#2 Blender add-on review: Space Tree Pro

Space tree Pro Space tree add-on is an add-on that was created
first as an experiment to make trees from scratch with an algorithm that first adds
so-called marker particles inside of a volume. Then the addon grows the tree towards those
markers. I like the idea, it’s very clever and there
is a lot of potentials. So let’s see what we can do with this addon. Space tree addon is also special because there
are the commercial version and the free versions available for it. The free version is little bit stripped version
of the commercial one, but you still can work with it and create trees. I am now focusing on the commercial one, but
I also add the free version download link to the description. First, of course, you install the addon, just
like any other addon and after that you can add tree to your scene from Shift + A menu. In that menu, there is now a new item called
“Tree” with that nice colored icon. The button creates this skeleton version of
the tree and you can start adjusting the settings to make the tree better. The settings are in a new tab inside of T-menu. Because the tree is based on the markers to
which towards the tree is growing, I usually like to activate the markers to the scene,
so I can see them with my own eyes. So I go to the bottom of all the settings
and to Advanced and click “show markers”. Then I click “update tree”. The addon always kills the marker particle
when one branch reaches it. It means that the one marker can’t be used
2 times to grow branch. We can test this behavior by going back up
and adjusting the settings. There is not supposed to be ever a situation
where two branches are overlapping. We can add more markers now, to make the tree
more complex. Now when we have the tree trunk with branches
ready, we can adjust the branches with settings like “branch angle, branch angle weight,
straight weight”… and so on. Random seed is also very important setting
for the future. Some settings seems to be more sensitive than
other settings. I think at this point it might be wise idea
to hide the markers, because we don’t need to see those anymore. Let’s test how the crown setting effects
this. We should remember that the tree is made up
of the marker particles added inside of the volume, so we should be able to edit that
volume. In the crown settings we can do that. You can also create your own volume. The volume is a group of objects which you
can select with these lists. I can create a single object or more objects
and add it to my own object group. My group is named as “test”. Together those objects will be the volume
for my markers. Oh, did I forget to tell? This add-on has something
I wish every add-on would have. Non destructive workflow. If I work for while with some other object,
I can always come back to this tree and keep editing the settings. This is awesome feature. Every blender addon should have this You can also try to fix the tree crown with
the “shadow” group. The shadow means a group that will cut the
branches. Kind of virtual chainsaw. If you will… So I will create a torus to delete those objects
around the trunk. Let’s see what happens. I will rename this group as “chainsaw”. Side note: If you wonder why are not those
branches following exactly my volume groups, the reason is that my groups are affecting
the marker particles, not the branches. So I can delete or add with those volumen
groups the markers, but after that the generator grows the tree and adds things like tropism
and branch angle weight and so on, which will edit the tree shape out from my volume groups. Because of that I think the crown settings
should actually be done before adjusting branch angles and things like that. That helps you to not be confused of your
workflow. You can also adjust the tree shape with Grease
pencil. I was not very successful with it, but maybe
you can do something with it. With that you can for example try to make
ivies if you set up your grease pencil stroke to stick on object surfaces. I was not able to make the branches follow
exactly the grease pencil, but it might be possible with some settings. I’m not going to promise, tho. The part which everyone is waiting for of
course is the skinning. We can add the thickness for the tree skeleton
in the skinning tab. The default skinning method looks quite horribe. It might be fast, but these branches look
just awful. Luckily we have different skinning methods
to test. And with those other methods the tree actually
looks very decent. I myself like most the Blender own skin modifier
result, but it also is also the slow one and there is possibility that you crash your
Blender. Now you just check which one works for you
best. You can also add subsurf to it, to make the
shape less blocky. And btw, the branches are kind of behind the leaves, so maybe skinning is not so crucial part. If the trunk looks good then maybe its kind of ok if the branches are little awful because. They are kind of behind of the leaves so that is also one thing to remember Anyways I use now this space tree own skinning
method, because it works fast. From the material list, there should be a
material to select for the bark material. I remember working with this addon at 2015
and it used to be like that, but it seems it does not anymore work like that. Maybe some blender update broke the addon
and we lost connection to the materials? Okay, then last thing to add is the leaves. This is also one problematic thing here, because
we don’t have the particle system that was supposed to be here. So if we wanna have leaves now, we need to
create the particle system by ourself. You can also create additional objects to
this tree, like apples or something like that with this additional particle system. But you can create an another object where
you add the leaves and materials and then just assign those to the tree with the space
tree settings. So now I need to model a new leaf models and
create a particle system for those. You can also append the leaf model and the
particle system from one of those the tree preset which you got with the addon. The space tree adds the particle system to
those small markers that are marking the location of the leaves. So don’t add the particle system to the
trunk yourself. Your work will be wasted when you press the
update button, because the particles are in wrong place and the addon just don’t like
that kind of stuff. Now when you have the tree ready and leaves
and everything, you can lock the settings and delete manually the branches you don’t
like and adjust the materials You can also sculpt this if you want to et cetera. The addon also comes with some sample trees,
but those are very slow meshes and the settings to render them are possibly also the slowest
possible you can make up in Blender. So I don’t like very much working with those
sample trees, because it would need me to tidy the settings to render them faster. The space tree generator is very good addon
to create for example birch,aspen and oak type trees. I can see a different bushes can be done very
easily with this. But spruce. I don’t know if it’s even possible. Or palm. Anyways, it’s another good addon and if
you don’t wanna buy it, you can test the free version to see if it works for you. Anyways, you can do quite decent trees also
with sapling tree generator or even an ivy generator, so you don’t necessary need this
addon. The best thing in this is tho, that it makes
trees that are one object. the branches are for real connected to the
trunk. So you can make even close up renders from
your trees and the branches or leaves only very rarely overlap each other. This is just pure awesomeness from a generator. So if you need only some very basic trees You can go very easily with the free sapling that comes with Blender but if you need something very special, like the heart shaped tree or something like that. Then this add-on comes in use. This is very useful add-on for that kind of more challenging jobs where the sapling generator just can’t go. For
space tree addon I give 3 and half stars. It works very fluently and adjusting these
settings is also really fun. I can see that some very nice trees can be
done with it, but not everything is perfect. I think this technology has potential to be
more. If you are just doing some your own projects,
the 30 dollars price is quite salty, but not a catastrophe. Especially when you really wanna do stuff
that only this addon can do. In some situations the generator absolutely
kills sapling tree generator with features, but in some other situations I would prefer
using still the sapling generator instead. Thanks for watching and I hope you learned something from this short review.

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