Making the Smart Tree Smarter

Nomer Adona

Making the Smart Tree Smarter

Alot of the SketchUp Vray users know probably Andeciulala. He is the guy who became famous with his Fake IES lighting with the old version of Vray 1.05.33. He was also known with this "smart tree" in 3D Warehouse.

Well! Smart tree indeed!

Many people had downloaded this tree and I have seen it many times with Exterior render. The problem; too many people are using it.

This tutorial entitled "Making the smart tree, smarter" is a workaround on how to use the smart tree and how to create variance of this easily using Sketchup and Photoshop.

Without further explanation, let me go to the steps.
Softwares: Sketchup 8, Vray SU 1.48.66 up, Photoshop.

Step1: Loading the Smart Tree in SketchUp

Assuming you already exported and loaded the smart tree into SketchUp. If you hit render using Vray, this will be the result.

Step2: Tick "Use color texture as transparency"
The new Vray SketchUp version (1.48.66 up) supports transparency maps like tiff or png files. All you have to do is to tick "use color texture as transparency".

Here is the render with "use color texture as transparency" on

Step 3: Editing the leaves material

With SketchUp8, you can automatically link Photoshop. To do that you nee to go to "System Preference/ Application and choose Photoshop.exe

You can now automatically open Photoshop in SketchUp.

In this case, I wanted to Edit the leaves material with another material. I used Google to search for leaf texture.

I choose the maple leaf and loaded it into another Photshop layer. Then I manipulated the texture "Copy, paste, rotate., resize". Here is the screen grab of the finish image.

Note: I am adding this additional step Here. You need to merge visible and exit. Photoshop will ask you, do you want to save the file. Click yes! This image will be saved still in png format and will save. This file will be saved in the TEMP file and will be renamed with the word "extracted".

Once saved, the new leaves will be automatically updated in SketchUp. Here is the rendered image.

Next, I tried it with another leaf type. Here is the render.

And here is the combination.

Cheers! Nomeradona