Unity trees - inkakamu

When developing the assets for my game, I have two criteria in mind: to achieve the look I want and to use my time efficiently. To get a satisfying result I have to be flexible with both criteria. All in all, I’m really happy with how my tree development is coming along.

For my trees I bought an asset package (Tree Variety) from the Unity store. I edited the textures and shapes to make the trees fit the game’s style. The package comes with a great selection of vegetation assets for the price and quality and because they’re made using Unity’s Tree Editor, they’re very easy to edit in Unity as well.

One bush I couldn’t find in a suitable shape and price was a lilac tree so I made one from scratch using the Tree Editor. After creating the lilac tree I was super familiar with the tree tool and so I built a rose bush.

Unity bushes - inkakamu

While painting the trees to the terrain I ran into a rotation problem: every tree was in the same rotation and it looked way too repetitive and artificial. To achieve a more natural look for the forest I wanted the trees to have random rotations along their Y(up) axes. I found out that by using my tree asset inside a LOD group I was able to have random rotations. But this caused a new problem: with the trees painted as a terrain element inside a LOD group, the wind zone doesn’t affect them anymore and the trees ceased to be animated.

I found a plugin (Tree LOD System for Unity Terrain) that could fix my problem but I decided not to purchase it. There weren’t enough user reviews and I wasn’t sure if I would run into a new set of problems with it, so I came up with another pleasing solution to achieve my goal.

To have the trees animated by the wind I decided not to use them as part of a LOD group. To avoid the repetitive look I have three to four different versions of each tree type and some of the trees I’ve manually placed to my scene so I can decide their rotation.

I’m pleased since I think this solution is on the scale of my project and it gives me a wanted result. Later, if I have time and I think the project needs it I will look for another solution.