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SpeedTree 5.2 Boosts Species Count, Adds Arbitrary Mesh Support

The popular foliage middleware SpeedTree's latest version, 5.2, has just launched, bringing the total species count of plants in its library to over 125, reducing memory demands by 40 percent, and adding new features.
The popular foliage middleware SpeedTree's latest version, 5.2, has just launched, bringing the total species count of broadleaves, shrubs and other plants in its library to over 125. The new edition contains a number of new features: First, it lets developers add rolling wind effects and individual leaf motion, like the random twitch of single leaves, that can be exported via point caching for cinematics and animations. It has added a world-building toolset to its SpeedTree Modeler utility, which it says will help developers fill large areas quickly by setting the necessary number of placement rules, such as by slope, water location or the locations of other trees. In the Modeler, developers can see their changes in real-time. Version 5.2 also adds the ability to develop and grow branches, trunks and leaves from arbitrary meshes. Finally, developers can now freely convert SpeedTree models to their chosen size and units. At the same time,the company says it's reduced the tool's memory demands by 40 percent over version 5.1. “Version 5.2 delivers options that have been requested by both our game and animation customers,” said IDV President Michael Sechrest. "These new features ensure an even faster, more efficient path to bringing precisely-modeled, naturally-animated trees quickly to vast virtual areas."

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