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  • Hey...

     So this might seem like a stupid question, but how do you insert trees in your render?

     Du you just place your .png or .tif in the model and render or is there another approach?


  • RPC trees are good for still renderings.

     You can buy them or make your own with a RPC creator from Archvision.


  • you can use google warehouse model or other 3 d model but there's increase render time

    by the way to the Trees topic >  ther's  Unreal game development kit  and install with SpeedTree modeler and you can export tree to microstation by obj

  • there are few commercial application that generate highly realistic trees - Speedtree, Onyx Tree, Bionatics. All of them can export generated geometry as 3DS or OBJ, which can be then used in MS as pre-textured models

    there are also lots of polygonal models of trees available for free on the net. RPC trees are OK, unless you make rendering from the top, or you need to make some pictures with detailed tree geometry



  • I feel that as an architect I'm wasting my time modelling trees and plants instead of making my building look better, wouldn't the modo community be a good place to lever out this sort of "organic" modelling? Of course this would require us being able to reference thier file type...


  • Personaly I take 2d / rpc trees for projects with a tight deadline. For projects where I can spent more time or for animations I prefer 3D models. You can find a lot of high quality models here. Place them as shared cells, this decreases the render time and increases the stability of you're model.

  • low-geometry.jpg

    Yeah... personnally I'm err.. petrified... of high poly trees, my PC barely copes with rendering the building...

    Here is something I'm trying to develop using simple shapes and the fur material...

  • That looks very good Robert.

    Have you ever tried to place a high poly tree as a shared cell and use copy's for the other trees in you're project? If you put fast cells on the model stays very workable, even on a lower-end-computer. Rendering goes also very fast since the Luxology engine handles the cells as instances.

    In the testrender shown below, I've used a model with 50 high poly trees on a computer with 4 Gb Ram. (1024x768 - Exterior good - Rendred in 7 minutes on a Core2Quad)

  • Louis,

    How do you convert the models from XFROG to Microstation?


  • On the site of greenworks you can download a 30 day trial, or buy a full licence of xfrog. With this program you can convert the model to 3ds. Option 2 is to ask a colleague with 3ds max to convert the model.
  • Thanks Louis!
  • This is what I'm trying to do, but I see our flex, root bend doesn't accept negative values, and a few other options like map for root bend and direction are disabled. So fur cannot grow away from gravity...

    GC here I come...

  • Forest.jpg
    actually... not bad for only 3 gently curving bspline surfaces per tree. my maps need more work though.
  • Very impressive Robert. How many trees had you used for this image and what was the time to render it? Louis
  • 71 cells - 15mins, I need to dial back on the fur density to lower render time.
  • Nature 1024 5m18s.jpg

    why do you use fur for trees? for this one I use about 1200 high res trees

    And this one with fur.


  • Very nice Christiaan!
  • screen3.jpg

    Hello Dalsgaard,

    with image-based trees you will never get professional output.

    You need real 3d models of trees and carefuly seup their materials.

    There is a lot of complex tree models that you can buy. Unfortunately

    most of them are in format not supported by Microstation. Check Evermotion

    for example. They produce their trees in various file formats (obj. is supported

    by MS).

    When you have your trees ready use them as instances with random scale and rotation.

     Now you can get nice images even aerial views.



  • trees3.jpg

    Ooops.. Screen 3 is a wrong image of course. Here is the right one.



  • Great images Jozef. Are those renderd in MicroStation + Luxology? If yes, can you tell how you made that fantastic lighing?
  • Unfortunately not. It is completely modeled i Microstation except cars and trees.

    Then it is exported and rendered in different software and postprocessed in Photoshop.

    I have wanted to describe basic principle of rendering nice looking trees.

    I believe similar output can be achivede wit Luxology. I `m trying to change my workflow

    to MS/Luxology but it will take some time...



