View Full Version : many trees without ecosystem

09 September 2006, 11:55 AM
I'm doing a landscape with a lot of lanes... ecosystems don't give good results on this, so I decided to place the trees by hand... (using the duplicate function of course :) ). Everything goes fine until now. I've reached approximatly 500 trees now, and that's when I'm running out of resources. I allready divided the trees over different layers so I can turn of most of the trees when working, but as soon as I turn on a layer just to check the position of those trees, my ram memory fills up very quickly. This doesn't result in a crash (it once did, but I can live with that), but the file gets unable to handle. Loading it takes ages and saving it even takes longer.

I thought maybe it's because I use modified trees, so I put them in an ecosystem, but it works fine... I can get over 140.000 trees with ease. Seems that ecosystems turns your trees into very low-poly models (or even textures, I'm not sure), there where normally placed trees remain quite 'high' poly... Any suggestions on getting a handeble file? Is there a possibility to bake the trees into those "eco-tree-versions" for onscreen display?

I allready lowered the "plant instant draw" option, but that doesn't help...

09 September 2006, 01:17 AM
Vue's ecosystems turn trees or whatever model you are using into 'instances' which require less resources. A huge number of trees will bring a powerful machine to its knees (especially Xfrog or Onyx trees). Your best bet is to use eco systems either by controlling them with a grayscale map or by creating planes (if you are using a fairly flat terrain), creating ecosystems on the planes and placing them where you need them.

Hope this helps


09 September 2006, 02:29 AM
I just wanted to add..Theres no need to populate an area with trees or anything for that matter, that wont be seen by the the backside of a mountain...I suggest you plan your camera path..then create the trees..(unless your doing a wide arial shot)

09 September 2006, 09:32 AM
one more thing. it's true that if you modify a plant and make it high quality/poly in the editor, save it and use it in the ecosystem, Vue will use the original/unaltered/normal poly of the plant type(why??) so if you have some shots in which you want your close/up trees to look great you have to place them outside the ecosystem. The rest are greyscale maps for ecosystem management...

09 September 2006, 10:57 AM
First of all, thanks for trying to help me out. I tried all your suggestions, but it seems like none of them is giving the right result (see WIPs).

I'm doing a wide aerial shot, so removing trees is no option.

I didn't use grayscale maps for placing the ecosystem, because it turned out that when using them for creating lanes, they are less acurate then an imported mesh covering the parts you want to populate (of course this is only possible when using a flat terrain). Nevertheless even the imported mesh doesn't give the result I'm looking for. The trees, populated by the ecosystem are placed too randomly.
I hope the next two WIP's will give you an idea of the problem and the result I'm looking for (with less memory consumption of course...)

Version where I placed all the trees by hand. (more trees have to be added, but allready running out of memory >> 2GB in my system)

Version with ecosystem... (only using one type of tree, but it's just a test)

09 September 2006, 12:41 PM
Hey 3D...

I had a go at making your first example using an eco with planes and a grayscale image, and was able to get pretty good result. This was all done with ecosystem.

09 September 2006, 12:47 PM
Wow, seriously, very nice. Is it possible to post the grayscale? And you must have changed some settings, didn't you? I played with decay near foreign objects, density, scaling and size variations... did I miss something?

09 September 2006, 01:07 PM
Heres the scene and image files...Its got to do with the ecosystem settings, check them out, I used the greyscale image in the "variable scaling" function for the half circle..(copy paste the plain then position)...One of the most important parts of the eco settings is "force regular alignment" under the density tab..then play around withe scale and density..The palms were eco'd on a real thin plain (copy/ paste/ position..then I cleared the ecosystem on each of the copies and repopulated so they all didn't look identical)

Heres the link. (

1.Click on the link
2.Go to the "free" icon (bottom right) click.
3.Then you have to wait about 30 seconds, and the download link will become available.
4.Type in the 3 letters, download.

IF you have any trouble, let me know..I can make a video tute

09 September 2006, 05:13 PM
You must really like making video tuts :thumbsup: ... but it's not nessecary this time. Your example file was clear enough. What I don't understand is why you put the grayscale map in the scaling slot? If you do it this way, vue creates let's say 25.000 trees with scale 0 and 200 with scale 100. It looks fine when you render, but when you start saving, it took my computer 1min 30sec to save your file. Loading it takes more than 6min 30sec... Do you have some kind of supercomputer near you? :)
I solved this problem by putting the map in the density slot. Now vue only creates the trees it should create. The result seems to be the same. Or is there any particular reason why you did this?
I'm happy with the result, but it still looks more unregular as when I do it by hand. I'll try to tweak the parameters a bit more. But it seems that the trees always get placed in little groups (I asume due to the alignment, since my lane"axes" are rotated different than the 'normal' XY-axes).

Eco-version 2:

Thanks a lot!

09 September 2006, 01:15 AM
Hey 3D
That Looks HEAPS better than your other eco example. not as precise as by hand but still good..keep tweaking.

I do like making the video tutes..MUCH easier to explain stuff as aposed to text, and much easier to follow...Variable scaling/density..I dont know I just pick one and start playing and see what bigger the trees the less are going to fit on the alocated make them smaller and heaps more fit)..
This example was done on my laptop (1 gig ram, and the video card shares that ram) while desktop was rendering..I'm not sure why it took so long to load..should take a couple of seconds..
What you need is vue 6 so you can paint in the trees, but have them as instances not high polly objects...cant wait!
I made another example using different types of plants and some objects...No clumps. Yes the clumps are due the axis..I rotated one of the plains 45* and got clumps!..keep the alignment x/y (you know) populate, then rotate the plain.

09 September 2006, 07:41 AM
You may want to put the variable orientation to 0, but they will all face the same way:). Play with the ratio density/global size and see how that affects the eco. Furthermore, if you don't like grayscale, you can project curves on surfaces in Maya, cut, and put them in Vue, but that is time consuming.

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