I've posted two new videos that demonstrate the Woody3D Leaf Painter and Tree Forge editors. Watch them on my YouTube channel: http://youtube.com/renderingsystems
The videos should give you a general feel of what working with the editors is like. The Leaf Painter requires direct interaction with each leaf to create animated textures. The Tree Forge requires knowledge of a set of parameters to modify for each part of the tree. If you'd like to try the editors they are available with the Woody3D evaluation kit: http://woody3d.com/downloads/
Editors and My Plan of Abstraction
Abstraction of the Leaf Painter controls will include procedurally generating leaf types (Fig.1) and allowing the user to paint with them. This small abstraction will speed up the process of painting and build more realistic textures.
Abstraction of the Tree Forge controls begins with tree type selection, moves on to parameters, and ends with the new tools. Tree type selection involves giving the user an option to select a tree type (Fig.2) from a library of tree types to begin with. This removes the need to recreate similar types at different resolutions. Some of the parameters can be combined and transformed into slider controls to simplify the parameters. Other parameters can be controlled using tree interactive controls. This will make working with parameters more intuitive in the tree editor. Finally more tools will be added for directly interacting with each part of the tree. Tools will allow the user to cut branches and leaves, modify (bend, move, rotate) branches, paint leaves onto branches and more.
Leaf Painter is Key
It's all about what you wear. To get great looking trees I'm going to have to create great looking textures. The current leaf painter version is a good start. As mentioned in the section above, I'm going to add leaf types which will be generated from leaf textures. Attention to detail in these leaf types is key. Lighting, shadowing, ambient occlusion, and multisampling are all priority goals.
A C++ evaluation of the Woody3D model loader and basic versions of the animation shaders is coming in January. I'll be releasing 1.1.1 with the evaluation and I'll begin adding some abstraction improvements over version 1.1.X. The primary goal of 1.1 will be to make improvements to the Leaf Painter. With improvements to the Tree Forge in 1.2.
End of Year Sneaking Up
Tomorrow is the 15th already! Another Gregorian year is coming to a close. I'm happy to have released Woody3D finally after three years of hard work. It's seems odd sometimes when I think that it's only the beginning.