THE BLENDER GREENHOUSE
This page is a repository of plants created with ngPlant and other open-source tools and formatted as blender .blend files. All material contained on this page has been 100% created by its authors, textures included, and is released under a CC-BY license, so you are free to download them and use them the way you want. On the Textures page, you will also find a good resolution png image of each plant to be used directly in your projects. There is also, under each plant, a link to its wikipedia description, so you can check things like its size, color variations, etc...
How to use?
The downloadable .blend files on this page include all models and textures needed to produce a ready-to-use alpha texture. Open the file, render it, save it as a .png file, and you have your image, ready to be mounted on a billboard plane.
The .blend files also contain a .ngp ngPlant file (as a blender text block) that can be used to produce variations of the plant. Simply save the .ngp file, open it with ngPlant, change the seed parameter, and export/import it to blender. Then, just copy the materials and trunk modifiers from the original to the variation and render it...
And if you obtain a good variation or even a brand-new plant, why not share it with us here, so our little greenhouse grows to a professional botanic garden?
How where those plants created?
If you would like to make some new plants, here is a quick & rough startup guide (I'm in the process of writing a full detailed tutorial):
The shape: The plants are first created with ngPlant. There is not much need to care about the real-world size, it is better to care about the proportion. There is not much secret, just find many images of your plant, look carefully at the general proportion, the angle that branches make in relation to the trunk, where and how the leaves are disposed around the branches, and try to copy.
The leaves: Once the branches are set up, you add leaf sets to them. you may want to cover all branches with the same set, or you might want to mix several leaf types, depending on the complexity you need. Then, for each leaf type, a black shape is drawn with inkscape. These shapes are then saved as .png files and colored in the GIMP. Again, you need to have a good look at pictures and try to reproduce.
Putting all together: The ngPlant object is then exported as an .obj file and imported to blender. Then a material is created for the bark (trunk & branches), and one material for each leaf type. All the plant is already UV-mapped by ngPlant, so mapping is a piece of cake. Then, set an orthogonal camera up, a couple of lights, and your plant is ready.
If you need help with plant-making or if you would like us to add a specific type, don't hesitate to ask us: Well, at the moment, it's only me: Yorik...
Arecaceae Palm Tree
This is a very basic palm tree type, present in almost all tropical zones in the world. It is the parent family of the standard coconut tree. This one has no coconut, though. It can be found in forests as well as on all the paradisiac beaches in the world, and can also be used as an ornamental tree. Just be careful not to plant them on parking lots, no need to explain why...
This one is the standard european oak, since I'm not very sure about american trees I don't know if it serves for north-american species too, but if not it shouldn't be difficult to adapt. Mine is a bit "haunted house" style because it is the way I like oaks, but you could easily add some branches to make it more ball-shaped.
Since there are many, many different types of pine trees, it is quite difficult to tell which one this is. I think it is quite close to the famous belgian Epicea, which happens to be the typical christmas tree. Nowadays pine trees have (been) spread in the whole world I think, but such thick ones are mostly from cold northern countries.
Eucalyptus is very common here in Brazil, as in many places. It was originally imported from Australia, and has unfortunately been responsible for serious damage to several local ecosystems, being a very easily spreadable and fast-growing tree. Neverthless, the harm is done, and now it is part of the landscape. There are hundreds of varieties and shapes, I chose a common one around here.
The dracena, or dracaena, is an African-born plant that is quite common in Brazilian landscape design. It has many subspecies and is loaded with esoteric significations. It has several powers in Candomblé, and its name comes from "Dragon" because of its shape, and because you can extract fom it a substance called "Dragon blood"...
This is a banana tree when it is young. It must be something like 1.5 to 2 meters high. Adult banana trees are quite common here in Brazil but not so much in urbanized areas, but the young one can be used here and there, since you can keep it small. If you cut it entirely at the end of the year, it grows again the next year. One day maybe I add some bananas to it!
This one was is found everywhere in Europe and in northern america. It is a big reminder of my childhood. There is a nice purple variation around south of Belgium and Luxembourg, For me it is the tree that best symbolizes the small remains of lost medieval european forests. If there is one near your place, have a special care for it...
Of the flamboyant, wikipedia says it comes from Madagascar, where it is endangered. But here in Brazil it accomodated quite well, like almost all tree species. It has a magnificent, fantastic, gorgeous orange / red flower cover on top of it... And it really cheers me up when I see one.