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Wow, the YouTube video was released in November. How have I never seen it before? I've probably watched it three times in the past hour. It's an absolutely amazing production. What was the budget for this?
Abhishek Karmakar has presented Easy Treez, a new foliage modeling tool for Maya that is designed to be easy to art direct. All you need to do is to poly model a canopy from which the plugin will generate non-intersecting branches that match the shape.
Artists can create ‘Custom Shape/volume based’ Trees and bushes, and also add complex ‘Procedural Dynamics’ in a few seconds.
The tool is described as a non-destructive branching hierarchy system that allows artists to sculpt/deform the trees to any free-form shapes while still retaining the branching-structures, pivots and parameterization. That way leaves can be re-grown, and dynamics can be re-applied over and over again onto the custom free-form sculpted trees.
The artist is planning to continue adding new features, so stay tuned.