Category Archives: Cinema

SpeedTree Cinema 8: Available Now

SpeedTree® Cinema 8 launches today with dozens of new features that deliver dramatically more realistic trees and plants, with major reductions to modeling time and effort.  With a new, constantly expanding library of vegetation models (Including new field and forest models), SpeedTree Cinema 8 is the most advanced version we’ve ever released and is already being adopted by top VFX studios around the world.

The software, winner of a Scientific and Technical Academy Award® and an Engineering Emmy®, is available for both permanent and short-term use and may be evaluated and licensed at Discounted upgrade paths are available for all existing licensees of SpeedTree visual effects products.

SpeedTree Studio and SpeedTree Architect are being discontinued, but SpeedTree Cinema is now available in various options and prices – with or without the Model Library, as node-locked or floating, and for permanent or shorter terms.

The most important new features of SpeedTree Cinema 8 include:

  •  Full PBR workflow and rendering. Supports non-destructive material editing, allowing
    artists to adjust textures on the fly. To see the stunning impact of this new feature, please
  • A completely new library of 150 models, ranging from seedlings to towering forest
    trees, includes thousands of 3D surface-scanned PBR textures. Each individual model file (.spm) contains multiple polygonal resolutions and adjustable seasonal variations.
  • Vastly improved export pipeline. Exports of both meshes and wind animations now run
    much faster and use far less memory. Other improvements include UDIM support, better
    mesh unwrapping, hierarchical exports, and better bone weighting for skinned meshes.
  • New leaf batching system. Leaf rendering in the SpeedTree Modeler is up to 1,000 times
    faster than version 7. This innovation greatly speeds the modeling process and supports
    the creation of more complex models.
  • Major leaps in wind realism. Cinema 8 captures the complex dynamics of wind among
    leaves and branches more naturally than ever. The overhauled system features a realistic
    rolling wind effect, is much easier to tune, and includes a new wind wizard.
  • Numerous other improvements. There are more than two dozen other substantial
    improvements including a new art director tool, an overhauled mesh cutout syst

Upgrade from SpeedTree Studio, Architect, or Cinema to SpeedTree 8 today! Claim your upgrade by sending an email to [email protected].

SpeedTree Cinema Term License
Full featured modeler
Export OBJ, Alembic, or FBX
One step import scripts for popular DCC
Flexible purchasing terms
SpeedTree Cinema Full License
Floating or node-locked
Animated growth and wind
Tools only Modeler
Compatible with legacy SpeedTrees and the new VFX Library
SpeedTree Library Subscription
Unlimited downloads of the VFX library
8k bark, 4k leaf textures
Includes multiple seasons and resolutions in each model
Requires Cinema license


ILM’s Behind the Magic of Kong: Skull Island

Kong: Skull Island roared into theaters this past spring bringing an updated-yet-retro take on the famous movie monster. Besides being an action-packed genre romp, Kong featured some beautiful visual effects from Industrial Light and Magic using our Academy-award winning SpeedTree Cinema modeler.

ILM’s latest Behind the Magic video is a compelling breakdown of the hazy Vietnam-tinged VFX work created by their San Francisco and Vancouver team.  It features deconstructions of the Island’s South Asian jungle environment created with SpeedTree as well as stunning environment work, explosions, water simulations, and incredibly hyper-real gorilla fur.

Industrial Light and Magic, one of our first major VFX customers, has used SpeedTree extensively since first adopting it for James Cameron’s Avatar in 2009. As their environment supervisor whose team recently completed work on Star Wars: The Force Awakens said:

“Anytime a tree moves, we created it in SpeedTree so we could animate it,”

Check out the breakdown reels below and keep an eye out for more SpeedTrees the next time you’re at the movies.



SpeedTree at Siggraph 2016


SpeedTree is at SIGGRAPH this year in booth #346 in Anaheim, California to showcase our Emmy and Sci/Tech Academy Award winning technology. SpeedTree has been featured in some of the biggest movies of the past year including Star Wars, The Jungle book, and Captain America: Civil War.  Trees will also be taking the the Dancing Trees session as MPC presents paper about their use of SpeedTree and Fabric engine in the making of the Jungle Book and we can’t wait to see some behind the scenes SpeedTree action.

