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Review: Grass Essentials


BlenderNation Reviewer Sam Vila reviews the Grass Essentials by Andrew Price.


The Grass Essentials is a pack of grass models and particle systems that you can quickly import to any scene to have beautiful grass. The pack includes 15 Species of Grass, with up to 49 model variations for each and 15 species of the most common types of weeds found in gardens around the world.


Another great product from, this time the product’s focus is a very characteristic element in many photorealistic scenes: the grass.

One of the main challenges faced in each production is to get the best quality possible with the minimum time and effort. If you’ve ever had to create CG grass in a professional production you will know by now that this is not a fast, or easy, process to get realistic results: it requires the creation of many layers of details until we find the right balance of our elements.


This pack comes prepared to help the artists by providing a guide range of different grass types, weeds and other similar elements. Not only that, but it also provides a simple way to adjust most of the settings on each type of grass allowing the artist to customize the look in a very fast and flexible way.


Learning Curve

With a minimum knowledge of Blender, and following the nice tutorials that this pack includes, every user can start having amazing results almost immediately, largely thanks to the custom menus for each grass model.

User flexibility

This pack is especially designed to help the user customize most of the features from these models; the custom menus are a great idea to allow beginners to have direct access to the customization of their creations.

For more advanced users this is also a great way of not having to worry about the basic stuff and allows them to focus on other elements in their scene. They also have complete access to all the shaders that this pack is using; through this they can also customize the details and the shading for these models.

The only downside of this product is the lack of custom menus for the weed models, which is not a big deal for advanced users, but for a beginner or an artist that wants to have the same easy and fast way to customize some of these models, it could make them feel that something is missing in comparison with the rest of the grass models. As a note: the author of this product mentioned to me that he will be considering providing a similar functionality for the weed models in future updates.


Quality of results

Excellent quality provided by these models; it's quite clear that the authors of this product really spent a large amount of time and effort in making a great product. The detail on every model and in every material is quite noticeable which helps us to achieve great results using these models. It's also obvious that they have been studying how to provide the best quality possible with minimum effort for the user.
Many Blender artists uses the built in hair system to simulate grass but these default strands are not detailed enough to compete with custom models as the ones from this pack; the simple grass provided by Blender's hair system is just not enough to have convincing results if you're aiming for realism.

On top of this: using the hair system in Cycles to simulate grass usually will take more resources from our computers and the render times will be longer than using real meshes for simulating grass. That's an extra benefit of using this pack: it not only allows the user to have better results but also it will render faster than using the standard hair system in Blender.

Value for money

The price might seem a bit high for some users, but you have to consider all the elements you get for this price: not only the high quality models and custom menus to help us adjust the grass, we also get a pack of various high resolution textures to use on a ground.
This might be a very good asset to have if you are facing projects that require realistic natural elements like these; if this is your case then I highly recommend this product.

Product specifications:

  • Author: Andrew Price
  • Website
  • Product page
  • Price: $84.00
  • Created: February 13, 2015
  • Last Updated: February 13, 2015
  • Software Version: Blender 2.7x


8.7 Highly recommended

This might be a very good asset to have if you are facing projects that require realistic natural elements like these; if this is your case then I highly recommend this product.

  • User Flexibility 8
  • Realism 9
  • Speed of Use 9
  • User Ratings (38 Votes) 8

About the Author

Avatar image for Sam Vila
Sam Vila

Sam Vila is an author of a Blender book about visual effects techniques and co-founder of the Los Angeles Blender Group. His experience is mostly in the area of visual arts (film and video) including 5 full feature films and several short films usually as a visual effects artist. He holds a degree in Film Direction at London Film Academy plus other courses such as Film Editor, Camera Operator, Steadicam Operator and Post-production.

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