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Ben Middlemiss

3D Plant symbols

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I am trying to expand my 3d plant symbol capability for rendering and walkthroughs- since we are only given 6 3d plant symbols with Landmark.

I have gone to www.imagecels.com who provide the 2d images. Is this the best way forward or has anyone come across any other 2d/3d symbols basic or complex.

At the moment I pick my plant, pick the 3D symbol to use for it and assign its height and spread which then scales the symbol automatically. Will I be able to set up the program with 2d images to behave as symbols in the same way? If so, will this be time consuming? As I understand, it's a case of drawing bisecting rectangles and mapping the image to them. Does this image scale and fit exactly within this rectangle? And will I be able to scale these rectangles via the Spread and Height fields within the program? If so how easy would this be to set up?

Any pointers?

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Ben, right now, you are limited to plants composed of 3D polygons so that they can be scaled for height and spread.

What you are describing is called "image props". This is used with our RenderWorks rendering module to create image-based 3D rendered objects. Image props do not yet work with VectorWorks LandMark plant technology.

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So am I limited to the 6 plant symbols provided? If so, are there going to be more symbols, i.e. plant shapes other than triangular evergreens or round deciduous, added in any later versions?

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No, you are not at all limited to the 6 symbols. You can model any plant symbol you want, but it should be composed entirely of 3D polygons. (You can read more about this in the LandMark documentation topic, "Plant Catalog Symbols". It's on pages 109-110 of the online VWL documentation.)

The plant symbols provided are all pretty different from one another and are there to give examples of different approaches for creating 3D plants.

I can't discuss our development plans, but I would say that it appears that the "image prop" technology looks to be a promising possible approach for future development to give advanced 3D plant capabilities to those VWL users who have Renderworks.

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Thanks Robert

I have been playing around with the 3d symbols, editing them in the 3D_PSyms folder in the System Folder of my file. I took an existing plant symbol, made a duplicate and then 'boxed' it with two crossing 3d polygons equal to the originals height and spread.

I then deleted the original to leave the two intersecting polygons. These now scale according to the height and spread settings.

Now all i need to do is Texture or Attach an image to the faces of the polygons so that when they render they show the image of the tree.

Is this possible? If so how?

This would open up endless possibilities.

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So the only solution is to model the plant forms myself out of 3d Polys - which is going to be hugely time consuming.

I'm not after photorealism in these symbols but rather an approximate representation of their form. In fact I am very happy with the representation of the symbols that are given and the ability to edit them. There is just a lack of them.

As a Landscape Architect, I bought Vectorworks Landmark for its ability to design and present in 3D. OBVIOUSLY plant material is a large part of what we do and therefore for Landmark to be so lacking in this department (in 3D terms) is a real let down.

The lack of these 3d symbols and the inability to import images as I mentioned above is a huge disadvantage to the Landscape Architect using Landmark as their 3D design tool. Even the basic "$40 wonder" off the shelf Landscape software has a large library of 3d symbols/images and their scale is linked to their height and spread.

Please add this item to the wish list for future updates.---> It would only need a dozen or so more 3D symbols to be able to represent plant material other than triangular Evergreens or round Desciduous trees such as; Grasses, Vines, Hedges, V-shape trees, Specimen trees, weeping trees etc.

Have a look at the images at www.imagecels.com for the shapes of various plant material.

Once the basic shape is there, then it can be modified my the user.

Thanks for your time on this.

Ben

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These are Design Workshop files. You can download for free a copy of Design Workshop "lite" (at the same site) and then export to DXF and into VectorWorks.

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On the vector depot you can find a really interesting VS that creates 3D trees with nearly unlimited capabilities:

http://www.vectordepot.com/PlugIns1.shtml

and look for "Tree script" (by Paolo Marcucceti). In the download file you will find a link to a page displaying some nice results with the script.

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You might check out Digarts tree rendering image hoses at www.gardenhose.com Although these are not 3d, the images are very realistic. You have to have Painter to make it work but you can make many trees, palms, grass, shrubs, etc images which you can then make image props in VWKS from. Alternately you can create images of your 3d scenes in VWKS and then import them into Painter and go nuts with the image hose creating all sorts of plants. Very realistic results.

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I found some free, pretty good 3D trees (and other stuff too) at http://cben.net/. The files there are all .dwg, but they import fine to VW. You can make symbols out of them and scale as necessary to vary height and spread. Most of the files are, thankfully, small in size.

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