Arbor Day is this Friday the 24th of April, which means it’s time to shut down your computer, step outside and get your hands dirty planting trees and exploring real-life foliage generation. At the very least give a tree a hug or a loving pat, and let it know that you care.
Once that’s done, head back inside turn your computer back on and get ready check out the massive sale on SpeedTree packages on the Unity Asset Store. Our assets are far more than just a static mesh, bringing carefully tuned LODs, wind effects, collision, and seasonal variations. Need more variation? Our SpeedTree Modeler is available on a subscription basis, letting you use it to edit the assets or create your own from scratch. Use the modeler for as long or as short as you need, everything you make will remain available to you whether you continue the subscription or not. To continue the celebration, our Subscription Modelers are both on sale for $10 dollars off the first month ($19 a month after that) with the code ARBORDAY. The code is valid from until midnight EST April 30th and the sale on the Unity Asset Store will be running until April 29th.
Whats Included with SpeedTree Assets:
Every tree model in the set is available in multiple resolutions:
Hero: A high detail tree that runs well in real-time. These are perfect when there are only a few trees in the scene or if a tree is particularly important (e.g. a big tree at the center of a town). Triangle counts normally exceed 15,000.
Mobile: Right around 1,000 triangles, these are great trees for targeting lower-performance platforms or just to use as distant fillers when billboards won’t do.
Desktop: This is the most commonly used resolution, hitting right in that sweet spot between Hero and Mobile trees. Commonly around 8,000 triangles, this is the default resolution when designing a title for use on PC/Mac, PlayStation® or Xbox®.
Many of the models feature seasonal variations. Deciduous trees all have autumn and winter versions. Others may have snowy variations. Each seasonal variation is modeled in three resolutions: hero, desktop, and mobile.
The SpeedTree Unity 5 integration supports seamless LOD transitions. A typical desktop model might have three discrete LOD levels with triangle counts of 8,000, 4,500, and 1,800, and finally a normal-mapped billboard for very distant rendering. Our artists painstakingly tune the 3D LODs and the transitions in between to keep transitioning artifacts at a minimum.
SpeedTree employs a very scalable wind effects system, supporting anything from simple global wind all the way up to cinematic-level as used in The Lone Ranger and many other feature films. Our Unity 5 models have been artist-tuned specifically for use with the SpeedTree/Unity 5 integration. Once imported, users can adjust the speed/complexity trade-off by editing the Wind Type (e.g. fastest, highest-quality, etc), per material.
For tree models where it’s impractical to model every leaf separately, creating convincing leaf clusters is important (example at right). Many of our models include SPM files to help generate these automatically. Using the Modeler, users can easily tweak the individual leaf sizes, quantities, and color variations. The Modeler will also automatically generate the diffuse, normal, specular and transmission masks – all without ever opening Photoshop®.
In low-polygon modeling, a tree’s trunk and its branches are often modeled as cylinders shoved against other cylidners. Our models take full advantage of SpeedTree’s branch seam reduction feature as integrated into Unity 5. Without using sub-division surface modeling or unwrapping the branch/trunk texture, a smooth seam is still possible where the branches meet the trunk. Because the texture still wraps, a higher overall texture resolution appearance results.
Per-vertex ambient occlusion is included in every tree model, tuned by our artists to darken the interior or otherwise obstructed parts of the tree model. When dynamic shadows aren’t possible, SpeedTree’s ambient occlusion can make a huge difference in rendering quality, especially for the lower-polygon models. The image at right shows a desktop tree model with no dynamic or static shadows and then that same tree with our ambient occlusion applied.
All tree models will have medium-detail collision objects already placed and ready to work with Unity 5.
We supply high-resolution textures with all of our models, often higher than is commonly used in real-time, allowing you to scale down to the resolution you need. Models include diffuse and normal maps with alpha masks. Masked textures also include edge padding to prevent bleeding at lower mip