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how to go about designing a manicured tree like Japan Black Pine?

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  • how to go about designing a manicured tree like Japan Black Pine?


    I have had the Modeler and subscription for almost a year, but never really got much use out of it to be honest. I kinda understand the general flow of the tool but when I dove in to make a tree I really care about, it just didn't seem that intuitive how I would accomplish it.

    In Japan, a very common sight is a manicured pine tree, specifically a Japanese Black Pine (pinus thunbergii). I imagine I would make a geometry and texture of a tuft of needles. When this tree is manicured, any tufts of needles which point downward are pruned away, leaving only upward facing tufts. Not sure how to constrain that in the modeler. Secondly, I kinda imagine I would want to draw the main trunk line which may be forced to lean out, as many trees are trained to lean over entrance gates as if planted over a riverbank. And lastly, the child branches tend to be pruned as the tree grows, so that they are not regularly spaced, but are spaced in clusters which are often in a shared plane as if it were growing between two walls. Go up a while, a couple branches out, go up a while, a couple branches out, and so on. I was not able to really get a convincing set of parameters as I fumbled around the Modeler.

    This pruning technique (whether for bonsai or estate displays) gives an appearance of islands of rich needle coverage, and a striking silhouette from one side.

    https://i.imgur.com/YkK8Yv9.jpg

    https://i.imgur.com/MEhX3ki.jpg

    https://i.imgur.com/HmV2tCP.jpg

  • #2
    Hi Halley,

    Sorry that you seem to be having trouble, I will answer you question in order below.

    1. For the needles, I would actually orient them so all of them are pointing up and a small bell like shape placed on the 'Align' curve so that they fan out some around the edges. There isn't a Leaf prune based on direction, however if you wanted to remove any twigs pointing down (which causes the Needle tuft to grow in the wrong direction) you can use the 'Spine' -> 'Prune' -> 'Down' property. This will remove any branches pointing down.

    2. As for the shape of the trunk, there are a couple of ways you can achieve this.
    - Create the Trunk using Hand-drawing. Here is a tutorial about Hand-drawing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNT1cznRffg&t=26s
    - You can also just edit the shape of the procedurally generated trunk by using the 'Spine' -> 'Noise' -> 'Late' property (along with it's blue curve) and the 'Spine' -> 'Gravity' property (and it's blue curve).

    3. For pruning/broken branches, I would suggest using the Generation -> 'Knock out' property along with its curves to control where the prune occurs and then use the 'Spine' -> 'Break' property (along with it's curves) to break the lower branches on the trunk.

    Here is a link to the tutorial about Parent Curves: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IW5qoOKJfzA&t=3s
    A link to the documentation page about curves: http://docs8.speedtree.com/modeler/doku.php?id=kccurves

    All of these put together should help you get the tree looking the way you want.

    Hope this helps!

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