Wednesday, May 29th, 2019 Posted by Jim Thacker

IDV ships SpeedTree 8.4

IDV has released SpeedTree 8.4, the latest version of its line of software for generating animated trees for visual effects and games projects.

SpeedTree for Games gets most of the new features, including a new wind algorithm, the option to export bones in rigged trees, and more control over the texture atlases the software exports.

Changes common to both the Games and Cinema editions of the software include lossless compression when exporting textures in TIFF format.

SpeedTree for Games: new wind animation system and export options
SpeedTree for Games, IDV’s middleware solution, gets the bulk of the changes this time round, including a new algorithm for wind animation.

The system, which is described as “faster [and] one-draw-call capable”, will be compatible with the SpeedTree 8 SDK, due to be released publicly in future.

Games artists also get more control over the texture atlases SpeedTree generates when exporting trees, including the option to in- or exclude individual materials, and to generate custom names for atlases.

Users can also now include bones in FBX or XML files generated by the game exporter.

In addition, the game export system now generates a “detailed summary of what got exported including geometry statistics and texture resolutions”.

All editions of the software: lossless TIFF compression
New features common to both SpeedTree for Games, and SpeedTree Cinema, the VFX edition of the software, include a switch to lossless LZW compression when exporting textures in TIFF format.

It is also now posible to export a greater range of scene data in XML format, including wind animation parameters and near and far LOD distances.

The update also improves calculation of per-vertex ambient occlusion, viewport opacity, and makes a number of bugfixes. You can find a full list via the link below.

Pricing and system requirements
SpeedTree Cinema 8.4 is available now for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. A node-locked licence costs $1,650; a floating licence costs $2,500. Rental options are also available.

SpeedTree for Games 8.4 is available for Windows and Mac OS X. An Indie subscription, for studios with annual revenues under $1 million, costs $999/year; full licences are priced on enquiry.

The SpeedTree for Games modeler is also available free to Lumberyard users, or for $19/month for Unity and UE4 users. At the time of posting, it hadn’t been updated to version 8.4.

Read an overview of the new features in SpeedTree 8.4 on IDV’s blog