Photorealistic Jungle

This is a scene I’ve been working on for several days, the main objective is to see if it’s possible to make hi poly cinema quality plants(mainly free models from the internet) low poly without losing too much quality. So far things have worked out fine, with a few hours of work I can reduce the polycount of a plant to a reasonable amount and create LODs for it with virtually no visual quality loss. However, trees are a problem because they cast shadows over all the plants and slow the engine down a lot. If there were some way to use static lighting instead of dynamic that would solve the problem, but building the lighting gives me errors and doesn’t work.

Here are some scenes with all the plants I have so far, more plant species and larger trees still have to be added. Once I have all the plants I need I’m going to try and make an actual game level out of them.

Let me know what you think!

Looks good.

Another shot, framerate is about 90FPS on average with a GTX 980.

Looks great! I sent you a PM

Added some larger trees and vines, FPS went down a bit but still stays above 80. (when shadows are turned off it actually goes up to 120FPS!)

The plants are set up in the foliage editor so I can fill a level with a few clicks and then quickly cut a path for the player, the results are really good even when everything is procedurally placed.

Did some more work on my tree model, right now it’s about 40k polys at LOD 0 and 10k at LOD 3. Not ideal, but it definitely looks better than a normal game model with image planes as branches.

Looks great! I don’t understand how it can “look better than a SpeedTree model” though as it’s completely up to the artist. It’s not like SpeedTree lacks the ability to make something at this quality. That’s like saying you can’t make drawings as good as Corel Draw in Photoshop.

Looks fantastic! Are these assets all handcrafted?

Speedtree models (at least the game ones) have flat planes as branches which I think make it look a lot less realistic, though I’ve never tried Speedtree so I don’t know how it works. This model doesn’t use planes, it uses round leaf shapes with image textures for the branches.

No, they are mainly free models from the internet modified to work in a game.

Ah, okay. Looks pretty cool for free models. :slight_smile:

Im doing something similar at the moment and i know how much work you need to put into this. That’s really a great result! :slight_smile:

Looks fantastic. Really digging that water material in the last screenshot there too. Are you using planar reflections for it?

Well it all depends on if you create them with planes for branches or actual branch geometry. Nothing in Speedtree is preventing you from doing so and it’s how it’s used for movie production and the games that choose to have that kind of quality. I’m not trying to be nitpicky, just trying to clear up some common misconceptions about Speedtree.

Yes, it’s the water material from the Kite Demo.

Aren’t there two versions of speedtree, one for games and one for movies? Do they both support actual branch geometry?

You can do branch geometry in the cheap subscriber version. The difference between it and the Cinema, Studio or Architect versions are things like being able to export to FBX and some other formats, access to their pre-made trees/textures, integration into 3d packages such as 3DS, simulate growth and a few more features that aren’t necessary for this.

Ah, thanks! Again, nice work overall, looks gorgeous :slight_smile:

Thank you:)

OK, thanks for explaining. I’ve just never seen any trees from speedtree for UE4 that have actual branch geometry.