The worlds of games and VFX are ever growing closer and we look forward to seeing SpeedTree showing up along that blurry cutting edge in engines like Unity and Unreal Engine. If you are curious about SpeedTree, stop by booth #346 to get an exclusive look at the thrilling places SpeedTree is heading towards. As always keep on eye on our Twitter for upcoming announcements!

SpeedTree in Action in Jurassic World:

VFX Friday: Image Engine ‘Jurassic World’ Breakdown

Image Engine has released their submission for ‘Outstanding Created Environment in a Photoreal Feature’ for the 14th annual VES awards, featuring their work in Jurassic WorldIn breaking down the environment the video describes how SpeedTree Cinema fits into their workflow as they recreated the jungles of Isla Nublar.

The team used SpeedTree to create digital plant life to blend in with the existing vegetation, including individual vines, ferns, grass, and small shrubs. Exporting these assets for animation gave them the freedom to recombine foliage wherever needed to create the realistic jungle for Chris Pratt’s ‘Raptor Squad™’ to tear through.

SpeedTree offers fine-tuned controls to allow artists creative freedom to match art direction while taking advantage of procedural generation to make quick variations. Although they may not have taken home a VES award in February, the outstanding work from Image Engine speaks to the talent of the Vancouver based VFX house.

For more “Jurassic” SpeedTrees by ILM and Image Engine check out the breakdowns here

plant 3

Plant 2

SpeedTree Featured in Star Wars: The Force Awakens


Of all the movies SpeedTree has been used in Star Wars: The Force Awakens may be the one we’ve geeked out about the most. As an office full of die hard Star Wars fans, knowing that our technology played a part in bringing the series back to the screen has meant the world to us.  To read more about how our friends at Industrial Light & Magic used the Academy and Emmy award winning SpeedTree in Star Wars, visit our new Star Wars landing page and keep an eye out for more news!

StarWars sw7



VFX Fridays: Dancing With SpeedTrees

Straightface Studio and the Pacific Northwest Ballet

Sometimes SpeedTree shows up in where you least expect, such as a performance of the Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” by the Pacific Northwest Ballet. Straightface Studio livened up the overture by creating an animated intro to set the stage (pun intended) for the performance.

We were honored to be asked by the Pacific Northwest Ballet to create an opening video for the new version of The Nutcracker by George Balanchine featuring original designs by ‘Olivia’ illustrator Ian Falconer.
The animation is played live during Tchaikovsky’s Overture to open the show and takes you through an 1880’s New England forest, a small town, and finally arrives at the Stahlbaum house where you join up with some unexpected little visitors.

Be sure to check out more of Straightface Studios work at their site.

Josh Johnson of VFX Daily and “Looking Glass” by Derek Lam

We’ve seen Josh Johnson’s SpeedTree work in indie films such as One & Two and in the above video, he uses SpeedTree Studio to add multiple animated vines to match the stationary vines that were already in place in the last two shots (Spoiler Alert).  We often talk about SpeedTree when it shows up in huge films, but this is a great example of how the right tool can make a difference in a smaller project.  SpeedTree Studio doesn’t offer animated growth so Josh used C4D to create the effect. All compositing was done in NUKE along with some flower petals rendered with Arnold.

Check out more Josh Johnsons impressive work at  as well as his SIGGRAPH 2015 talk on his work in indie films.

Learn more about SpeedTree studio or go to to try an evaluation today!

VFX Fridays: SpeedTree in Jurassic World

Industrial Light and Magic is nominated for a 2016 Oscar for their work on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but that wasn’t the only major blockbuster they worked on in 2015. Jurassic World roared into theatres this past summer breaking box office records and almost taking the prize for biggest movie of the year, if not for that other film involving a war in outer space. In the latest ‘Behind the Magic’ VFX breakdown Industrial Light and Magic used our award winning SpeedTree Cinema to bring the titular park to life.  Starting at 16 seconds in, the camera pans out of a hotel room to offer a sweeping view of the park featuring lush jungles created using SpeedTrees.  SpeedTree Cinema was created exactly for shots like this, giving artists the ability to quickly fill entire worlds and to blend easily with the real trees shot on location as well as the ability to fine tune individual trees to stand on their own. It’s one of the many reasons it’s become the standard for VFX vegetation in everything from movies to tv and even Taylor Swift’s latest music video. ILM first made use of SpeedTree in Avatar and has used SpeedTree in many of the films they’ve worked on since, including a shot featuring animated growth developed explicitly for Noah.

