The SpeedTree® real-time/games pipeline involves three major components:
- SpeedTree Modeler: This is where video game animation artists create and edit vegetation models, in real-time or cinematic resolutions. In the Games version, LODs and wind are tuned in using an animated WYSIWYG window that mirrors the run-time SDK’s behavior.
- SpeedTree Compiler: Takes the models saved in the Modeler as input for creating a great deal of platform-optimized output: compressed texture atlases, 360-degree normal-mapped billboard atlases, compiled shaders, and compressed 3D models. Various LOD and shader effects controls are also presented for forward and deferred rendering engines.
- SpeedTree SDK: Portable C++ code that reads the Compiler’s output and handles all run-time chores. The SDK is divided into multiple libraries, each handling increasingly more of the forest loading, culling, LOD, wind, and rendering workload.
Over the years, we’ve increasingly designed the pipeline for flexibility. Some developers prefer to jump off of the pipeline immediately after using the Modeler, or perhaps just use part or all of the Compiler’s output, bypassing the SDK altogether. Nothing prevents this from being done. We’ve even designed APIs for writing custom exporters from both the Modeler and Compiler.
The video below demonstrates a couple of tree models being shepherded through the entire pipeline.
Care to evaluate the pipeline yourself? Contact us and we’ll get you up and running with the entire tool set.