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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 Cinemav8.3.0
SpeedTree Gamesv8.3.0
SpeedTree Games Indiev8.3.0
SpeedTree UE4 Subscriptionv8.3.0
SpeedTree Unity Subscriptionv8.3.0
SpeedTree LumberyardSubscriptionv8.3.0


New Features

New release: SpeedTree Games Unity Subscription

v8.3.0 marks the first time SpeedTree v8 for Unity has been made publicly available.

New product: SpeedTree Games Indie

SpeedTree Games is now available with features from our top end modeler at a lower price. FBX/OBJ export, photogrammetry tools, and the full power of SpeedTree integrations at indie pricing.

EULA changes

Revenue caps have been added to several product offerings as shown below:

  • SpeedTree Subscription ($19/month): Limited to studios/teams with yearly revenue under $100K
  • SpeedTree Indie ($999/year): Limited to studios/teams with yearly revenue under $1M
  • SpeedTree Full License (Per title/platform): For UE4 custom licensees, studios requiring a site license, or with a yearly revenue of over $1M
"Lock to Parent" added to Mesh generators

This option, when checked, forces meshes placed on branches to fit themselves to the length of the branch. Uncheck this option to allow variable sizes.

"Flip normals on backside" application preference

When this option is not enabled, the backsides of two-sided materials are rendered with flipped normals in order to be more compliant with PBR rendering. This can result in jarring lighting on some models. This application preference has been added to control this behavior and will be used during billboard rendering.

Bug Fixes

[CRASH] Growth export

A bug that caused crashes on a subset of models during animated growth exports has been fixed.

Orphaned generators

Models saved from earlier releases could have deleted generators present but not visible in the Generation Editor. This situation caused errors in generator layout and has been fixed.

Materials in XML exports

A bug has been fixed that was preventing material information from being saved in XML exports.

Leaf reference material IDs in XML exports

A bug has been fixed that was preventing leaf reference material IDs from being updated in unwrapped XML exports.


New Features

"Lock to parent" added to Leaf Mesh generators

This checkbox forces leaf mesh generators to rotate with their parent if their parent is a leaf mesh. This option reduces separation in wind animation at the cost of tuning the behavior for this generator.

Mesh generator welding hints

Hints are now being drawn to show the weld region and results when trying to weld Mesh generators being deformed and placed via a “Spine only” branch.

Cap segments now have "Resolution" curves

These curves allow you to adjust cap geometry for each resolution in VFX models.

Bug Fixes

Subdivision surface hiding

Hiding/showing a Branch generator making subdivision surface geometry no longer leaves gaps where it meets the parent.

Subdivision surface caps animating/exporting

A bug that could cause subdivision surface caps to export incorrectly and not animate has been fixed.

Subdivision surfaces not updating

Several bugs associated with cages not updating after a generator edit have been fixed.

Frond LOD with hidden parent

If a frond node's parent was hidden or removed during LOD operations, the frond would also be removed. This behavior has been corrected. All generators should LOD on their own and now fronds do so accordingly.

"Orientation:Weld start" on Branch generators orients correctly

Previous versions rotated the branch 90 degrees when this option was checked.

[CRASH] Scrolling through LODs with "Collision" enabled

Games models with more than one LOD and “Collision” enabled could cause a crash when the LODs were computed. This bug has been corrected.

Collision causing Leaf Mesh LOD errors

A bug has been fixed that caused geometry removed during collision to impact LOD calculations. This bug resulted in lopsided leaf clouds in lower LODs.

[CRASH] Billboard exports with Leaf Card generators

It was possible for game models containing camera facing cards to crash when generating billboard images. This bug has been fixed.

Generator upgrading

Version 8.2.0 introduced a bug that caused all radii of v7 and earlier branches to be set to 0.0 when upgraded to v8. This bug has been fixed.

Collapsing/Expanding generators

A bug has been fixed that prevented some files saved with collapsed generators from being expanded with a double-click.

"Unlicensed" message

v8.2.0 introduced a bug in the subscription versions that falsely reported “Unlicensed” in the title bar. This bug has been fixed.

LOD mesh asset sizes

Leaf Mesh geometry is no longer corrupted when mesh assets that have meshes larger than LOD 0 in slots LOD 1 or LOD 2 are used.


A bug has been corrected that would, in rare circumstances, cause the wrong generator to be selected after a mouse click in the Tree Window.

Zone rotation

A bug was introduced in v8.2.0 where zones were rotated by 90 degrees each time they were selected in Node Editing mode. This bug has been corrected.

