Procedural Plant Generator. It's not a Crazy Idea, is it?

Since we already have a very advanced terrain creator/editor, Why not include a procedural trees and plant generator linked with other tools like “Landscape”, “Material Editor”, “Mesh Paint” and “Foliage Instanced Meshes”, all in one. We already have splines since early days. I could suggest a dynamic weather system, but this seems to going far beyond the our scope, not seems?

I believe unreal has the potential to generate something much better than this!/content/27457

Luny :3

That’s what Speedtree is for

…taking a full advantage, usability and performance directly into the Unreal Editor, without depending of a middleware and your own external workflow.

All I saw so far in the Editor led me to believe that it is technically possible but, may not be a priority for Epic. But it is my suggestion.

The other software has this feature as a plugin/script. It does not look perfect, but …

Why not join Cascade Particle Editor, Spline Mesh Generator, Material Editor, Foliage Instanced Meshes, Build-In Lod and colision system, Mesh Paint Mode and eventually Persona for physics and skeletal animation for deformation and wind simulation.

Create a tree or plant would be only another interface with several sliders and adjusting curves, taking advantage of all the tools mentioned, but this time in trees editor mode like SpeedTree.

A window as a blueprint could be exelente to build a procedural tree using nodes for root, trunk, branches, leaves … including operators and functions.

It’s just another crazy idea, and nothing else.


Speedtree could easily do that, since they already have a plugin for UE4. Since speedtree is so far ahead it would take a lot of work to get something at that level or better developed by Epic. The only inconvenience to using Speedtree is that you have to export a file, and that’s a small inconvenience.

You can easily do that with a blueprint actor using construction script too… it’s not that hard as you may find for trees. But can turn really complicated in terms of modelling.

I do not think like that. Building a procedural tree is only a methodology, Epic with UnrealEditor already have all necessary tools in itself.

Have you seen the power of splines created by some members from here using some ingenuity?

After developing something like Unreal, I do not think that something like SpeedTree is so far beyond. Because the Unreal already has all the features for it.:wink:

I do not think blueprint is a more efficient method for achieve this

But as I said. It is only an idea. Perhaps beyond the scope.:cool:

But as I see the Landscape editor/generator, Foliage Instanced Meshes, Mesh Paint, Cascade Particle Editor…

I believe be an elegant way to make a more comprehensive editor.:cool:

And why not, go to beyond, at a weather system, to implementing all the previous tools like Cascade Particle Editor (standardized for storm, hurricane, rain, lightning, snow, volumetric cloud system), Material Editor, Decal Actor, Foliage Instanced Meshes, Terrain Editor, Mesh Paint, Dynamic Post Process Volume, Color Grading LUT, Mie scattering, Simple Times of Day Engine (a time dependent directional light and skylight), and fully configurable skybox with multilayered and animated clouds, stars, planets and sun, all customizable and organized in a new VFX Window/Tab.

And, will be the more complete and powerfull for a long time.:cool:


None of that is really all that much like making trees. Speedtree has a lot of advanced features, it can create meshes that are actually formed like trees, not just cylindrical branching shapes, and it has systems for controlling level of detail along with rendering and physics. With all the useful features it has, there’s little reason to develop a tool directly in the editor.

Believe me, Unreal Editor has everything and a lot more.

To render a in-game tree in a more dynamic and controlled way. You could to use splines power for mesh optimization

A vegetation growing and turning into something else, falling leaves, pre-render to texture for bilboard optimization, dynamic material parameter transformation for leaves and trunk for vegetation randomization and weather system.

Seamless integration with landscape, mesh paint, material editor, cascade editor, foliage instanced mesh, Build-in LOD/Collision system, and a Bluepint tree generator/animator/randomizator via formulas (fractals, l-system), timeline, etc. And even better, nothing operating externally.


It could technically do all the same stuff, but it’s open so you can do pretty much anything, that doesn’t mean it’s easy. It’s better to spend the resources on something else since Speedtree already does things so well

It is not as complex as it seems, think about a little more than half a dozen procedural templates in a hierarchy.
And, the only problem is if some day, perhaps the competitor doeth this.


