under the “Branch” group, you’ll find the attributes that affect the intersection between the trunk and branches for the corresponding generator.
    TIP: Branch intersections can then be made more smooth or harsh using the “Smooth” attribute.

SpeedTree Cinema/Studio 7 deliver a streamlined interface for creating superior freeform 3D surfaces that artists are already getting excited about.  Stay tuned!

Final Subdivision tree rendering

One thought on “Subdivision Surface Modeling in SpeedTree® Cinema-Studio v7

  1. Andrey Pestryakov says:

    Would it be possible to save the tree in the resolution lowpoly and for him normal map from the SubD? But so that UV mesh coincide.

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