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Forester Pro Version 1.30 Released (02/01/2016)

We've just completed version 1.30 of Forester Pro which addresses a few issues identified with exporting some models and some templates by users over the last few months.

Forester Pro Version 1.29 Released (07/04/2015)

We've just completed version 1.29 of Forester Pro which adds automatic lightmap generation and a new texturing mode for trunks and branches. Lightmaps can now be automatically generated during export for FBX files (Unity 4/5, Unreal Engine 4, and editors such as 3DS Max) and provide a unique UV set in the second UV set to be used by lightmapping functions within your end application. This is in particular useful for UE4 whose automatic UV unwrapping tool struggles with trees. An example of an automatically generated UV map is shown below. The map is designed to (1) minimize wasted space in the lightmap, (2) minimize distortion and (3) space separate meshes to prevent light bleed.

A new branch texture mode has also been added to Forester Pro. Textures on branches and trunks can now be set to reflect UV coordinates at seams on texture repeat or not to reflect UV coordinates. Reflecting UV coordinates allows textures that are not seamless horizontally to be used for branches, although this may cause artifacts. Repeating textures without reflecting uv coordinates requires a seamless texture but avoids artifacts. The difference between reflected and non-reflected mapping is shown below:

As always all upgrades are free.

Wild Flower Pack 2 Released (16/03/2015)

We've just released Wild Flower Pack 2 featuring templates of Buttercups, Anenomes, Violets, Indian Blankets and Camomile. Add a splash of colour to your scenes.

Forester Pro version 1.28 Released (26/11/2014)

We've been working hard on version 1.28 of Forester Pro which features some massive updgrades to the way in which normals work on models. Normal bending has been added to Forester that allows leaf normals to be automatically modified by bending away from a user defined point. Normal bending is useful in reducing anomalously shadowed leaves and in giving foliage more volume. Grass in particular benefits from normal bending. We've also added the ability to edit the normals of individual leaf vertexes. Up until now all leaves had the same normals, however, now you can interactively tweak normals on leaves. This version of Forester also adds specific export support for FPSC(R) including automatic generation of atlas textures and fpe files.

Desert Plant Pack 1 Released (24/10/2014)

We've just released our 20th plant Template Pack, Desert Pack 1, which features a range of plants found in deserts. All the textures released in this pack were collected in the Moroccan Sahara. The image below shows the templates provided in the pack. We've also included a special extra template to create desert grass.

A desert scene created with this pack is shown below:

Conifer Tree Pack 3 Released (10/08/2014)

We've just released our 19th plant Template Pack, Conifer Tree Pack 3, which features a range of of conifer trees useful for creating temperate scenes. Each template can be used to generate a wide range of models and is easy to customize. The image below shows the templates provided in the pack.

A mountain scene created with this pack is shown below:

Prehistoric Tree Pack Released (13/07/2014)

We've just released our 18th Plant Template Pack, Prehistoric Tree Pack 1, which features a range of ancient trees. The pack includes species of Sigillaria and Scale Tree (Lepidodendron) both of which were common in the late Palaeozoic and dominated swamps and forests prior to the Mesozoic Era. The pack also includes Horsetail ferns, Cyclads and Tree Ferns, all of which appear today as living fossils. Cyclads and Tree Ferns are in particular common within modern jungles. The models produced by templates in this pack are useful in creating scenes of the ancient Earth or can provide models for alien worlds.

Version 1.27 Released (28/06/2014)

We've just released version 1.27 with updates to the generation of collision meshes that are automatically generated. The new additions to Forester add three types of collision mesh: (i) box, (2) simple canopy, and (3) LOD-based collisions. We've also added several properties that allow user-defined collision meshes to be generated by optimising the size and shape of the mesh. We have added these new features based on user suggestions to enable Forester Pro trees to be used optimally for many different applications.

