Paula Sanders Report - greenworks' XfrogPlants - USA Southwest, v2

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Greenworks organic software has put together a collection of plants of the USA Southwest, created from photographs and/or scanned bark, petals, and leaves. These plants are very accurate and have a realistic appearance. With version 2, greenworks has completely rebuilt some plants, while its artists have reworked others. In addition, they have replaced many leaf, flower, and bark textures with higher quality ones. Thus, their plants look more vivid and alive. They have done this in all their version 2 libraries. A full product list that includes individual products such as USA Southwest and Bundles such as Asia Bundle can be seen starting on the XfrogPlants section of greeworks web site.

There are 21 libraries of plants, with 20 species in each library, but there can be 3-6 variations on each species, so the total number of models is a minimum of 60. Along with the models are 20 species of Alpha Billboard Renders with variations, again, ranging from 3 to 6. There are also the same number of Alpha Perspective Renders. The same billboards and perspectives are on each of the two DVDs that comprise the set, so it is very easy to combine them along with whatever model format you are using.

In the set, of two DVDs, you get many 3D file formats. The 3D formats are: 3ds, c4d, Iwo, max, mb, xfr, mtl, obj, obp, and vob. There are also the necessary textures in tif format which are on both DVDs [the Plant libraries are also provided in a CD version]. In this review, I am reviewing the DVD set of the USA Southwest.


Above are a combination of models and billboards executed and rendered in Vue 5 Infinite.


You can download a PDF of each collection in your choice of language [again, click on XfrogPlants and then the PDF of the individual library]. You cannot download a PDF of all the libraries as a unit because those links don't work. These PDFs show the different plants as well as the different "poses" of the plants. You can also click on each plant and get an enlarged picture of the plant as well as information about it. The documentation on the web site is incredible for it shows the plants from many different perspectives.



Even though I listed the formats contained in the DVD previously, notice the size generated by the different formats.



If you have a choice of which format to use, let size play a part in your choice. A native XFR file contains almost the same number of polygons as these other files.

I exported a number of files into different formats as well as used some of the files on the DVDs. These I imported into Vue 5 Infinite. What was interesting is that the SW06_1.xfr file contained 187,614 polygons, while the other files that I imported into Vue contained about 184,804 when read in Vue. If you are working in Vue, there is a VOB file format available on the set of DVDs.

What can I say about this collection? It is beautiful and works very well. I would love to have all of them. The desert image above uses models and billboard; however, I used only three billboards and they are of the very small plants. The largest plants are in VOB model format.

In order to demonstrate that the pictures in the various library PDFs on greenworks site are accurate, I opened a number of the 3D files in Right Hemispheres' program called Exploration and created screen captures of them [see below]. The rendering in Exploration is very quick and basically crude, for it is just to show the basics of how a file looks for reference purposes.



The Staghorn Cholla below and the Miller's Pin Cushion below were opened in Exploration while the two variations in the beginning of the review were screen captures from greenworks' PDFs.



These plants are truly magnificent! For those who may have missed my previous Xfrog reviews, that show more options for using the plants and creating your own; Xfrog 3.5 and XfrogTune.

  • USA XfrogPlants are available as single units, or as USA plant bundles.

  • XfrogPlants can be ordered either on CDs or DVDs.

  • Greenworks organic software

  • XfrogPlants - USA Southwest, v2 $149 [USD]

  • XfrogPlants USA Bundle [contains 6 Libraries common to the USA] $599 [USD]

  • As always, I invite you to visit my personal website: Perpetual Visions


    All supporting images are copyright, and cannot be
    copied, printed, or reproduced in any manner without written permission from the artist.



  • The Paula Sander's Report
    is a regular Renderosity Front Page featured column,
    where Sr. Staff Writer, Paula Sanders
    investigates and comments on graphic software, techniques, and other
    relevant material through her reviews, tutorials, and general articles.

  • August 29, 2005
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    Member Opinions:
    By: LillianH on 8/30/05
    Hi Paula,

    Cool to see you reviewing the Greenworks XfrogPlants products.

    I have had exposure to the xfrog plants before and I can attest to the excellent level of detail and incredible realism they have invested in these. I was truly amazed myself.

    All the best,
    Lillian

    By: nemirc on 9/2/05
    Th series has gotten me interested on xfrog. I think I will give it a try since I suck at plant modeling :p

    By: deemarie on 9/2/05
    Hey Paula,
    If an artist could purchase just one XfrogPlants, which do you think would be most benificial to the average 3D artist?

    Great series by the way :]

    Dee-Marie

    By: Paula Sanders on 9/2/05
    I really don't know. It depends on the scenery a person likes to do. There are so many wonderful packages. I wish I could own them all. The Basic Library comes with Xfrog 3.5 full and Lite and there are some wonderful trees in it such as a Weeping Willow which I used with a modification using XfrogTUNE in my latest picture in my gallery on Renderosity.


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