Paula Sanders Report - Spiral Graphics' Genetica 2Pro

deemarie · July 11, 2005 6:29 am

Genetica 2 Pro is a seamless texture and tile creation editor that is node based giving the user tremendous flexibility. It's geared toward professional 3D artists. It has more than 500 finished texture presets with tremendous variations possible, which this review will demonstrate. This review will discuss Genetica 2 Pro, but Spiral Graphics also has a Standard edition.
Since this is the first review I have done of this product, I will discuss features in general and highlight the new ones. Genetica 2 Pro comes with a sequential group of easy to follow tutorials. As stated in the first paragraph, Genetica 2 is based on editing nodes. The first node that appeared as I started with tutorial #1 was the group node.
When the Edit button was clicked, many more nodes appeared.
One then can make changes to the various nodes, for example, the BCL node.
Lab nodes have been added to Genetica 2. These can perform powerful tasks and have many more options than do regular nodes. Below is a simple example of an original texture with the Substance node expanded.
And next is an example of rendered modifications. The number of modifications I could have made, using this one preset, were astronomical and incredibly easy to do. In addition, I have just touched the surface of the program.
There is also a whole library of Lab Nodes that can be inserted into structures of Lab Nodes. For example, in one of their tutorials, I inserted the Weather Lab between the Substance Lab and the Sharpen Lab. Each of these Labs has options. I think the trend is clear. These Lab Nodes provide both direction and choice in creating these textures and tiles. Below is a list of the different categories of presets.
There are a number of very interesting options available such as using a batch process to turn textures into thumbnails for web sites, extracting bump channels for use in 3D applications, and ...
creating volumetric data - atmospheric textures with transparency data included.
One can work with preset tiles, such as wood floors or whimsical tiles such as the ones below.
The examples are endless, but these are two more textures that I really liked.
This is a really interesting program for building textures. It is different from others that I have used, and seems to have more options, possibilities, and more control to create unique textures. Since many people use textures for 3D projects, I thought I would show some of the presets, which are just starting points, of a popular category - ground textures.
To illustrate once again, the number of customizable options available, the following image is an example of a small texture tree.
I highly recommend this program. While I normally do not use texture programs very much, I know I will use this one not only for creating background and 3D textures, but for use in designs as well.
Spiral Graphics' Genetica 2
  • Genetica 2 Standard is $129 USD [for a single license]
  • Genetica 2 Pro is $399 USD [for a single license]
  • Both programs are downloadable
  • Demos available System requirements: Windows 2000/XP Pentium III 450 MHz 256 MB Memory 15 MB Hard Disk Space I would also recommend visiting:
  • Spiral Graphics
  • Spiral Graphics Forum
  • As always, I invite you to visit my personal website: Perpetual Visions

All 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 Paula investigates and comments on graphic software, techniques, and other relevant material through her reviews, tutorials, and general articles.
July 11, 2005

Article Comments

fiction2002 ( posted at 12:00AM Mon, 11 July 2005

Spiral Graphics also has a program called "Wood Workshop," which is much like Genetica 2, but does only wood type textures. Oh, and it's free. :-) I've been working with it this evening, and it's fantastic.

crocodilian ( posted at 12:00AM Tue, 12 July 2005

Fans of procedurals are spoiled for choice now. There are a bunch of node based procedural editors in consumer-grade applications (Poser, Vue d'Esprit), and then a bunch of standalone apps. To my mind, the most versatile of these apps is Darktree, which adds the bonus of plugins for all the major 3D apps. Its interesting to contrast Genetica to Darktree . . . Genetica looks at textures in terms of the natural process that occurs, Darktree looks at them as mathematical functions. Artmatic, for Mac only, is a unique and distinctive procedural editor-- extremely powerful (the only procedural editor that permits recursion as far as I know), its also quite dense; its by the same polymath who developed Bryce Deep Texture Editor. My two cents' worth: Genetica is the easiest to use for beginners, Darktree the most versatile for those who are generating textures for use in high end 3d applications, and Artmatic is the most "creative". The hardest call is whether to develop textures in a 3rd party application, or to learn how to generate them inside one's host application (Poser's material room, for instance, has many of the capabilities of all these apps.)

ribroast ( posted at 12:00AM Fri, 15 July 2005

I've had Genitica since version 1. When I heard that Spiral Graphics was developing Genitica 2 I could not wait to buy it, but to I did not have to, because they gave me the upgrade for free. Genitica 1 was great, version 2 is alot better than that. The software is now much easier to use, and they added alot of new features. If you want to create your own unique textures, this is a great way to go.

deemarie ( posted at 12:00AM Sat, 16 July 2005

Thanks so much Paula for another great review ... The only downside to your reviews, I always want to go out and purchase the products that you are reviewing. I am officially Paula Review Poor ... and loving every minute of my poverty :]

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