  • I'm afraid we have to wait until we can achieve this kind of sharpness / details and natural lighting / shadowing in MicroStation. The image looks very V-ray ;-).
  • Haha.. Yes. That`s right. :-)
  • Jozef, great images verry nice (realistic) trees... 

    Thanks Louis.

  • Try XFROG standalone application to control the polygon counts of the tree you want, then export it to 3D Studio Max to retain its mesh and mapping properties, then import it in Microstation. It works pretty well for me. Buy the program and any species library you want, throw them in the program and modifiy it. Check out The program isn't user friendly but follow the tutorials and you will only need to know the basics to adjust the polygons on trunk, limb, branches and leaves. Good luck.

  • I have been playing with some of the sample .obj files from the site recommended below - very nice, but how do you get them textured up?


  • 3ds_import.jpg

    Yes. There is no way to texture imported obj models...

    Try 3ds. In 3ds I am able to select parts of model and texture it.

    You have to set texture units to "surface" and mapping to "parametric".



  • Yesterday I was short of time so I have imported only simple model from vol.69.

    Today I was trying to import some complex tree and I found it is not possible...

    When I want to export complex tree from Max to 3ds it says "too many faces (more than 64K) to export"...

    3Ds format can not handle such complex geometry. Now I now why there are not 3ds format

    models in many Evermotion collections...

     I use Max for rendering so i didn`t know it would be so hard to import nice tree to Microstation...

     Support of Autodesk FBX format by Microstation would solve the problem. FBX can handle such complex

    models and preserves material coordinates.

    Are there any plans to support FBX format Bentley?



  • XFROG2.jpg

    I could import the free example BL02_Betula_lenta_sweet_birch (3.86MB)  from XFROG into Microstation with following workflow:

    - open the .3ds and save as .dgn

    - convert the leafs pattern from .tiff to .png and give them a transparent background

    BTW I´m using the same procedure with .obj files from Abaro (free tool from Sourceforge)

  • what impact do these trees have on a smooth rendered modes?

    I often need to push out a flythrough at the last minute and a smooth rendered animation is my best bet. Does dropping in a few hundred of these 3d trees not kill your PC?

    Thats the reason I was looking for ridiculously low poly/geometry options.

  • I think for animation the less render intensiv is to use RPC threes.
  • No good for high angles though...
  • Jozef,

     What settings do you use for export Evermotion models to OBJ file..... I'm missing the materials



  • imported.jpg

    Hi Christiaan, forget obj format. With luxology beta3 you can export model

    do Autodesk FBX format and then import it into Microstation.

    Hit "Open" - choose display all file formats - select your exported

    fbx file. In Material Editor you have to define where are pattern maps.

    I have exported a small tree to FBX and then imported it to MS with no problem.

    Then assigned materials and rendered. Here are some images.

    The first two images are rendered in MS. Next two are images of original

    model rendered in Max with VRay. By the way VRay is much faster...



  • Jozef Prievoznik:

    -- snip ---

    Support of Autodesk FBX format by Microstation would solve the problem. FBX can handle such complex

    models and preserves material coordinates.

    Are there any plans to support FBX format Bentley?


    latest Luxology update adds FBX support. although only geometry is supported, no textures / cameras / lights.




  • Yes it is true Peter, but for now it is important that at least texture mapping soordinates are handled with fbx file

    and we are able to  reproduce materials in Microstation.

    You can use any texture and set "parametric" mapping mode.



  • Thanks Jozef, i'll give it a try!
  • I've used 3D Coat Trees to generate a few different trees and then imported them into a library. It has enough settings to keep you busy for hours tweaking settings.
  • I've managed to get some of the trees from Xfrog as FBX, textured them up and they render beautifully on their own, so thankful I found this thread as its single handedly quadrupled my tree library in a matter of minutes.

    My question now would be what's the best way to use these new found assets in a model.

    For example I have a scene that I used to just photoshop trees into in the past.

