Bionatics has released natFX 2 for Maya, the latest version of the company's 3D plant modeler for Alias|Wavefront's 3D animation environment.
Bionatics says that natFX 2.0 for Maya is targeting the game developer community with its new set of features, which includes subdivision surfacing for generating photo-realistic light-polygonal trees on the fly, with built-in skeletons ready for animation. The subdivision surface technology provides seamless branch-to-trunk connections, and let modelers "mold and shape their trees like clay". The tool's hybrid mode automatically generates the optimal number of billboards and texture nodes per tree and then integrates them with the geometry, thereby reducing the polygon count. A new texture tuning tool gives users control over the number, size, color, and UV settings of textures.
natFX 2.0 for Maya is priced at $1350, with upgrade pricing available, and it comes with 10 plants. A 30-day demo is available on the company's web site.