SpeedTree 5.0 beta launched at GDC

SpeedTree 5.0 beta launched at GDC
Michael French

By Michael French

March 19th 2009 at 12:48PM

Latest version of foliage generator is 'first complete rewrite'

IDV's popular tool SpeedTree is getting a major overhaul for the debut of its fifth version at GDC next week.

Touted as a complete rewrite for the tool, v5.0 boasts new modelling and rendering power.

“SpeedTree 5.0 represents a huge leap forward for artists and programmers,” said IDV president Michael Sechrest.

“Developers can grow procedural versions quickly or design just the tree they want, then fill a level or a world with vast numbers of animated, naturally-lit models.”

Specific new upgrades include:

Hand & Procedural Modeling. The new SpeedTree Modeler enables an unprecedented degree of control over the tree’s geometry. Prune branches, set force parameters to guide branch shape, and grow SpeedTree models around rocks, walls or other imported meshes.

Physics. SpeedTree geometry now features the data necessary to interface SpeedTree with your physics engine, and includes built-in support for NVIDIA PhysX technology and the new NVIDIA PhysX APEX Vegetation Module.

Multiple Integration Options. SpeedTree can be brought into games and other real-time applications at any level – as a mesh, as geometry, as a partial integration with the user’s engine, or through a full integration. Comprehensive, integration-friendly reference applications are available to accelerate integration into the game development pipeline.

Lighting. SpeedTree 5 offers a new degree of lighting realism, including dynamic shadows, ambient occlusion and translucency.

Levels of Detail. SpeedTree 5’s aggressive new levels of detail system means more trees in a scene than ever before while SpeedTree maintains high-quality, pop-free transitions.