Improvements to Speedtree Distribution -Paint controls and/or a Plant Room function
I put this in as a feature request for iClone 6, and I'm repeating this for iClone 7.
The speed trees have got to be the single most useful plugin for scene creation in iClone, but planting the trees is tedious at best. This is because the function for distributing trees will only work on one species at a time and distributing it by a square is about the most inefficient means of placing trees. It only works properly if you have a square environment.
It would be far more effective to have a paint mode much like the terrain tool, or allow you to have a placement map for the given scene. You can use a grey scale map to designate where the trees should be. This allows you to quickly distribute trees in the proper area without having to constantly click and move all over the terrain to plant one species of tree, then switch to another species and repeat the process.
Instead, the user should have a plant tab where you can click and drag the species into a queue, with a separation between grass, shrubs, trees and finally rocks/boulders. You can then set the options and hit the place button. The user could then have a complete forest planted complete with paths where there are no plants/trees/grass grow. You can paint the map in Photoshop, or use a built in brush for each plant level. You make a pass for grass, then one for trees and so on. Make it so you can tweak and repeat each section without influencing the others --this way if you don't like the way the rocks are done, you can redo it without touching the trees or grass. Allow the user to paint on geometry that has been brought in so they can distribute the trees on their own custom terrains or they can use the iclone native terrains.
The problem with SpeedTree is
1. limited to one visual style greenery - while there' re infinite style/ form of cartoon or realism level for vegetations.
2. can't mix on the fly.
3. can't scatter them on all axis.
If Reallusion can't work out a deal with SpeedTree to make a SpeedTree plugin for iClone, just so that iCloners get to customize whatevet they wish to scatter. At the least, allow FBX/OBJ to INSTANCE assignment.
Say have an option under the new IMPORT menu > Import Obj as Instances. Also allow Instances to be imported as Morph Animation states, and to be animated with PhysX.
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