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How to hand draw a specific kind of tree

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  • How to hand draw a specific kind of tree

    These might seem like simple questions that aren't worth addressing but I've spent many hours trying to figure out solutions to these problems and I'm coming up empty handed.

    1. How do you hand draw a tree that already has materials and branch presets? For example, I want to make a cherry tree shaped like a dragon coming out of the ground - is there a way to have the trunk generated be a cherry tree trunk?

    Looking at the bonsai video he starts from scratch and the trunk generated already has materials, and he draws out bonsai branches automatically.

    2. How do you select a point in space to start generating a trunk? In the walkthrough for the horseman, it's noted that the trunk for the body is generated above the legs. How is that done?

    3. If you open up a .spm file, how do you bring in other .spm into that same scene? For example if I created a tree and I want to have it covered in vines or ivy, how do I do that? I only see an option for imported meshes without materials or other presets.

    Thanks
    Last edited by tom.gray2015; 12-11-2014, 05:29 AM.

  • #2
    Hi,

    I'll be more than happy to answer your questions.

    1. To make a hand-drawn version of a tree that already exists, you need to select the generators that you want to hand-draw (I usually chose the trunk and level 1 generators, the rest will automatically appear), right click --> 'Hand Drawing' --> 'Convert to hand drawn' for each of the generators. Then delete the connection between the 'Trunk' node and the tree icon and make sure that the 'Radius' (under 'Tree Properties' --> 'Shape') is set to a value other than 0. After this you should be able to hand draw that tree anyway you like!

    2. The body isn't generate from a point in space. In the walk-through it states that "After drawing the ÔÇ£legs,ÔÇØ a torso needed to be built. Instead of drawing the torso directly from the top of a leg, a hidden base for the torso was put in place to sit on top of. That way, the legs could be manipulated as necessary without affecting the position of the rest of the body. Additionally, the torso needed to be thicker than would be permitted as children of the legs (in general, branch radius is limited by the radius of the parent node)." Afterwards that torso is hidden.

    3. Unfortunately, you cannot import another SPM file into a already exiting SPM file. However, the technique of growing vines of a tree doesn't need that step. Select all the generators that you wish the vines to grow off (such as the Trunk and Level 1 branches: my advice is not to add too many level because then it will slow down) and go to the 'Tools' option in menu bar and select 'Create Collection from Selection'. That way, in the the same file, when you creates thin trunk generators for the vines, you can add the collection as a force by clicking the forces icon above the viewport --> 'Add Force' --> 'Mesh' --> 'name of your collection'. The collection force will have properties that needs to be set: such as 'Force Action' - ''Attract' and 'Force Action' - 'Obstruct'. Then enable the force in the generator making the vines forces (in the property bar on the left hand side). From then on it is just finding a balance with the other forces and the the collection force to get the look you want.

    Here's some documentation on Collections: http://docs.speedtree.com/doku.php?id=collections

    I hope this helps!

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    • #3
      So I think I followed your advice correctly. But when I press "space" to draw, nothing appears. I don't see any radius from which to draw like I do if I make a new file and go "add geometry" > "hand drawn"
      Click image for larger version

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      • #4
        From the image you sent me, you need to reconnect the nodes after disconnecting them. Also, the circle radius will appear when you edit the radius I mentioned earlier from 0 to a larger value like 5 or 10. To change the value of the radius go to 'Tree Properties' -> 'Shape' -> 'Radius'.

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        • #5
          Hm... I apologize if I'm missing something obvious but in the pic I sent the radius is at 10 and I still don't see the circle radius. That's with the disconnected tree node selected. When you say I need to reconnect the nodes after I disconnect them, I'm assuming that's after I've been able to draw a new trunk.

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          • #6
            The reason you disconnect the nodes is to be able t start from scratch by hand drawing a tree that already existing. So once you disconnect them, you need to reconnect it again and then you'll be able to hold down the space bar and hand draw.

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            • #7
              I seriously feel like crying right now. I'm quite certain that I did what you suggested, and that it still doesn't work.

              1. I open tree.
              2. I select trunk and level 1 generators and convert them to hand drawn
              3. I delete the connection between the trunk and the tree (at this point I've tried drawing without the connection established and it doesn't work.)
              4. I reconnect the trunk and the tree
              5. I try drawing

              At no point does a radius from which to draw appear, and nothing hand drawn ever gets generated. I've always made sure that the tree radius is *not* 0, but it still doesn't change anything.

              I really do appreciate your responding to this issue, this software has so much potential so it's really exasperating not being able to understand how to get basic functions working.

              Click image for larger version

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              Last edited by tom.gray2015; 12-12-2014, 05:51 PM.

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              • #8
                Hi,

                From the steps you've taken, you have done everything correct in the set-up. The only thing left that can prevent you from seeing the zone circle and from hand drawing is if your zone is not visible. Above the view port is a icon named 'Show', click on this and a drop down menu should appear. You should notice that unlike the others, 'Zone' won't have a check by it, so just select 'Zone' and the radius circle should appear and you should be able to hand draw.

                This should fix it.

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                • #9
                  Oh my God, it's so beautiful! Thank you Uhhh, if you don't mind me asking more questions:

                  How can I toggle off hand drawing mode on generators? After I convert the level 1 generator to hand drawn, for example, I can't seem to switch it off so that I can change between drawing full branches and twigs.

                  How can I add a new zone and start drawing a new tree from that zone? I'm assuming that with the headless horsemen, when they mention creating a "hidden base" that they created a new zone?

                  How can I change the size/inflate specific regions of the trunk/branches? Like if I grow a new branch and the base is thick but the rest is skinny?

                  Thanks again!
                  Last edited by tom.gray2015; 12-13-2014, 11:03 PM.

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