By now, you’ve probably seen Jimmy Donaldson
AKA MrBeast’s#teamtrees campaign to raise enough money by January 1st 2020 to plant
20 million trees. What better tool is there to illustrate tens of millions of plants than
Forest Pack? So to support this good cause, here’s a quick demo … Before we start, we’re going to do a little
maths. Assuming they are packed side by side, how much space do you actually need for 20
million trees? Let’s assume we are going to plant our trees pretty close together at
a density of 525 plants per hectare of land, that’s about 4.36m between centres. For
20 million trees at that density you would need an area of land about 380km2, or to put
it another way, the exact size of the Isle Of Wight, a small island located off the south
coast of the UK, and not coincidentally, the birthplace of one of the iToo team. So, in 3ds Max Here’s how the Isle of Wight
looks with its existing distribution of trees (we’re not sure how many are already there,
we haven’t had time to count). Let’s take the island, remove all the people
and towns (sorry about that!) , and re-wild it with 20-million plants using Forest Pack. First of all Create a new Forest Pack object
and pick the landscape Accept any pop-ups that arise, they’re just
giving you good advice to optimise your scene including using camera clipping and points
cloud display mode. The first thing to do is to remove some limitations.
Forest Pack tries to stop you creating scatters that are so large you might crash your PC.
Let’s fly without a parachute and remove them by going to the Display rollout and entering
zero for Max Items. Then go to the Distribution rollout and zero the Max Density. While your
here, increase the Density so we don’t start with a crazy dense distribution.
Time to pick a tree. Go to the Geometry rollout and choose a tree from the built-in library.
I’m going to go for this Black Pine. We need the most efficient way to create the
densest distribution as possible. For that we use the Solid white distribution map. It
has no black pixels, so no computing power is wasted calculating any spaces in the pattern.
Adjust the Density setting until your trees are packed in nice and close together. No
need for any maths here, I’m just going to go this by eye.
That solid white distribution map creates an unpleasant grid-like pattern. Let’s break
that up by going to the Transform rollout and adding some Translation randomisation.
While we’re here. Let’s randomise the rotation and scale of the trees to try to
disguise the repetition of a single model. Trees seldom thrive in the ocean, to remove
them – go to the Surface rollout and turn on Limit by Altitude. Adjust the Bottom value
until the trees are removed from the sea. Increase the Top value too if necessary,.
Hit render and … wait. Theres a bit of a delay here – it is 20 million trees after
all! After a while though, the render finishes and in our sample scene it looks like we decided
20 million trees wasn’t enough, there’s actually 27 million 161 thousand 381 trees
in this scene. At this scale it just looks like a green moss,
but it we move the camera in closer and then render it again you can see that indeed that
this scene contains individual trees. Moreover, the models and the materials were not optimised
– in fact the tree I chose has in the region of 1.5 million polygons. That’s over 40
trillion polygons in the scene. Thats all there is to it to creating huge
scatters with Forest Pack. Unfortunately though, planting 20 million trees in real life isn’t
quite so straightforward – so if you are interested in helping out. head over to teamtrees.org
to learn more about how you can get involved.