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horizontal branches


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I am trying to imitate how branches radiate from a tree trunk in more or less random directions, but as you get to the level of twigs they will (at least in many species) fan out horizontally. The transition from vertical growth (to reach height) to a horizontal spreading (to maximize leaf surface area) can be quite subtle.


So far I've used circular distribution for the primary branches and angular distribution for the lesser branches and twigs and apply the Vector direction modifier with a global vector. But the lesser branches angular spread is influenced by the parent branch´s axis (which may have rotated).


Do I need to pick another vector, another node or use the vector orientation modifier or other path distributor options to ensure that twigs spread horizontally from the parent path, no matter what the parent axis may be?


I guess I'm stlll a little confused about the vector direction modifier (and it's orientation for leaves checkbox) and the vector orientation modifer. Any help or examples would be appreciated!

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in order for the child branches to have a perfectly horizontal spread you have to:


1. add a vector direction modifier to the parent and child with 100% in y

2.under the "starting path" section of the distributor tab set the "turn axis" to 180

3. under the "start vector" section of the distributor tab set the "angle axis" to 90 and right below that set the "chaos angle" to 0 (its at 25 by default)

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Thank you very much. That's exactly what I meant.

I also learned why I couldn't get the same results so far: The parent and child paths had random direction modifiers, which seem to affect the angle axis. I replaced them with Noise direction modifiers to get the same kind of irregularity, and everything looks as it's supposed to.

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Thank you for your example. I would've never thought of using the Hard bend modifier.

I noticed that your tree-building method is completely different to mine. I've always tried to let all paths (including trunk and primary branches) grow to their finest tips and have all lesser paths branch out of their sides with path distributors. While you've attached smaller and smaller branches to the tips of their parents with path position distributors at 100%. Very interesting.

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Thank you for your example. I would've never thought of using the Hard bend modifier.

Later I noticed that in this model the Hard bend modifier is not needed. There, can be used the Vector direction modifier and slightly adjust the distributor settings.



Eduard's method is not conducive to add wind parameter


Why? I easily added the wind animation via the After Mesh Modifiers. Note that for the HBranches_2 I also add an Affect from the Parameter Level, to increase the wind influence on a thinner twigs. See me example: HorizontalBranches_1_Wind.max



As I've noted above, you could use the Noise modifier instead of the random direction modifier to add irregularity.


Yes, the Random direction modifier should be used carefully, and better use the noise modifier...



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