Not all editions of the SpeedTree Modeler are released for each new version. This table lists the latest release version for each SpeedTree product:
|SpeedTree for Games||v8.2.0|
|SpeedTree for UE4||v8.2.0|
|SpeedTree for Lumberyard||v8.1.4|
Cinema and Games versions of the Modeler have access to beta versions of the new photogrammetry features. These additions are designed to allow you to import photogrammetry based meshes and extend them with procedural data, deform them with procedural spines, and use them to add details to models. Please click here for more information.
You can now pan and zoom when making mesh cutouts.
The data used to generate cutouts is now stored per mesh LOD and can be easily interchanged with other LOD states for the asset using the new “assign/retrieve” arrow buttons.
Use “Improved folding” to make the triangulation algorithm focus on putting edges down the main axis of the mesh so that “folds” on leaf meshes look better, especially on low poly meshes.
You can now paint vertex colors in the Cutout Editor that can be used by the generators when the model is computed.
It is now possible to assign multiple meshes to a material asset. This feature allows in-app texture edits to apply to all the meshes that use it without duplicating materials. New options have been added to generators that use meshes to allow you to pick which mesh (including random selection) is used for the generator. Materials that have multiple meshes can be unwrapped into shared or separate islands.
When using “Export to game…” and combining multiple models into a single atlas, improvements have been made to ensure shared materials are only depicted once in the resulting atlas.
You can now draw a deformation spline for branches that can be applied procedurally to all branches in a generator. This mechanism provides a manual alternative to using “Noise”.
This feature from version 7 returns. Select “File→Import camera from FBX…” to use cameras in an FBX file in the Modeler.
The quadification of imported mesh assets now creates better quads and does so in less time.
Older versions rendered control points in world units and were often too big or too small. These control points are now drawn in a consistent size in screen space.
A new property named “Smooth” has been added to leaves and fronds to create vertex normals based on the average of the face normals surrounding the vertex. This feature is particularly effective on low poly meshes with high deformation.
When exporting a mesh, STE is now an option. STE is a special variant of SPM, designed specifically for use with SpeedTree Engine. When STE files are exported, all textures the tree model uses in all possible states are included. This includes maps with artistic adjustments (e.g. contrast, saturation) baked in, baked variations as defined in the Modeler's material editor, and all seasonal textures.
This option allows branches' “Start angle” to animate as it grows. Use this to make branches or fronds fall into place during a growth animation.
It is now possible to manually control when and how extensions grow (previous versions forced extensions to grow in time with their parent).
64-bit PC2 formatted caches can now be written directly from the Modeler.
Velocity vectors are computed for wind and growth animation, enabling motion blur from geometry caches.
Exports to the SpeedTree XML format can now contain leaf references. In addition, a new section called “Meshes” has been added to the file so that mesh id, mesh LOD index, bone id, and vertex color can be retrieved for each leaf reference.
Weld region polygons now shrink away during LOD transitions, significantly reducing the triangle count of lower LOD meshes.
This feature from v7 returns in a new form.
SpeedTree raw XML output can now be loaded as a mesh asset, including mesh anchor locations/orientations for procedural growth.
Adding “#name” to a mesh asset filename will load only that particular mesh out of the file.
Game exports can now specify the number of billboards generated on the export dialog.
Spines and anchors can now be stored per piece in Alembic exports.
The lightmap UVs computed in Games modelers can now be exported in FBX files.
Subframe accuracy has been added to the growth system to prevent hitches in slow growth animations.
The polygon statistics were delayed and displayed previous totals until a node was clicked twice or edited.
Adding shells with growth enabled no longer crashes, but shells still do not work with growth.
Editing the “Dynamic LOD:Mesh index” property now immediately impacts the LOD computation (previous versions required another property to be edited and the node to recompute).
It was possible for Leaf Meshes that were the child of other Leaf Meshes to separate from their parent during wind animation.
Normal, binormal, and tangent welding tolerance near the seams of Caps and Shells has been expanded to accommodate geometry near the weld region.