    I've referenced a tree in and it looks great (sure they take a while to render but hey) but now I need to have six more in the scene.

    If I duplicate the reference file of the single tree and rotate/scale will Luxology see the tree as just one instance and render it quicker or should I just use a separate reference file with 6 trees within it and pull them in that way?

    Or is there another way to get around this - Perhaps creating the tree as a cell (I did try this but I seem to lose all material attachments and I'm not clued up enough about palettes and how materials follow each other around to sort it out :-)

    Keep up the good work guys your advice has already helped me improve 200% :-)

  • these are xfrog trees:

  • Robert, if I recall correct MicroStation don't consider references as a single instance. So using references is a killer for rendering unfortunatley.

    For best performance add them as cells (scale should work, I guess)


  • We have been experimenting with Xfrog stuff. Brought in from OBJ and the saved as cells.

    I rendered a 3000x2000px exterior better shot with long fur grass as the base and 130 trees as shared cells in 1 hour 15 minutes.

    Also recently spoken to Stewart McSherry of Xfrog and put him in touch with Jerry. I brought him up to date on MS and Luxo which he wasn't aware of. He is keen to release Xfrog tree and plant libraries as MS cell libraries, possibly with Jerry's help.

    The more requests they get the higher up the list we will be. So if this interests you then get in touch with him.


  • Download free 3d plant and tree models from each of the 30 XfrogPlants libraries!


  • Xfrog is a fantastic tree creator and can be directly used in program's like Maya (As a plugin). I wish MicroStation could be compatible with a program like this.  

  • Hi guys, Having tried both my own RPC-trees (lighting is horrible), "real"-rpc trees (also odd-looking) fur-billboard-trees (oh the horror, my eyes.. my eyes.. they bleed), I really want to try 3D trees! I have the xfrog trials, and I can make a DGN. I can even make a DGN with "cells"...

    BUT, how do you make the cells keep the materials?

    Has anyone got a guide for making a cell library with materials that just works?

    (Babble: I can see my materials on the cells in the DGN when I make the multimodel DGN, but they are lost when reopening or using the cell. The materials are visible but not rendered if its through a reference file)

    Was the above helpful to you, then please like - thanks :)
    System: Win7 64bit 6GB Ram - v8i SS3

  • Hi Torben,

    You're problem looks familiar to me. I've got the following workflow with this kind of trees.

    In the tree dgn file be sure you attach (certainly not assign) you're materials. In theory the trees should keep their materials already. If not like at the project I had last, try the following:

    -Open the models dialog and import the tree model from the dgn file. Look if the materials are still attached;
    -If not add the materials on the location of the MS_PATTERN variable or in the same directory of the dgn file.

    Now attach the model in the cell library and the materials should stay.

    By the way, does the import palette window work for you at this file?

    I hope this works.



  • Hi Louis, thanks for your advice. I´ll give it a spin once I get the time.. For the moment I have to settle for RPCs (I think)

    Was the above helpful to you, then please like - thanks :)
    System: Win7 64bit 6GB Ram - v8i SS3

  • Hi,

    The palette import STOPPED working! Right after I succefully imported a DGN to a model!

    A Reboot has not gotten it back to a working state again!?!

    I have used the import palette function all the time to get materials from other DGNs!?

    Why oh why did it stop working!!

    This is what I do:

    Form the material editor -> Palette -> Open ..

    The palette Open window does NOT allow me to browse!

    Works ok in 119

    Was the above helpful to you, then please like - thanks :)
    System: Win7 64bit 6GB Ram - v8i SS3

  • Gentelmen,

    for years, with very good results I use 3D models of trees from VBvisual. In addition to commonly used formats such as 3D Max, Maxwell Render, AutoCAD, there is a special edition for use in Microstation! Look at:

    You can find in their gallery some visualizations prepared for Fosters and Partners using these models. This is the best recommendation I think.



  • onyx tree test, SS3: