Create different variations of one plant species


I would like to know if there is any available option to create multiple variations of one plant species in order to match a the actual trees of a region of interest. I am attaching a photo in order to get a bit more specific about my question. The method to do what i want could be copying a species in my case populus nigra and configure each one of them in plant editor. But it might need too much time to achieve it.



Right now there are a few parameters that you can configure “by plant” instead of “by species”. You Will find them under the “Render” tab. You can modify the foliage density and overwrite the global seasonality. We plan to add more parameters to that tab. Any feedback of the most common parameters you use to get diversity in plants wil be welcome.

These “by plant” values have effect on render time, not in the Rhino display. Though, you can use the “Natural variation” option in Plant rows, Forests and Shrubs to get some difference in plant size that will give a more natural look.

You can also apply the laRandomize command to plants so that they get rotated randomly and don’t show all the same side to the camera. If you render using Flamingo, plants not only will get rotated but also will be generated using some random values. You won’t find two plants exactly equal, but the differences are sometimes hard to appreciate.

Thanks for the reply. The information you provided will be proved very helpful for me. I understand that randomness is really important when we talk about forests and natural elements. Although I think that saving multiple plants, different in morphology ( like number of branches and proportions) of the same species would be a very good start.

In my case I am trying to accurately create a terrain with the trees referring to their actual proportions and characteristics. Because of that I think that I am obligated to create each one of them separately and save it as species, like populus nigra 1, 2 etc. I am right or is there any better alternative method for now?

You are right, if you need that level of control you must create several plant definitions (.ArPlantX) and assign them to different plant species in Lands.

.ArPlantX file format supports several plant definitions, but there is no interface to take advantage of that, except for the seasonality changes. We can consider to further develop the plant editor to let user add several versions of the same tree (young and aged, with different number of trunks, etc.) But I personally prefer user overwrite some parameters in Lands over the base of a unique .ArPlantX plant definition.

Thank you again for the reply. I have created several species variations as you mentioned above. Practically my question has been answered. Although, you mentioned some things about render times. I could create another topic but right now I am facing an octane error when i am trying to render with many trees in my scene. Is it possible to have render with that many trees with octane or not? Are there way to use less Ram or something?

I have no experience with Octane, I think it is a real time renderer, true?
Does the error appears anytime or just when you try to Render the scen (render command).
Lands uses much more detailed plants for Render. In fact, the plants shown in the rhino display are “lowpoly” versions (created on air) of the plants you see in the Plant Editor.

There is an option in the document properties to not generate very detailed plants for the render and just use the “lowpoly” ones. Does it helps you?

The error is about a large number of polygons and then I am out of Ram. I am using an nvidia card with 4 GB. I have used in the past similar workflow with blender in a scene full of trees placed as instances in a particle system.

So what would be proved really helpful is a way of reducing the amount of needed RAM without the sacrifice of realism. I have read somewhere in a forum that a tree and a forest of multiple instances need 13 mb both. Is there such a workflow like that?

I have tried to use a forest instead of placing plants individually but I cannot place the trees in their exact places as I have drawn them in CAD DXF file. Although, forest seems to be really close to the workflow of particles but it might need some more features.

I have many questions and I really like the features that LANDS offer. Either lacks documentation or I have not searched yet really deep. I have only found some Video Tutorials in the website. Is this the only source of information?

In regards with the lowpoly I am going to try it but the quality I already have in the viewport is not suitable for my case.

In Lands there isn’t any difference in memory consumption using plants individually or in forests. In both cases plants are block instances.

The ideal would be that detailed plants exist only on the Octane memory space. However, since we want plants get rendered on any Rhino renderer, we finally opted to put the detailed plants into the Rhino document just before the render, and removing them once finished. This ensure that any renderer will render them properly. Lands uses a lot of strategies to reduce the memory consumption: block instances, levels of detail depending on the distance of the tree in respect to the camera… But given that all renders are going to create its own geometry on its own memory space, we have the plant mesh info duplicated. The only renderer where this doesn’t happen is Flamingo nXt. We use the Flamingo SDK to add plants to the Flamingo memory space directly instead of adding them to the Rhino document. We would like to do something similar in VRay, using proxies, but we haven’t found yet the way to do it automatically (user can do it manually).

Finally, I must say that not all .ArPlantX are equal. The plant editor shows you the number of objects of the actual plant. You can edit your plant definition to reduce the number of objects keeping the overall appearance. This can save a lot of memory.

Regardig the documentation, the main source of information is the Lands Users Guide included in the software. You can access it from the drop-down menu, the toolbars, and the “_laHelp” command.