Help Modeling a Tree in Maya


I’m trying to get a tree in my scene (close up scene). Paint Effects used plain cards for the leave, which are only seen during render. Is there a way to convert those leaves cards into normal editable leaf polys?
I could use paintEffect Stem/Branches/Twigs, but I need to change the leaves to look more realistic.
Should I model one leaf and start placing them manually on the tree?
Is there any way to populate and attach leaves to the tree?



No Maya user here, but …

Should I model one leaf and start placing them manually on the tree?

Wrong approach imho. When you model a tree by hand then you usually go the other way around. You model from small to big. From detail to the general shape. First some leaves, then some twigs where you attach the leaves to. Then some branches where you attach the twigs to… Then some bigger branches where you attach the smaller branches to. And finally attach the big branches to the trunk.

But i would simply use a tree generating software. The result is unbeatable :slight_smile:

HTH Tiles


Thanks so much. You nailed it. Paint Effect does it.
But now, I’m wondering if there a way to separate the leafs in pack of 6 or 9 in the UV section cos Maya piles all the leafs in one pile on top of each other. I would like to make a pile of 4 or 6 or 9, so I can apply different leaf texture so all of the leaf won’t be looking the same.


One approach could be to use a texture with different colored leafs. And randomize the UV of the single leaves. Like you do with a blade of grass.

Vertex colors with falloff could be another approach, mixing them with the texture colors.

Or you use different leaf meshes when you start to model already.


I don’t know if what you are saying is the same thing that Maya default leaf textures come with. See the first image below. Also with Maya Shading network, the appearance of the leafs changes as you rotate the camera. I don’t know how they did that. They used Phong material, and I’m struggling to replicate the same with Arnold materials.


Well, you use one leaf texture for the whole tree. Use different ones. This can be done at one texture, by placing parts of the UV at different locations.