Leaf collision could cause the Modeler to report negative polygon counts for leaves.
Frond collision was broken prior to this release. It works as expected now and old files are modified to turn frond collision off when they are loaded to preserve their state. Once saved in v8.2.0 or later the setting will no longer be modified at load time.
This warning message is now positioned correctly regardless of the aspect ration of the mesh preview window.
Checks have been added to ensure the cursor returns to normal (it was getting stuck as a “resize” cursor) when any of the dialogs that are dismissed with a click outside the window are closed.
Changes have been made to ensure that background rendering modes other than “Ambient light” still use the ambient light settings from the Light object.
Changes have been made to Branch LOD computations to ensure extensions stay connected to their parents at each LOD level.
The Maya import script for Arnold automatically sets the “Opaque” flag on geometry needing an opacity map.
When SubD nodes are moved to an invalid position using the cursor the window navigation no longer kicks in and the invalid node is still indicated in the Tree Window.
A naming scheme based on the generator names has been implemented to avoid confusing Collision Object names.
A bug that could cause some Branch nodes to crash when converted to hand-drawn nodes has been corrected.
Disk scanning has been moved to the background to prevent the Open Dialog from locking up while scanning disks for recent files, preview images, etc.
Legacy generators still do not support the v8 LOD system, but they no longer crash in models that use LOD and remain present at all LOD levels.
A bug has been corrected that prevented some hand drawn elements from working correctly with animated growth enabled.
Changes have been made to allow undoing/redoing of Cutout Editor sessions.
A bug that could cause a crash if the dialog was closed before the rendering was complete has been fixed.
Any models comprised exclusively of mesh forces now have their extents and ambient occlusion values set correctly.
Changes have been made to ensure the correct color space is used when exporting unwrapped models that use material variations.
Toggling welding on hand-drawn branches no longer causes the weld region to permanently disappear.
A bug has been fixed that could cause bottom caps to become disconnected from their parent. In addition, normal smoothing at the juncture has been improved.
Shells that disappear before the final LOD no longer result in a crash.
Converting from Batched Leaves to Leaf Meshes (and vice versa) could result in material properties losing their combo boxes. This error has been corrected.
All background rendering styles now work correctly in orthographic viewports.
Leaves now function correctly in UE4 when version 7 models (or earlier) are exported from v8.
A bug that could result in improperly oriented and sized leaf references has been fixed.
Fronds at the lowest LOD could detach from their parents. This bug has been corrected.
The reported number of bones for Shell generators is now accurate.
A bug has been fixed that could result in the shape control indicators in the Generation Editor being rendered for generators not under shape control.
Gust control handles in the Tree Window are no longer visible when gusting is disabled.
Fronds now drop length segments with their parent branch during LOD transitions (only true for fronds that do not use a mesh asset).
Dropping a material on a branch extension now sets the extension material instead of the branch material.
Collision on leaves that use quads has been fixed. Previous versions resulted in deformed geometry.
There is no longer a segment missing where Cap generators meet Branch generators with quads enabled.
All old generators (Spine, Leaf, Zone) now remain throughout the entire LOD transition (they still do not participate in the new system). In previous versions, these generators disappeared during the first LOD transition.
Wind anchors were being scaled incorrectly during growth animations, resulting in stretching and distortion during high wind conditions. This bug has been fixed.
Deleting a collapsed generator now deletes all generators underneath it and collapsed generators no longer affect the layout/drag-drop behavior of generators in other parts of the Generation Editor.
In previous versions, the segment count stayed the same. Fronds based on spine-only branches that do not use meshes will drop length segments as well.
Leaf Mesh generators used to drop leaves now obey the “Flatten” property in all situations (Batched Leaves have always been correct in this regard).
Absolute V texture coordinates now propagate correctly through from branches to their extensions.
Fronds were not immediately reacting to Property Bar material changes (drag/drop was working as expected). This bug has been fixed.
EXR exporting from Games versions of the Modeler now work correctly.
A bug where frond lighting orientation could oscillate with wind strength has been corrected.
The shape of squashed parent branches is now accounted for when welding a branch to them.
Dynamic LOD, collision objects, spines, and bones have been added to XML exports from the Games Modeler.
An option has been added to the mesh export dialog to export the mesh without generating textures for considerably faster exports when the textures are either already made or will be assigned manually later in the pipeline.
Models using point caches or Alembic caches to represent wind animation were locked in draft mode. They will now use the mode selected on the Fan object. In addition, draft mode has been made more similar to production mode while still being faster in the viewport.
Several bugs affecting the consistency of wind strength and gusting behavior in point cache and Alembic exports have been fixed.
A new algorithm for determining bone weights has been implemented. It corrects issues with previous versions and adds an option to smooth bone weights or not.
A bug has been fixed that could cause quad branch geometry that rapidly decreased radial segment count to crash during welding.
Extensions placed on broken branches were not inheriting vertex colors or wind data, resulting in separation during animation. This bug has been corrected.
Quad exports to Maya have been fixed and degenerate quads no longer invalidate point caches.
Subscriptions Modelers in “Export-Only” mode no longer prompt to save the model if you compute ambient occlusion prior to exporting.
The link to the sample models on the “File Open” dialog now works correctly on Macs.
Leaf and frond meshes have new lighting properties allowing them to compute smooth normals based on the mesh after procedural deformation has been applied (this was only approximated in previous versions).
The crash associated with previously available drives no longer being accessible has been fixed.
The face winding for Lumberyard exports has been modified to work with both the vegetation shaders (this always worked) and non-two-sided shaders.
A bug where shell generators could be mapped incorrectly during unwrapped exports has been corrected. Small items that were scaled up could cause overlapping in the atlas – this has also been corrected. In addition, an improvement has been made in the algorithm to prevent the unwanted expansion of tiny details.
Generators with failed welds could cause the “Growth Wizard” to crash when it was executed. This bug has been corrected.
Lightmap density visualization will now be correct immediately on load. Previous versions required an additional compute.
Polygons removed during collision could cause an error in polygon statistics reporting. This has been corrected.
These edits were moving the nodes appropriately but their new position was not being accounted for correctly in all computations. Bones, pruning, and wind weights now account for the new position.
It is now possible to use U tiling values of less than 1.0 on branch geometry. This is typically used to target a branch texture used as part of an atlas.
A previous fix caused V texture coordinate controls to be ignored on shells. This problem has been corrected.
Switching Leaves/Fronds to quads combined with the use of Mesh anchors could result in a crash. This problem has been corrected.
Node editing a branch to be “Spine Only” was being ignored. This edit works now.
Switching from a node edited material back to “generated” could cause a grey, default material to be selected instead of the season material. This problem has been corrected.
It was possible to transition the LOD state without updating the polygon stats. The polygon stats now match the LOD state in all circumstances.
Leaf mesh nodes contributing to collection meshes were all placed at the origin in the collection. They are now placed as they are in the model.
Toggling the selection indicator on and off no longer causes the LOD slider to stick.
This tab has been removed when in node editing mode.
A number of user operations, like deleting collision objects, caused the LODs to reset and the LOD slider to stick. These issues have been corrected.
Breaks that occurred low on welded branches could cause lighting seams where the cap was applied. Normals are now computed on all broken branches such that caps match exactly, no matter how short the welded branch is.
The control points on hand drawn branches now update during node edit operations.
Deleting hand drawn subdivision surface branches no longer causes a crash.
Hand drawn branches were “rolling” around the wrong axis. This problem has been corrected.
Using “Skin:Roll” was twisting hand drawn branches that were welded or used in subdvision surfaces. This problem has been corrected.
Knot decorators with no internal knot or cap geometry (i.e., “Lumps”) no longer create degenerate triangles with zero length normals/binormals/tangents at the center.
Version 8 Frond generators expect to be assigned materials that, in turn, have meshes associated with them. Dropping a mesh directly on a frond no longer results in a crash, but you still need to use a material with a mesh to achieve the desired effect.
The V coordinates on caps could be stretched when added to shells. This problem has been corrected.
It is once again possible to right-click in the Fan icon area to bring up the wind menu while wind is disabled.
The Dynamic LOD system has been modified to work seamlessly with background leaf collision.
Edits to this curve that resulted in values outside of the range [0.0, 1.0] would cause the Modeler to crash. This value is now clamped to this range internally, regardless of curve shape.
Using quad geometry on welded branches that reduced radial segment count along the branch could cause crashes. This problem has been corrected.
“Display scaling” has been added to the application preferences. Use this option to increase the size of fonts, icons, scroll bars, window indicators, and other GUI elements.
The importer scripts for 3ds Max and Maya now support creating Arnold materials when importing SpeedTree models.
The importer script for Maya now supports creating Renderman materials when importing SpeedTree models.
“Undo” operations on node edits were wiping out all node edits, not just the last one. This has been corrected.
Using splits on branches welded to a parent could result in a crash or garbage geometry. This bug has been fixed.
Leaves using this collision style can no longer be eliminated by branches during the collision process.
A bug in the wind system that caused leaves to disappear for strengths greater than 1.0 has been fixed.
This technique of changing the camera position now works in “Trackball” navigation mode as well as “Standard”.
The blend region was not being sunk but the branch was. Both elements sink correctly now.
Shells that did not end on exact length segment were showing stretched UV coordinates in the last segment. This behavior has been corrected.
The highlight around the target of drag/drop operations has been restored.
An option on the export dialog has been added for creating 3ds Max 2015-compatible FBX files.
These handles now highlight as you mouse over them (like the other manipulator handles in the app).
A bug resulting in large gaps between geometry and its shadow has been fixed.
Leaf geometry generated as an extension could occasionally be placed at the origin instead of the end of the parent. This error has been corrected.
The SpeedTree open dialog could crash when displaying mesh previews. This has been fixed.
The speed and quality of the billboard rendering during real-time model exports has been improved.
The map and billboard atlas packing algorithm has been improved to create atlases that utilize the available texture space more efficiently.
TIF export settings for alpha mipmapping has been modified so that sparse leaves/needles don't disappear in the distance.
The vertex noise pattern used to blend branch intersections has been modified to reduce harsh edge artifacts near the transition edge.
Models created in 7 and earlier versions that used the “Cascade” value on parent curves now import with much greater fidelity in version 8.
The algorithm for smoothing geometry normals on fronds has been fixed (normals were spreading more on the interior than the exterior in previous releases).
Previous versions were ignoring the extents of Force Meshes when rendering AO data.
Repeatedly pressing this button on the Property Bar while in “Node Editing” mode could result in a crash.
A bug that could cause some geometry vertices to be set to the origin during collision/LOD computations has been fixed.
This mesh (a simple quad) is used to replace assigned meshes in low-resolution computations (e.g., Draft Mode). Frond geometry could generate a crash when the meshes dropped to this resolution in previous releases.
Caps always inherit the wind of their parent and those values cannot be edited for the cap. Therefore, the wind level indicator on the cap has been removed.
Exporting wind using the strength curve on the Timeline Bar now works with “.fbx” file exports. Alembic exports of models with growth disabled are faster.
An option has been added to select whether or not velocity data is included in Alembic exports.
Map filenames can now be edited on the Edit Map dialog.
The automatic camera motion controlled in the “Capture Camera” section of the windows can now be applied to sequence renders. This feature is commonly used for turntable renderings.
Caps added to shells could cause a crash in the event the shell wasn't created.
This property selects which nodes factor into shape control length distribution.
Version 8 is a significant leap forward from version 7. Old models will still load, but new generators, materials, and tools are available to improve model quality and modeling workflow. Please have a look at this section for an overview about what has changed from version 7 to version 8.