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Orienting clusters on a game ready tree

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  • Orienting clusters on a game ready tree


    I have 2 clusters that I want to populate a game ready birch tree with, one is a side view of a branch, the other is a top view of a branch. I would like to place the clusters in a cross pattern, like the image below, to fake volume with few triangles, but I'm having trouble controlling their orientation.

    Click image for larger version

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    How do I make sure the side view cluster's anchor is always pointing down in world space (it can still rotate around global z-axis, but not around global x- or y-axis)? Also, how do I make sure the top view cluster is always face up (anchor not pointing up or down)?

    I currently have the clusters as a frond-node sitting on a spline-node with a gravity force to make the side view cluster point down, which deforms the cluster in a weird way as the anchor is pointing in a random direction, and I haven't succeeded in making the top down cluster point face up. I have also tried pruning, but found it to be unreliable for this task.

    I'm trying to nail one branch at the moment, here's what it looks like:

    Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    Hey Karsten: if you use a leaf generator (instead of a frond gen on a branch spline) and duplicate it, there is an option in the leaf gen properties > skin to cross. That is your "traditional" criss-cross plant setup. Our lead artist gave me some helpful tips to pass on regarding your cluster facings questions:

    To orient the leaf mesh upward, use orientation, unification: global > sky influence 1 to have the clusters face up. Then duplicate and cross as described above.
    You can also copy the leaf and use "final adjustment > right" to turn them.

    The orientation of the anchor is decided by the direction the toggle is placed in the leaf cutout; it's better to use an anchor.

    Another good practice for the anchor is to take out any orientation controls, make sure the mesh cutout has the anchors in good positions, and use just the final adjustments up and out, or curl and fold to further shape the clusters.

    Hope this helps!


    • #3

      Thanks, that did the trick!