From Avatar to Architects: New SpeedTree vegetation modeler launched today

National
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
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A scene from Avatar created with SpeedTree (Industrial Light & Magic)

Since Avatar’s release in 2009 architects have coveted the lush vegetation of the habitable moon Pandora for their own digital models, and today their calls have been answered. Interactive Data Visualization, the South Carolina-based developer of SpeedTree Cinema and SpeedTree for Games—used to create Avatar’s abundant flora as well as landscaping in your kids’ favorite video games—has released a new architect-friendly format.

Named SpeedTree Studio, the streamlined package allows designers to use the software’s hybrid procedural and hand modeling approach to create realistic trees and plants. All of this was available before, but most architects griped at Cinema’s $5,000 minimum price tag. At $895 per seat, the Studio package is accessible to smaller-scale design and animation firms, who can purchase additional specific tree models (anything from Cholla Cactus to Kousa Dogwood) for less than $50. Couldn’t we all use a little James Cameron magic in our architectural renderings?

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