For more prehistoric VFX, check out our friends at Image Engine’s breakdown of their work on the film. If the future is more your speed, ILM also released a ‘Behind the Magic’ video showcasing their work on Tomorrowland (which also featured SpeedTree).

Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more VFX and SpeedTree news!


SpeedTree featured in ‘In The Heart of The Sea’


SpeedTree at Sea

A top end-of-year oscar contenders, In The Heart of The Sea is making a splash at theatres today and features SpeedTree technology.  Although as the title suggests, much of the movie takes place in the oceans off the coast of South America,  Rodeo VFX used Academy Award winning SpeedTree Cinema for the moments when the besieged sailors find land.

Based on the book of the same name, this epic recounting of the story behind Moby Dick is helmed by director Ron Howard and stars hollywood heavywieghts Chris Hemsworth and Cillian Murphy.

Rodeo VFX has made extensive of SpeedTree in movies and television also includes Game of Thrones S4, Unbroken, Mirror Mirror, Jack and the Giant, and Birdman

CyberMonday SpeedTree Sale!

Cyber Monday Blog

We’re celebrating CyberMonday with a heaping serving of a discount on our entire store!  Use the coupon code below at checkout to grab a 20% discount off of all our trees and tree packages. Sale ends tonight (11/30/15) at midnight est!


This includes favorites such as our Hero Tree Package, which is perfect for Arch/Viz projects in Unreal Engine or Unity 5 and includes high quality hero models 9 trees with seasonal variations, artist-tuned AO, LOD and Wind effects.

SpeedTree Subscriber Perks

Want an even deeper discount? All users with an active subscription to our UE4 or Unity 5 Modeler get an additional 15% off the store making this a perfect time to claim sign up and claim the bonus content for November and December

Unity 5 Subscription  and Bonus Content

UE4 Subscription and Bonus Content

Fall Fantasy and Horror Films Feature SpeedTree for Cinema


Three major films this October feature our Emmy and Academy Award-winning SpeedTree technology to bring vivid new worlds to life.

Crimson Peak

Guillermo Del Toro’s films can be separated into two categories, the English language monster flicks (Hellboy, Pacific Rim), and his more serious foreign films (Pans Labyrinth, Devils Backbone, Cronos) that tend carefully explore a genre.  Where Pans Labyrinth explored fairy tales, Crimson Peak is an incredibly well crafted gothic horror story. Taking place in the eponymous haunted mansion, the film has all the hallmarks of Del Toro’s distinct visual style.  Crimson Peak stars Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, and Charlie Hunnam.

VFX: Mr. X


If you grew up in the 90’s, you likely need no introduction to RL Stine’s classic nightmare inducing book series.  The new movie adaptation features the same blend of child-friendly horror and humor to temper the jump scares.  Rather than adapting the individual stories, Jack Black plays a fictional version of R.L. Stine who keeps his haunted Goosebumps manuscripts under lock and key.  When some meddling neighbor kids accidently unleash the terrors within, a menagerie of CGI monsters wreaks havoc on the town.



Joe Wright’s take on the eternally youthful hero Perter Pan ratchets up the visual intensity featuring flying pirate ships, mermaids, slave children covering Nirvana, and a host of characters that aren’t yet the villains and heroes that you know.  Starring Garret Hedlund, Mara Rooney, and Hugh Jackman, this reboot features an incredible reimagining of the dangerous world of Neverland.

VFX: MPC, Rising Sun Pictures, Scanline VFX

Interested in using SpeedTree for VFX?

Learn more about SpeedTree for Cinema and SpeedTree Studio, winner of a 2015 Scientific and Technical Academy Award and recent winner of a 2015 Engineering Emmy for its impact on the Television industry and be sure to head to our store to try it out for yourself!