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Ivy Growth Animator Add-on


The Ivy Growth Animator enables users to animate the growth of ivy that was created by the IvyGen or trees created by the Sapling addo-on. It takes the objects that the IvyGen and Sapling add-ons created, and animates them using the Build Modifier (branches) and shape keys (leaves).

Tamir Lousky writes:

Here's another add-on I've been working on.

I recently wrote the "random material assigner for mesh faces" in order to learn how to write interface elements and panels, so that I could create the more complex panels for the ivy animator.

This add on animates the growth of ivy and (sapling) trees. Its an effect I wanted to achieve for a long while and couldn't find a way to do it properly without scripting.

To view the source and download, go to the github repository.

For a short wiki and installation instructions, here's the post on my blog.

I'll certainly update and optimize it in the future, as the calculations that enable creating the leaf animations are fairly slow and get horribly so if you have many thousands of leaves. So for those that are interested in this, make sure to stay up to date with the git repository.


  1. Nice tool! Thank you, Tamir!

    Did you tried to do shape keys in other way? I mean... if it's possible then probably it could be faster to create sh.keys to one leaf then duplicate the leaf as many times as necessary. Then randomize shapes of them by Displace modifier (leaves as one object), separate it to leaves (P-> By loose parts) then make "Origin to geometry" when 1st Shape key (I mean when the leaf is small as zero and I suppose it's vertices are at the root) is active.
    I'm not good at coding and scripting so this is only my idea.

    P.S. Can it be some approach through usage of particles (instead of leaf meshes)?

  2. That's interesting. I was expecting the leaves to start lower in the stem and rise into place as the ivy grows "Jack and the Beanstalk" style. As it is, the entire vine grows into place without leaves and them the leaves sprout from the vine at a specific time.

  3. @Moolah
    As for your suggestions: My goal was to animate the leaves already created by the IvyGen / Sapling. These two tools probably use particles to generate the leaves and apply the particles into a mesh (which is much more simple for those who don't know how to work with particle systems).
    So, this is why I'm not trying to re-create the leaves, but rather just to animate their growth. I'm some ways to optimize this process will be found.

    The IvyGen concentrates most leaves at the top, and there's usually only a few or no leaves the the lower stems. The animation in the demo video is rather quick, but if it was slower (which is something that the add-on can control) you'd see that the leaves on the lower stems are indeed created first (though all the leaves on a single stem are created together, with some random differences, and the position on the stem currently does not affect the timing. Its a much more complicated calculation, so I didn't do it in this version, but I might do it in the next one)

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