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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Video: Gen3 Tree-Making Tool

This is a demo of the Gen3 tree-generating script. Gen3 is created by Sergey Prokhorchuk (a.k.a. Stager) and we have him to thank for creating such a great tool for Blender.

I've done a lot of research and have found quite a few tools for creating trees that are compatible with Blender. And, because I was able to find so many useful tools (I think I found something like 12 or 13), it's going to be difficult to create actual tutorials for each of them. There are so many things to consider when creating a tree and that usually translates to a lot of parameters in these types of applications. So, in order to cover them all in a reasonable amount of time, I've decided to present quick demonstrations, instead. The bonus aspect of this is that I'll share with you all of the treasures of information that I've collected in my search for these tools. This should save you quite a bit of time in getting up to speed with the applications.

This video covers:

  • Introduction to Gen3
  • The Basics of Using Gen3
  • Speed Tips
  • Creating/Trimming a Quick Shrub

Watch the tutorial online (SWF streaming, Length - 44:31)...

Gen3 Ratesheet:

Additional Resources:

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Anonymous said...

Excellent tutorial. Im sure that many people would be put off using this script due to the enormous amount of buttons, but you make it look so easy.

I would have liked to see you put a leaf texture with alpha on the leaves.

Perhaps its also worth commenting on the fact that Gen3 is now going to be developed as the standalone ngPlant - though having it integrated directly into Blender is much nicer.

Finally, did you plan to continue your country pathway tutorial once you have got your tree modeling videos done?

Anonymous said...

Very nice and long Tutorial. I think for hedges a very dense structure and small leaves would improve the result.
To get rid of half-leaves or other artifacts after trimming, the use of the tool for selecting connected vertices could be useful. Inverting the selection should select all the garbage that has to be removed.

Kernon Dillon said...

Thanks! It's definitely an easy-to-use tool once you get the basics. It's actually fun, as well.

The Country Pathway is currently being developed along with a few other projects so, I might actually finish the next Part before the tree demos are done. If so, I'll probably go on and post it.

I agree, I could have done a better job on the hedges but, it was sort of added at the last minute. I definitely want to experiment with that when I get some time.

I'm looking into adding a tutorial gallery. It would be nice to see what others have created from watching a tutorial.

Unknown said...

I really like your tree tutorial, but trying to install the gen3 into blender scripts. I keep getting errors about 'non blender file'. I even went to the others mentioned, arbaro and the ngplant. What can I do?

Kernon Dillon said...

try this:

- extract the contents to a temporary location
- move the "" and the "gt" folder to the ".blender\scripts" folder.

To load the application, start Blender. Split the view into two. Switch the view type of one of the to Scripts. Load the Gen3 script from the "Misc" menu.

That should do it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kernon,

thanks for this great tutorial, it not just helped me to create trees it also helped me to master my first "script using experience".

Just to let you know: Your sculpting explanation in the end inspired me to think of a possibility to create more complex tree sculptures. After some trying I came up with one and posted a little tutorial about it on .

If you (or anyone) is interested in it, you can find the tutorial here:


Kernon Dillon said...

Wow, that's awesome! That's the sort of thing that I had in mind but, I didn't have time to actually work out exactly how to do it for more complex shapes. I think it would be nice to see more architectural images with more interesting landscaping instead of the same old trees stamped into a scene.

It would be cool to see the Blender logo done that way.

Thanks for the good work and I'm glad you got something from the tutorial.

Iván Egües said...

Thanks for another great reference.
Two quick questions:

From your experience, when you have to use many trees, do you think is better to alt D to link copy them, or is it better to make them a group, or is it irrelevant in the end?

Respect to leaves do you think making an alpha leave is worth it? (rendering time/final result)



Kernon Dillon said...

When using a lot of trees, at some point you have to start thinking about the feasibility of the scene. Will it become too big? Will it render in a reasonable amount of time? Will this scene need to be animated? You also have to consider the level of detail needed for the scene.

If it's a still image you can get away with using fully modeled trees in the foreground while reducing the level of details in the modeling the further the trees are from the camera. The furthest trees can simply be images mapped onto planes.

Using linked duplicates can help minimize the need to edit each tree object every time a change is needed but, all of the tree will look the same. One way to overcome that is to have sets of linked duplicates randomly (or not so random, depending on the scene) dispersed throughout the scene to give it a more natural look.

Using groups would be a good way to organize the different sets of trees. Groups are also good when appending sets of objects to a scene.

Concerning the alpha leaves, I think they're good for adding more realism to a tree because you can use an actual image of a leaf (or many leaves). Because the detail comes from the texture, the topology of the leaf object can be pretty low so, it can help to speed up the render time.

This thread may be of some help:

Iván Egües said...

Thanks for the guides, that along with the tutorial had help me alot.

Here is a wip I'm in.

Thanks again!


Kernon Dillon said...

Hey, that looks cool! You should start a WIP thread in the BlenderNewbies Forums.

Anonymous said...


For starters... you have the clearest voice for tutorials. And the way you explain things...well...that was what made this so helpful!

When I first opened up the generator... I was a little intimidated by the amount of options!

The way that you explained Levels...level 1 is trunk...level 2 is branches coming off the trunk...etc...etc...the whole interface became less daunting!

Amazing job you did...thank you for your time and effort!

Kernon Dillon said...


Anonymous said...

Awesome tut!

You explain the software very well.

In regards to changing the leaf shape however I am having some difficulty. I hit the refresh button, but no new shape. I wait, try it again no new shape. I am pretty sure I did all as in your tut. I have even tried using just a cube thinking it may be the object file size. Any ideas?

Kernon Dillon said...


Be sure to name the custom leaf object to "Leaf". Then hit the "R" (refresh) button next to the leaf shape dropdown list. It might take a second or two to update.

Also, the center point of your custom leaf object is the point where it will be connected to the tree branches. So, be sure to set it to an appropriate location.

Iulian said...

i like it :)

Anonymous said...

The Gen3 Homepage is down - I can't download the python script :(

Kernon Dillon said...

I'll host the script file and provide a link to it. Thanks for letting me know!

BrewStew said...

Oh I forgot to log in when posting the heads up about the Gen3 site, Doh!

Thanks for hosting it - I have it now :)

the-salamanda said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
gwhizvideo said...

I tried installing gen3 as instructed, in the blender/scripts folder.
The script doesn't appear on the menu in blender.
I'm running 2.49.2 and python 2.6.2, which load correctly.
Is there anything else that could be preventing the script from appearing?

carlysbest said...

ummm my blender doesnt have a .blender file at all....yet it can still use the scripts i dont know where to put the script. i have the full version of i put it in there ?

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