IDV's announced the latest version of SpeedTree, its foliage software, calling version 5.0 a "complete re-engineering."
SpeedTree 5.0 adds a new hand and procedural modeling feature that increases the control over a tree's geometry. allowing developers to prune branches, set force parameters to guide branch shape, and grow SpeedTree models around imported meshes.
New geometry implements the data necessary to interface SpeedTree with a physics engine, including built-in support for Nvidia's PhysX and Apex Vegetation Module.
There are now more options for integration with SpeedTree 5.0. It can be brought into projects as mesh, geometry, as partial integration with the developer's engine, or via full integration. Reference applications are included that aim to speed integration into the pipeline.
IDV also promises increased lighting realism, including dynamic shadows, ambient occlusion and translucency. A new detail system allows more trees in a scene while, the company maintains, still retaining transition quality levels.
"SpeedTree 5.0 represents a huge leap forward for artists and programmers," says IDV President Michael Sechrest. "Developers can grow procedural versions quickly or design just the tree they want, then fill a level or a world with vast numbers of animated, naturally-lit models."