Quixel, the producer of 3D asset library Megascans, has announced early access of ‘Megascans Trees’, a brand new asset type which it says is “Far from being just another type of foliage”. The first pack is available on the Unreal Engine Marketplace for free, and is the culmination of extensive research, development and iterations on how to capture these complex and beautiful living things.
According to Quixel, “In order to do justice to the magnificence of trees and create a faithful adaptation of nature, our approach has been a scientific one, relying on botany and deep knowledge of how trees grow, react to light, wind and respond to seasonal changes. The result has been not just a set of assets but also a powerful foliage master material to control seasons and wind.”
First pack in the series is the European Black Alder pack where artists will find early access Megascans Trees with 22 unique models of various maturity to build a photorealistic forest. It includes nine forest trees – versions of the trees that you’d typically find in a forest where the trees take in nutrients from the sun from the top of the canopy; five field trees of the sort that would have more direct sunlight; six saplings, and two seedlings.
Along with the trees, Quixel has included several new features to its foliage shader. In addition to the standard parameters, a season and health system has been added. This will work with an entire scene by adjusting a few sliders, which are driven by the new global foliage actor, where artists will find everything related to the season, health and wind in their scene. On top of these global parameters, artists can also go into each material instance to fine tune the settings on a detailed level.
“Our scanning teams are busy capturing different tree species from a variety of biomes around the world,” says Quixel. “We’re excited to continue rolling these out to you over the coming months. Once Megascans Trees are out of beta we will also be making them available through Bridge to make it even easier for you to use this powerful new asset type in your environments.”