We appreciate the positive responses. We’re anxious to get this released to the UE4 subscribers asap.
The post from ioFlow Studios – I’m happy to provide what additional information I can. I hope that this UE4 blog post from last summer is helpful. We’ll soon update our limited UE4 product page as well.
As for the UE4 integration, we’re continuing to work with Epic to keep it solid. As for painting SpeedTrees in foliage, the answer is yes! SpeedTrees use standard static meshes in UE4, so anywhere you can use those, you can use SpeedTrees. However, there is a tradeoff involved. Because UE4 uses hardware instancing for foliage, SpeedTrees lose some of the vertex attributes that we need for our wind. Until we can resolve this, one workaround is to use a sinusoidal effect on WorldPositionOffset for a gentle swaying that is enough to break up a forest. We can probably throw together an example material, if you’d like.
The UE4 Modeler we’ll be offering will be version 7, which we haven’t even released to our traditional games licensees yet. While this video shows the cinematic/vfx version of the Modeler (growth and season changes aren’t part of the games pipeline), the interface is nearly the same. The documentation for the Modeler is online if you’d like to take a look. The entire system has been overhauled since the release that went out with UDK. A few features I’d like to highlight:
- Sub-division surfaces, in particular, are a huge leap forward for hero trees. Resolution scales readily as well. Sub-d docs here.
- If you don’t want to cough up the triangles for sub-d, we have our branch seam blending feature integrated. Low-poly trees often have cylinders shoved into other cylinders. Our blending approach helps to hide the seam. In fact, there’s lots of tools to help hide the seams.
- There’s a Simplify feature that automatically generates textures from high-detail trees to make lower-detail models. I’m amazed how often this feature is overlooked. It’s great for lower-end platforms.
- There’s a Wind Wizard that helps automatically set our detailed wind parameters. Great wind that renders a little slower, or low-detail wind that’s fast, you control the tradeoff. The high-end wind can be tuned convincingly enough that it’s been used in several feature films.
- While we lead on Windows, we will have a Mac version available, too.
SonKim - you asked about being able to sell your trees on the marketplace. We’re open to this, but details about the UE4 marketplace have yet to emerge. Like you, we’re waiting to hear more.
We appreciate the support guys. Can’t wait to get this out to you!