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How to Grow a Tree using DPit FX for Cinema4D

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In today's tutorial, AntwanFX shows us how you can use the incredible DPit FX plugin to grow your very own tree in Cinema 4D. Let's get started!


Additional Files/ Plugins:


Preperational Step

Make two materials, we are going to edit them later. Name them "Leaf" and "Main".

Step 1

Okay, so lets get started. Create a Tree object and go to the "Global" settings. We are going to start with the "Branch Levels" set to 1, as we're going to increase the number of branches later on. Use the settings from the image below.

IMPORTANT: Make sure you click "Create mesh for render". This will generate a mesh only when you actually render your scene, allowing you to create a more complex tree and work faster!

Step 1 Image

Step 2

First, move the time slider forward to the point at which you want your tree to be fully grown. Now lets go to the "Trunk" section of our settings. Use the values shown below and remember to add in some keyframes for the values with a red dot, as below :

Step 2 Image

Step 3

Lets make some roots for our tree. This isn't a super important step or a complicated one, so just use the settings shown below.

Step 2 Image

Step 4

So we are starting with the branches. Go to "Level 1" and lets start creating our first level of branches. There are alot of options here, but just don't freak out! If you understand basic English, you wouldn't need much to understand the majority of the functions - the rest are down to experimentation! So check out the settings I've used in the image below

Step 2 Image
Step 2 Image

Here is an image of what your tree should look like at this point. Don't worry about how it looks; remember that we enabled "Only mesh for render", so what we're seeing is just a draft model. If you'd like, you can uncheck this option but as your machine will have to process a lot more information, it will slow down a lot, especially when we create 4 levels of branches!

Step 4 Image

Step 5

Same thing here, but this time we are doing the second level of branches, so go back to "Global" and change the branch levels to "2". We are doing them one by one so it will be easer to see what we are doing in the viewport, but if you feel comfortable you can make them "4", thats the levels we are going to use. So for the second level of branches use these settings:

Step 2 Image
Step 2 Image

Here is an image of what your tree should look like

Step 2 Image

Step 6

Now we are on the third level of branches. Go to "Global" and swich the levels to "3". Same thing here, use the settings from below:

Step 2 Image
Step 2 Image

Here is an image of what your tree should look like

Step 2 Image

Step 7

Okay. So far so good! We've reached our final branch level, number 4. However, this is actually not going to be used for creating branches - this level is going to be creating our leafs. So before applying the settings below, make sure that you click on "Leaf Mode" and apply the leaf material, which we'll customise in a little bit:

Step 2 Image
Step 2 Image

Here is an image of what your tree should look like

Step 2 Image

Step 8

Okay. We are now done with the tree - let's make our bark material! Go to the middle of the animation, open the material that we named "Main" and apply the following settings. Make sure that you set a keyframe for the "Mix strength" at this point, with a value of 100%.

Step 2 Image

Note : I've used a bark texture that i found here http://fantasystock.deviantart.com/art/Seamless-Tree-Bark-Textures-1-85989407 though make sure you have the rights to use the images you use!

Step 9

We're now going to create our leaf material. Use the settings from below and this time dont worry about any keyframes, this won't be animated in our final render.

Step 2 Image

Again, I don't have the rights to distribute the image I used here, but a quick google search will bring up a LOT of results for leaf images with color/alpha maps!


Step 10

Now let's complete our animation. Since we've already put some keyframes during the creation of the tree all we need to do is go to the beginning of the timeline and add keyframes with a value of "0" for every channel we've animated! Once completed, the curves and dopesheet should look something like this :

Step 2 Image
Step 2 Image


And with that it's time to hit render and go and grab a coffee! Our work here is done. I hope you enjoyed the tutorial, and if you want any more information, just ask!

Here are just a few more examples of what you can quickly create when experimenting with this plugin :

Step 2 Image



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