Knot exports

A bug that could cause knot geometry to export with transparent vertices has been corrected.


New Features

[Beta] Photogrammetry

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.

Pan and Zoom in the Cutout Editor

You can now pan and zoom when making mesh cutouts.

LODs remembered individually in the Cutout Editor

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.

New triangulation option in the Cutout Editor

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.

Painted vertex colors in the Cutout Editor

You can now paint vertex colors in the Cutout Editor that can be used by the generators when the model is computed.

Multiple meshes per material

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.

Better material merging when atlasing multiple models

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.

Path deformation

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”.

FBX camera support

This feature from version 7 returns. Select “File→Import camera from FBX…” to use cameras in an FBX file in the Modeler.

Improved quad computation

The quadification of imported mesh assets now creates better quads and does so in less time.

Hand drawing control points are now a fixed size

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.

Face normal based normal computation

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.

STE Export

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.

"Unfurl" growth option

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.

Extension control during growth animations

It is now possible to manually control when and how extensions grow (previous versions forced extensions to grow in time with their parent).

PC2 caches

64-bit PC2 formatted caches can now be written directly from the Modeler.

Velocity vectors

Velocity vectors are computed for wind and growth animation, enabling motion blur from geometry caches.

Leaf references in XML exports

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 segment reduction

Weld region polygons now shrink away during LOD transitions, significantly reducing the triangle count of lower LOD meshes.

Custom exporters

This feature from v7 returns in a new form.

XML asset loading

SpeedTree raw XML output can now be loaded as a mesh asset, including mesh anchor locations/orientations for procedural growth.

Specific mesh asset loading

Adding “#name” to a mesh asset filename will load only that particular mesh out of the file.

Billboard count option

Game exports can now specify the number of billboards generated on the export dialog.

More Alembic data

Spines and anchors can now be stored per piece in Alembic exports.

Lightmap UVs in game FBX exports

The lightmap UVs computed in Games modelers can now be exported in FBX files.

Bug Fixes

Slow growth hitches

Subframe accuracy has been added to the growth system to prevent hitches in slow growth animations.

Polygon counts one frame behind in node editing mode

The polygon statistics were delayed and displayed previous totals until a node was clicked twice or edited.

[CRASH] Adding a shell with growth enabled

Adding shells with growth enabled no longer crashes, but shells still do not work with growth.

Leaf Mesh LOD index edits

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).

Meshes separating from parent meshes in wind

It was possible for Leaf Meshes that were the child of other Leaf Meshes to separate from their parent during wind animation.

Lighting seams between Caps and Shells

Normal, binormal, and tangent welding tolerance near the seams of Caps and Shells has been expanded to accommodate geometry near the weld region.

Negative polygon counts

Leaf collision could cause the Modeler to report negative polygon counts for leaves.

Frond collision

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.

Mesh preview lightmap warning

This warning message is now positioned correctly regardless of the aspect ration of the mesh preview window.

Dismissed dialogs resulted in stuck cursors

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.

Ambient light color errors

Changes have been made to ensure that background rendering modes other than “Ambient light” still use the ambient light settings from the Light object.

Extensions become separated during LOD transitions

Changes have been made to Branch LOD computations to ensure extensions stay connected to their parents at each LOD level.

Arnold import script error in Maya

The Maya import script for Arnold automatically sets the “Opaque” flag on geometry needing an opacity map.

Subdivison surface edit

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.

Collision Object names

A naming scheme based on the generator names has been implemented to avoid confusing Collision Object names.

[CRASH] Hand drawn conversion

A bug that could cause some Branch nodes to crash when converted to hand-drawn nodes has been corrected.

Open dialog hanging

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.

[CRASH] Legacy model LOD generation

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.

Hand drawn branch growth

A bug has been corrected that prevented some hand drawn elements from working correctly with animated growth enabled.

Undo/redo Cutout Editor results

Changes have been made to allow undoing/redoing of Cutout Editor sessions.

[CRASH] Closing the "Render Photo" dialog

A bug that could cause a crash if the dialog was closed before the rendering was complete has been fixed.

Extents and AO in mesh only scenes

Any models comprised exclusively of mesh forces now have their extents and ambient occlusion values set correctly.

Color space issues

Changes have been made to ensure the correct color space is used when exporting unwrapped models that use material variations.

Disappering weld region on hand drawn branches

Toggling welding on hand-drawn branches no longer causes the weld region to permanently disappear.

Bottom cap gaps and seams

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.

[CRASH] Shell LODs

Shells that disappear before the final LOD no longer result in a crash.