That’s one lame tree. :stuck_out_tongue:

I agree with darthviper that resources should be spent on other things. If you spend one month of your development on creating foliage you can make everything you need for 20 dollars using SpeedTree knowing that they will just work and look good when you bring them into the engine.

I think They have a lot to Improve, but They are walking to broaden your horizons. I think you could generate, transform and manipulate trees, grass, any type of vegetation using a specific blueprint type in vegetation editor, with randomization nodes, functions and timeline connected in L-System generator to create a climbing plant around some static mesh at runtime, a best marketplace policy to sell a new item category…etc


You can recommend that to Speedtree, there’s already some control over Speedtree stuff in the editor, if you want improved features let them know since they’re in a much better position to do it.

Sorry !. I think I sent a wrong picture in the previous post. Nothing was linked.:confused:

But now I’m sending a video with a interesting thing implemented in Unity. It’s very old. Is a video posted in 2010 (is approximately 5 years old). Nothing as good as SpeedTree but already’r a big workaround for those past days


Sorry, but taking into account that SpeedTree will always be far more advanced in any case than an in-engine solution, I see no point aside of convenience.
First, you can’t expect that Epic comes up with a solution on par with SpeedTree. The guys there already worked years on their thing, Epic would have to start from scratch which is imo not worth it.
With both solutions you would have to spend time on learning how to use them. I would rather spend my time on something which gives me more than on something that would be fairly limited.
The only thing going against SpeedTree is that you have to pay for it, but $20 for a month? Not so bad for something that useful imo, but I haven’t looked into the details of the license yet so I don’t know if there are any strings attached like additional fees or something.

Since I can’t figure it out: What are the main advantages aside of convenience?

PS: The examples you posted are fairly horrendous in my eyes, even if you go for a simplified look (eg. for mobile) or a stylized one, I would rather use SpeedTree and do my thing. Maybe my demands are too high or something? I don’t know. :confused:

Hey Dakraid

Of course, the example is horrendous, by The fact of being something created in Unity almost at 5 years ago. I bet, using the existents resources in Unreal Engine 4 nowadays would be something much better. And like you, I also consider speedtree a very superior tool.

It was not to show aesthetic quality, but to show the procedural potential. With this I imagine not only vegetation but any thing that can be generated procedurally with exchanging existing resources using the same scheme: Viewport, Details, Hierarchy, Graph and Construction Script like other components in Unreal Editor, exchanging resources each other Spline editor; LOD/Collision in Static mesh edit mode; Cascade particle editor for leafs and grass effects; Material Editor; Phat, Persona, Destructible Properties Matrix for phys interaction; Imposter Sprites for distance optimization; Vertex Paint for details and influence; Landscape Editor and Foliage Instanced Meshes…

I can not say much about Unity. Here, we are working with Unreal only, and personally I never used Unity here, do not know how it works or is licensed. It’s just some things I found floating around on the web and I thought was interesting.

And do not worry it is only an idea. Or perhaps a serie of…

SpeedTree is still the biggest one.

About Subscription that you address so much. I took a look over there:
For me subscription method is hazily undefined. Just do not agree with the “subscription” method.

Yes, I agree with “subscription” only as a way for installment, ie, several months paying a certain amount, can I complete the total software value and to use it indefinitely without another fee, Because I have already has paid the full amount along several months using it.

Here is a recent video, showing such a thing:


I don’t see a point of having procedural vegetation in-game
You wouldn’t be able to have everything procedural because it would then tank performance, at best you could have it generate a few variations and then copy those, but then you’re just doing what you would already do with Speedtree.

As far as Speedtree subscription goes–you don’t have to do subscription, you can just buy premade trees from their library which are also very cheap. The subscription allows you to create your own trees which could potentially be cheaper depending on your situation.

If you really want to do procedurally generated trees and similar objects (without using Speed Tree or modelling tools), it’s not too hard to do that with procedural mesh generation.

I’ve been experimenting with this myself: