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Grass 3D symbols


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A 3D grass model can be rendered in a 32 bit application, but I'm too new to VW to know how well it would work in this app.

I model my grass when I can get a better visual effect from the effort.

The preferred method that is used for this (when you see it) is to use hair and fur modifiers. However that doesn't afford me the level of control I like for "instant" analysis of lighting and shadows, and obviously VW isn't built for that.


The method I've used is to model it from tubes created from hair settings. The resulting 3D model can be saved and exported and then imported into VW I'm sure.

I'm curious how difficult such a model would be to set up in Vectorworks as a useful 3D symbol. With the right amount of overlapping spacing a properly sized and shaped symbol might work. I space my 3D blades of grass relatively far apart and texture the underlying surface so as to fill in the gaps.

Using a simplified 3D model such as planar objects for this would probably be the way to go.

I haven't worked at all in 3D in VW yet -- I'm not sure how it handles 3D from a memory standpoint. If complex models are doable without a lot of trouble then this should be possible.

I may try this when I get a chance, especially if there is any serious interest.

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I do model grass very frequently and find it to be polygon intensive.

The scene I posted above took about 45 minutes to render the full image at 1620 x 1188 pixels, but it took about 180 hours to model and texture. The grass took about 30 minutes to set up. So, for the extra effect it was worth it.

That scene had about 14,000,000 polygons in it with the grass contributing just under 1,000,000 of those.

Here's a quick stab at it in VW:

(Created in VW2010, Here is a VW2009 version also - no idea if this work in 2009.)

Edited by Brian Lehmer
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I can't recall the site without digging through my libraries, but I downloaded some photorealistic grasses from a site devoted to gamer design of golf courses, like the Arnold Palmer Golf Designer, or Tiger Woods golf designer.

They import fine into VW. I have some issues with slow rendering, as you mention but not more than normal with VW.

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3D ornamental grasses are hard to find, especially if you are looking for something specific.

Do you have any specific grasses you are looking for?

Basic ornamental grasses aren't too difficult to model, you can find some examples here. You would need to buy and download the 3ds file format. In my opinion though that kind of ornamental grass isn't worth paying for unless you are in a bind with no time to create your own.

A broad selection of the types of ornamental grasses that I see landscape architects and designers spec is probably going to be very hard to find in a format that works in VW (or other programs for that matter).

I would find endless uses for a decent set of ornamental grasses if I could find the right package.

If I had the time I'd try to model a set.

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