Some example collision meshes, together with a high res version of the Blossum Tree model, are shown below:

The simple mesh examples show the bevelled canopy added to version 1.27 where the degree of bevel and the width of the canopy can be customised. This allows the collision mesh to be tailored to the required size of the object. The simple collisions provide an combination of efficiency with relatively accurate collision. The LOD mesh shown was generated with a branch limit set to a fraction of 0.3 of the width of the main trunk so that only the largest branches are reproduced in the collision mesh. Roots can also be included in this collision type. The LOD collision mesh is computationally expensive, however, gives the option to allow detailed collisions where lines of sight match collision geometry. The box collisions are the simplest of possible collisions and are the most computationally efficient but suffer from poor accuracy. Collisions featuring just the trunk can be used for FPSC applications but will have artifacts when close to the model. Trees and plants with bent trunks will also lead to inappropriate or overly large collisions with this collision mesh. The size of the box mesh can, however, also be customized to minimize artifacts. Box collisions that encompass the entire branch network of the tree or plant can also be generated but are probably only really applicable for RTS applications.

Version 1.26 Released (28/04/2014)

We've just released version 1.26 of Forester which includes a load of new features to generate flowers and small plants. This has been worrying us for a while. Up until now Forester was great at creating trees, bushes and shrubs, and could make grass, but flowers and many small herbaceous plants were problematic.

The problem with flowering and herbaceous (fleshy) plants is they often have more regular structures than trees or shrubs which are much more random. Nettles, for example, have clusters of leaves in fours spaced regularly up the stem. Flowers often are located at the end of stems and have a reptical from which they bud. We've now added new properties to the branch and leaf properties menu that can simulate these more regular structures. They are also useful for prehistoric and alien trees.

Mesh small plants provide some nice detailed models for your applications and although detailed most have 200-300 faces so won't cripple framerate. If you'd prefer billboards, however, we've also updated the billboard editor so you can create clusters of plants in Forester, then export them as a billboard image with an alpha channel.

To go along with the new release we've revamped the Free Grass Pack, Wild Flower Pack 1 and Temperate Plant Pack 1 to include mesh flowers and small plants. If you've already bought these packs (the first one is free as the name suggests) then just reinstall. All our upgrades are always free. The image below shows some plants from these packs.

Version 1.25 Released (12/04/2014)

We've just released version 1.25 of Forester Pro. This version features newly revamped textures on all the standard models. We've learnt so much about making high quality textures since the initial launch of Forester a year ago we thought we'd better go back and apply all that hardwork to the originals. We've also applied the same treatment to many of our tree and plant packs which are now all up to date. So if you've purchased Africa Tree Pack 1, Autumn Tree Pack 1, Conifer Tree Packs 1 or 2, Temperate Tree Packs 1 or 2 or Palm Tree Pack 1 then you might like to download them again and install the new versions. The new textures include significant improvement to alpha channels actually using the image editor tool packages with Forester Pro that allows you to create alpha channels from BMPs with an alpha mask.

To obtain the new versions of the textures for Forester Pro we suggest downloading the latest version of Forester and reinstalling to a different directory (e.g. Forester2) and then coping across the leaf textures (under textures\leaves) so you won't lose any of your existing custom models or textures.

Version 1.25 also features an update specifically for Unity and UDK users that improves the imported normals of models in these engines greatly improves their appearance.

Snow Tree Pack 1 Released

We have just launched Snow Tree Pack 1, which includes a range of trees to create different cold climate forests from North America, Europe and Asia. The pack features the following templates, each of which can be used to generate a wide range of models.

A scene created with models from this pack is shown below.
 

We are also working on our next update to Forester Pro. We have had requests to add more features to help create small plants, in particular flowers, so we are planning features to help you position flower heads and leaves more regularly since flowers are much more regular foliage assets than trees.

Temperate Tree Pack 3 Released

We have just launched Temperate Tree Pack 2, which includes a range of trees to create different temperate forests from North America, Europe and Asia. The pack features the following templates, each of which can be used to generate a wide range of models.

A scene created with models from this pack is shown below.
 

We are also planning our next update to Forester Pro. We have had requests to add more features to help create small plants, in particular flowers, so we are planning features to help you position flower heads and leaves more regularly since flowers are much more regular foliage assets than trees.

Jungle Tree Pack 2 Released

We have just launched Jungle Tree Pack 2, which includes a range of rainforest plants to create different jungles from around the world. We've had many requests for more jungle trees, in particular those that are distinct from each other. We've also had requests for more smaller scale model templates to generate more diversity in jungle scenes. This new pack is based on photo references collected in the Far East and Australia. The pack features the following templates, each of which can be used to generate a wide range of models.

A scene created with models from this pack is shown below.
 

 

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