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New user - Looking for pointers

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I've just begun using GrowFX. I can see I have my work cut out for me, but it looks to be a very powerful tool. I hoped that I could get some feedback from those of you more seasoned than I to get me pointed in the right direction.


I've gone through several tutorials, then dug in to try it out. Below is my first attempt, an ironwood tree. You'll see the photo my client sent me for reference, a render of my latest GrowFX attempt, and the gfx file. Any pointers you could give me would be most appreciated.











Scott Smith
J. Scott Smith Visual Designs, inc

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Hi Scott,


It's not bad, but your geometry concerning the twig structure is too simple. I goggled for some additional reference images and thin that you need at least one more path distributor on top of your "LeavesStem". The lack of it makes all leaves look very evenly distributed.

I added it along with other parameters for the leaves and this is the result.

I did not change anything on the larger branches although they could of course be further improved. I can refine it further when I return home. ;)

I also noticed that you did not yet made use of any of the "Affect Parameter" dialogs. While it is possible to build trees without it you can get much more intricate and realistic designs done when you learn how to use it. I know it can be bit much at first!


As a general rule I recommend gathering as much info as you can on the type of plant that your are trying to create and then decipher how you can translate that into GrowFX. Stuff like if the leaves are growing in pairs, are they opposite each other or set up in intervals, are they bunched up or evenly distributed, are the the branches curly or straight, do the have a tendency to sag or not etc. etc.

Break it down into smaller individual problems and tackle them one after another.


It's also seldom possible to copy a phot reference exactly, matching the general appearance and volume definitely is though.


Keep on it!







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Thanks Ben. That's a great improvement. All your advice is good and welcome. I know I can't match a photo, and I do have reference photos. I was trying to do the step by step thing that you mentioned, but I'm not sure where I'm going wrong. Something is slightly odd about the trunk, but not a big deal. I'd like to get the branches to twist more like the photo. And I'm not sure if the number of sub-branches and twigs I used is correct. What do you think?


Thanks again!



Scott Smith
J. Scott Smith Visual Designs, inc

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Hey, yes the trunks are looking a lot better I think, the leaves seem a bit thin and wispy though. Maybe you can consider using the displacement funtion on the trunks to increase the gnarled look.

Concerning your earlier question about the correct number of sub-branches and twigs I'd say that there is really no "correct" number. Use as few as possible and as many as necessary.

The higher your number of paths the more control you have over each aspect of the tree, but it can become tedious after a certain point. Also some effects that can be seen on real trees like the continuous raising of density while simultaneously shorten the length of each branch like this:



are hard to do with a higher number of individual paths only, you'd use the "Level" function here together with the "Affect" dialog. Usually -but not always- a mixture of both is required for a convincing result.

Here is an example for this:


although I guess you know this one already.





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