View Full Version : How to animate growing plants?

12 December 2003, 06:34 PM
Hey guys. Does anyone know a way to animate a growing plant. I was thinking if LW can animate extrusions and stuff like that, but the parametric data isnŽt stored within the object file.

But it donŽt need to be a extrusion animation, it can be any kind of animation that results on a plant that is growing and expand its leaves, and stuff.

Do you have some sugestions on how to achieve this kind of result? Any tutoŽs?

Thanks very much.


12 December 2003, 07:34 PM

Xfrog, the prog used in time machine (if you've seen the scenes with dynamically growing trees and plants)

Pretty easy to use and powerful.

Also has a LW exporter and can export the animations aswell (if I remember correctly)

paul k.
12 December 2003, 07:58 PM
We really need an internal better way in LW this would give my company a real advantage. I hope to see a way soon.

12 December 2003, 08:20 PM
Well its not gonna be easy either way!
I suggest you make morph targets.
you could build a tree and reverse engineer morph targets.
but that would be take a while...but look the best.

or you could make one branch grow, and piece together clones in layout all over to make branches/trunk into a tree. then animate those, but then thats alot of morphs too. real easy way eh?

you could use particles like SplineGod ( suggests and grow a HV tree...but uh...hmm..well I bet it could look good., but would require alot of particles...hmmm now youve got me thinking though....using parent/child emitters WOULD be the best method to grow something....alas if only that could be translated into 3D models?


12 December 2003, 09:36 PM
Thanks guys.

HowardM: Really tricky and difficult this SplineGod solution. But I beleave it worth trying. It would be nice if there was a way to bake the particles geometry into models as youŽve said.

Real thanks guys. You already gave me a direction to follow.

If you find another nice solutions, please publish it in this post.

In the meantime I will be researching for more possibilities. When IŽm done will let you know what IŽve got.

See you.

12 December 2003, 12:17 AM
Splinegod also has another method he has posted a few times using morph targets. Theres also another tut out there someplace that explains the same thing. Sorry I don't have links for them and I need to leave so unless someone else finds them and posts them before me I'll search for them first thing in the morning.

12 December 2003, 12:29 AM
Hi Slot,
Actually making the vines grow using HVs is very easy to do.
Essentially you make guides. I made them using splines and then converted to strings of 2 point polys. I used those as particle emitters with nozzle set to object vertices. It will then emit a particle per vertex based on point order. That means when combined with HVs the vine appears to grow. Using gradients based on particle age you can make the vines get thicker with age, change color and get bumpier.
For leaves and flowers what I would do is make one with the blooming done as a morph target. Those can be cloned along the vines. The morphs can be activated manually, via expressions of by using normal displacement based on a texture or gradients using distance to object.
Normal displacement can also be used in conjunction with vines morphing along a chain of bones.

Facial Deluxe
12 December 2003, 06:35 AM
Tree Cage, ,
Allows to make tree growing, works well, is free, worth the try....

12 December 2003, 03:33 PM
SplineGod: Really amazing solution. IŽll have to work a little more on it to have some control over it. Thanks.

Facial Deluxe: It seems to be a very nice plug-in. Maybe it can solve my problem, if I can manage to make it grow in a very organic way. IŽll try to combine it with bones, I donŽt know.

Thanks very muck guys.

12 December 2003, 07:52 PM
Hi Slot,
Thanks! I hope it works out. Usually these things tend to be a combination of several approaches. Id be interested in seeing what you come up with. :)

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