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Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. Throw open a nodes window, add a scene node and a viewer node, connect them and voila'.  My problem was the blend file was almost 200 mb and took almost 7 minutes to render a still.  I won't be using 100 of these for my "running through the forest" scene.  It is magnificent though and I'm hoping to learn a lot by going through it.

    It brings up another question though.  It was done in 2.59 for the Nature Academy.  For those of us embracing Cycles, how Cycles friendly is the Academy? I know Andrew has been promoting Cycles and the Academy is a forever thing in that subscribers get the updates but I'm curious as to where it is now.

    • Andrew is offering an update with info on how to convert Nature Academy projects to Cycles in the future (rough estimate of mid-next year).  Until Cycles supports strand rendering and render layers, there isn't much The Nature Academy currently only uses Blender Internal.  This update is offered in the "Platinum Membership" to the program.  He touches on this subject in his introduction video to the program on the site.

  2. Wow thanks for the feature :D
    @all:twitter , yes it was made during the nature academy using the tree generator "Arbaro" -
    Thought I should make a note no textures are included, but you can get them from cgtextures. you may have trouble with rendering as  I may have forgot to switch back to blender for compositing :O
    We actually used this to test blendswap with "big files" :P

    For those wanting to render trees in cycles, this tree will NOT work (well) :P
    It is very high poly, though trees in cycles is possible, you just need to generate the tree, and use either multiple leaves per plane, or less but bigger leaves.

    I can handle about 18million poly on my 8Gb of ram (CPU only) in cycles, so the more trees you have, the lower poly they are.

    I'll be covering them eventually in this series :)

    • I have 4gb of ram and my PC crashes or slows to less than a crawl when trying to play the animation for the nature academy grass tutorial, after I've baked the soft body basically and even that takes aaaages.
      It's annoying because i'm going to join the nature academy based on how well this tutorial works out and nobody seems to know how or want to help me fix this.

      My point is i have half you're ram and you can handle 18million poly's , i think there is something like 60000 verts in my scene and i just crash all the time, been at it for 3 days or so now and the only thing hindering my progress is something i have NO idea how to fix.

      • You will find you will not be able to play realtime grass physics on any PC.
        My pc can handel rendering a frame at 18 million poly but I dare not press the play button :P

        When it comes to playback, it's your video ram that come in. I have 2.5Gb of DDR5 Graphics ram, and I have no hope of playing grass.
        Just think, you may have 60,000 vertices in your scene that have to be recalculated 24 times a second. but you probably have 2 million strands of grass each with 5 points along it's curve.

        so simply put, either disable the particle modifier in the viewport, or change down the preview for children to 0

        Hope that helps

  3. that's really a good tree model! Thanks for sharing! I have a question about reverse engineering (of course if you want to share this too :) ) How  did you obtain the leaves movement through the empty movement? thanks! :)

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