Leaf generator conversion issues

Converting from Batched Leaves to Leaf Meshes (and vice versa) could result in material properties losing their combo boxes. This error has been corrected.

Background rendering in orthographic views

All background rendering styles now work correctly in orthographic viewports.

V7 models in UE4

Leaves now function correctly in UE4 when version 7 models (or earlier) are exported from v8.

Leaf reference orientation/size

A bug that could result in improperly oriented and sized leaf references has been fixed.

UE4/Unity frond wind bug

Fronds at the lowest LOD could detach from their parents. This bug has been corrected.

Bone numbers doubled on shells

The reported number of bones for Shell generators is now accurate.

Shape control hint rendering

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

Gust control handles in the Tree Window are no longer visible when gusting is disabled.

Frond LOD

Fronds now drop length segments with their parent branch during LOD transitions (only true for fronds that do not use a mesh asset).

Extension material drops

Dropping a material on a branch extension now sets the extension material instead of the branch material.

Quad leaf collision

Collision on leaves that use quads has been fixed. Previous versions resulted in deformed geometry.

Caps missing a segment when using Quads

There is no longer a segment missing where Cap generators meet Branch generators with quads enabled.

Old generators vs. new LOD

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.

Growth vs. Wind

Wind anchors were being scaled incorrectly during growth animations, resulting in stretching and distortion during high wind conditions. This bug has been fixed.

Collapsed generators

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.

Spine-only branches reduce LOD segments

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.

Flattening dropped leaves

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 tex coords vs. branch extensions

Absolute V texture coordinates now propagate correctly through from branches to their extensions.

Frond material changes

Fronds were not immediately reacting to Property Bar material changes (drag/drop was working as expected). This bug has been fixed.

EXR in game exports

EXR exporting from Games versions of the Modeler now work correctly.

Frond wind bug

A bug where frond lighting orientation could oscillate with wind strength has been corrected.

Squashed welding

The shape of squashed parent branches is now accounted for when welding a branch to them.


New Features

XML Exports Have More Data

Dynamic LOD, collision objects, spines, and bones have been added to XML exports from the Games Modeler.

Mesh Exports Without Textures

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.

Bug Fixes

Draft Wind in Exported Models

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.

Gusting and Strenght Issues in Wind Exports

Several bugs affecting the consistency of wind strength and gusting behavior in point cache and Alembic exports have been fixed.

Bone Weighting

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.

Welding Quad Branch Geometry

A bug has been fixed that could cause quad branch geometry that rapidly decreased radial segment count to crash during welding.


Bug Fixes

Vertex Color and Wind Inheritance

Extensions placed on broken branches were not inheriting vertex colors or wind data, resulting in separation during animation. This bug has been corrected.

Quad Exporting

Quad exports to Maya have been fixed and degenerate quads no longer invalidate point caches.

Save Prompt

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.


New Features

Mesh-Based Smooth Normals

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).

Bug Fixes

File Dialog Crash

The crash associated with previously available drives no longer being accessible has been fixed.

Lumberyard Face Winding

The face winding for Lumberyard exports has been modified to work with both the vegetation shaders (this always worked) and non-two-sided shaders.

Unwrapping Fixes

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.

Growth Wizard Crash

Generators with failed welds could cause the “Growth Wizard” to crash when it was executed. This bug has been corrected.

Lightmap Density Incorrect on Load

Lightmap density visualization will now be correct immediately on load. Previous versions required an additional compute.

Incorrect Polygon Count Display

Polygons removed during collision could cause an error in polygon statistics reporting. This has been corrected.

Node Position Offets

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.


New Features

Fractional U Mapping

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.

Bug Fixes

V Coordinate Controls Not Working On Shells

A previous fix caused V texture coordinate controls to be ignored on shells. This problem has been corrected.

Using Quads with Mesh Anchors Crash

Switching Leaves/Fronds to quads combined with the use of Mesh anchors could result in a crash. This problem has been corrected.

"Spine Only" Node Edits

Node editing a branch to be “Spine Only” was being ignored. This edit works now.

Material Node Edits

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.

Polygon Count Stats Not Updating During LOD Previews

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 Collections

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 Selection Highlighting

Toggling the selection indicator on and off no longer causes the LOD slider to stick.

"Gen" Tabs in Node Editing Mode

This tab has been removed when in node editing mode.

LOD Updating Issues

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 on Welded Branches Issue

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.

Control Points Don't Update

The control points on hand drawn branches now update during node edit operations.

Crash Due to Hand Drawn Branch Deletion

Deleting hand drawn subdivision surface branches no longer causes a crash.

"Spine:Roll" Error on Hand Drawn Branches

Hand drawn branches were “rolling” around the wrong axis. This problem has been corrected.

"Skin:Roll" Error on Hand Drawn and Subdivision Surface Branches

Using “Skin:Roll” was twisting hand drawn branches that were welded or used in subdvision surfaces. This problem has been corrected.

Decorator Normals

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.

Crash When Dropping Meshes on Fronds

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.


Bug Fixes

Stretched UVs on Caps Added to Shells

The V coordinates on caps could be stretched when added to shells. This problem has been corrected.

Fan Context Menu

It is once again possible to right-click in the Fan icon area to bring up the wind menu while wind is disabled.

Dynamic LOD Fighting Collision

The Dynamic LOD system has been modified to work seamlessly with background leaf collision.

Smooth Parent Curve Edits Causing Occasional Crashes

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 Quads with Welded Branches Crash

Using quad geometry on welded branches that reduced radial segment count along the branch could cause crashes. This problem has been corrected.


New Features

Better Support for High-Resolution Monitors

“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.

Arnold Support

The importer scripts for 3ds Max and Maya now support creating Arnold materials when importing SpeedTree models.

Renderman Support

The importer script for Maya now supports creating Renderman materials when importing SpeedTree models.

Bug Fixes

Node Edit Undo

“Undo” operations on node edits were wiping out all node edits, not just the last one. This has been corrected.

Split Crash

Using splits on branches welded to a parent could result in a crash or garbage geometry. This bug has been fixed.

"Knockout Others Only" Collision

Leaves using this collision style can no longer be eliminated by branches during the collision process.

Wind Causing Leaves to Disappear

A bug in the wind system that caused leaves to disappear for strengths greater than 1.0 has been fixed.

Double Click Based Zooming

This technique of changing the camera position now works in “Trackball” navigation mode as well as “Standard”.

"Sink" on Welded Branches

The blend region was not being sunk but the branch was. Both elements sink correctly now.

UV Errors on Shells

Shells that did not end on exact length segment were showing stretched UV coordinates in the last segment. This behavior has been corrected.

Asset Drop Highlight Indicators

The highlight around the target of drag/drop operations has been restored.

FBX files not compatible with 3ds Max

An option on the export dialog has been added for creating 3ds Max 2015-compatible FBX files.

Fan Rotation Handles

These handles now highlight as you mouse over them (like the other manipulator handles in the app).

Shadow Bias

A bug resulting in large gaps between geometry and its shadow has been fixed.

Leaves as Extensions

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.

Open Dialog Crash on Linux

The SpeedTree open dialog could crash when displaying mesh previews. This has been fixed.


New Features

Billboard Rendering Improvements

The speed and quality of the billboard rendering during real-time model exports has been improved.

Atlas Packing Improvements

The map and billboard atlas packing algorithm has been improved to create atlases that utilize the available texture space more efficiently.

Better Opacity Handling in Lumberyard Models

TIF export settings for alpha mipmapping has been modified so that sparse leaves/needles don't disappear in the distance.

Improved Branch Intersection Noise Pattern

The vertex noise pattern used to blend branch intersections has been modified to reduce harsh edge artifacts near the transition edge.

Bug Fixes

Cascade Value From Old Models Fixed

Models created in 7 and earlier versions that used the “Cascade” value on parent curves now import with much greater fidelity in version 8.

Frond Normal Spread

The algorithm for smoothing geometry normals on fronds has been fixed (normals were spreading more on the interior than the exterior in previous releases).

Force Mesh Extents Included in AO Rendering

Previous versions were ignoring the extents of Force Meshes when rendering AO data.

"Clear Node Edits" Property Button Crash

Repeatedly pressing this button on the Property Bar while in “Node Editing” mode could result in a crash.

LOD Geometry Rendering to the Origin Fixed

A bug that could cause some geometry vertices to be set to the origin during collision/LOD computations has been fixed.

Fronds Can Now Handle the "Simple Leaves" Mesh

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.

Cap Generators No Longer Indicate Wind Level in the Generation Editor

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.


New Features

Timeline Wind Improvements

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.

Velocity Data in Alembic Exports

An option has been added to select whether or not velocity data is included in Alembic exports.

Edit Map Filenames

Map filenames can now be edited on the Edit Map dialog.

Capture Camera Works in Sequence Renders

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.

Bug Fixes

Caps on Shells Crash Fixed

Caps added to shells could cause a crash in the event the shell wasn't created.


New Features

Shape Control Distribution Style

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.