Quadratic Plants

The eternal race between SpeedTree and The Plant Factory just got more balanced again with the 2015 version of the latter tool also supporting quad meshes and even promising to merge them for contiguous (subdiv) cages. Interestingly, they also reworked their wind algorithm (since I only ever had the free PLE version I have no way of verifying what it actually looked like before; you know, those damned limitations for export), but I suppose they had a good reason. To top it off they also seem to have worked on the UI (the web page only shows the original version, though), which is also a good thing. So it seems that compared to last year’s “mostly bugfixes” edition this could be worthwile. The same UI changes apply to their other product, Vue, BTW, which could ultimately mean that their sophisticated algorithms actually might one day actually be more usable. Don’t get me wrong, compared to when I got my version 5 back then with Lightwave, things have improved considerably, but whenever looking at Vue I still find that the many pop-up panels and floating windows are very retro and no doubt get in the way of working efficiently. Currently they have a launch sale, so if you ever had an eye on one of their products, this might be a good time. I on the other hand will simply have to wait for the PLE editions to be updated unless some young billionaire falls in love with me or something like that… ;-)

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