Workshops

Skyscraper

Procedural Skyscraper using the organic components of Xfrog for Maya
Watch the video tutorial

There are also example files available for this tutorial: Download Skyscraper tutorial files

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Basic Tropism

Xfrog 3.5 offered two different types of tropisms. One you could find in the Basic settings of all components. Usually you use it to align an object along a certain axis.
The second type of tropism is part of the Leaf and Tree parameters, you can make them hang downwards (Gravitropism) or grow upwards (Phototropism).
Gravitropism and Phototropism have been merged into the Xfrog Tropism object. It´s now possible to bend branch components in every wished direction. But the Basic Tropism didn´t make its way into Xfrog 4x. To get a similar functionality is, we will build us an Up component.

  • create a branch component
  • replace the profile spline by a null object, that way we don´t create unneeded geometry
  • shorten the path spline
  • put another null object into the hierarchy of our Up component (third place)
  • drag the leaf into the hierarchy of our Up component (fourth place), it will appear on top of the Up component
  • use a tropism object inside the path spline of the Up component to drag into the desired direction
  • if needed, rotate the leaf

Watch the video tutorial on Vimeo

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Tips & Tricks

Tips & Tricks for Xfrog 5 for Maya, originally published in 3DWord Magazine:
6 Top Tips for Xfrog Users
Power Tips for Xfrog Users

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Abstract

This workshop will take you through the complete process of creating an abstract animation. You will learn to use different Xfrog 5 components to create an abstract shape – and how to animate this object.
During the second part we will add some particle effects to the animated Xfrog shape.

Watch Part 1 of the video tutorial
Watch Part 2 of the video tutorial

There are also example files available for this tutorial: Download Abstract tutorial files

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Bush

This workshop will take you through the complete process of modeling a detailed shrub. You will learn to use the Branch components to create branching structure.
During the second part we will add leaves to the shrub and create the needed materials.

Watch Part 1 of the video tutorial
Watch Part 2 of the video tutorial

There are also example files available for this tutorial: Download Bush tutorial files

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Expressions

This workshop will teach you to create an expression controlled Xfrog object. A simple flower will turn it´s head towards the sun and depending on time of day the petals will start to open and close. This is done with the help of driven keys and expressions.

Watch Part 1 of the video tutorial
Watch Part 2 of the video tutorial

There are also example files available for this tutorial: Download Expressions tutorial files

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Palm Tree


This workshop will take you through the different steps needed to create a palm tree. During the first part we will concentrate on the palm frond and the crown of the tree. The second part of this tutorial covers assembling the tree and materials.

Watch Part 1 of the video tutorial
Watch Part 2 of the video tutorial

There are also example files available for this tutorial: Download Palm tree tutorial files

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Tree

During this tutorial we will create a complete tree with the help of Xfrog 5. The Branch component will be used to create the branching structure.
The second clip shows how to use the Branch component to create a leaf object.
During the third part we will apply materials and finetune the shape of the tree.

Watch Part 1 of the video tutorial
Watch Part 2 of the video tutorial
Watch Part 3 of the video tutorial

There are also example files available for this tutorial: Download Tree 1 tutorial files

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Tulip


This workshop comes in three parts. During the first clip we will model the stalk and the leaves. The second part covers the blossom and how to put it on top of the stalk.
During the third part we will add materials to the plant.

Watch Part 1 of the video tutorial
Watch Part 2 of the video tutorial
Watch Part 3 of the video tutorial

There are also example files available for this tutorial: Download Tulip tutorial files

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Lowpoly Tree

Xfrog 5 offers different approaches to model trees. It´s up to the user, if a detailed tree, or a lowpolygon tree is the result.
This workshop is splitted into four parts.

Basic branching structure
At first we have to build the basic branching structure of our tree. We will use the Branch component to do this.
Leftclick the branch icon to add a Branch component to the scene. You can use the Xfrog4 visor to access the curves that make up the branch component (one curve for the path, one curve for the profile).
Add a second branch object to the scene and make it child of the first branch. Use the different parameters of the branch component until you are satisfied with the overall look of the branching structure (Node Growth, Node Angle, Thickness, Node Distribution).

Watch Part 1 of the video tutorial

Higher branching levels
For the higher branching levels, we will also use the Branch component. But this time we´ll replace the nurbscurve by a custom profile – a flat one.
To delete the nurbscurve, leftclick in the Xfrog visor, then choose Free (and afterwards delete). Then you can assign you custom profile curve. Therefor leftclick the curve, then CTRL+leftclick the branchcomponent and assign the profile by leftclicking the plus icon of Shape Curve.

Watch Part 2 of the video tutorial

Put everything together
We build the stem and the mainbranches, afterwards the higher branching levels – now it´s time to put everything together.
Leftclick Branch2, CTRL+leftclick Branch and choose Child – the lowpoly branches are added to the tree. Adjust parameters like Nodescale, so that the lowpoly branches fit to the rest of the tree. Don´t forget to assign a material to Stem and main branches.
More or less we are already done – we build a nice tree with reasonable polygon count.

Watch Part 3 of the video tutorial

Fine tuning
Some hints to fine tune the tree:

  • add a bump material to the bump channel of the bark
  • use a specular map to remove the halo around the leaves
  • reduce number of polygons by removing unneeded control vertices

As you can see, it´s possible to create a tree with a low polygon count in a short time.

Watch Part 4 of the video tutorial

There are also example files available for this tutorial: Download Lowpoly Tree tutorial files

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Tree

XfrogPlants inside Maya

Xfrog plants DVD version 2 contain Xfrog plants in native Maya file format. So it is very easy to bring those plants into your scene – just browse to the wished plant and load, that´s it.
Of course you can edit the plant materials and even replace the used textures with custom bitmaps.

Watch the video tutorial

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Xfrog billboards inside Maya

Xfrog plants DVD version 2 contain high quality renders of Xfrog plants. You can use the billboards to populate the background with nice looking trees, but without using to much ressources.

Watch the video tutorial

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Rendering with mentalray for Maya

This workshop shows how to load plants from XfrogPlant DVD and how to adjust the materials. We will also create a lightdome and render the plant with mentalray.

Jump to the Rendering with mentalray tutorial

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Wind tutorial

During this tutorial we will take a Xfrog tree structure and make it move in the wind. With help of the noise() function inside the CurveNurbs object and with help of tropism objects we will gently shake the tree.

Watch the Wind video tutorial

There are also example files available for this tutorial: Download the files for the Wind tutorial

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Pruning a tree

During this tutorial we will take a Xfrog tree structure and use a polygonal sphere to create a custom shape for our tree.
Think like a gardener using hedge shears to trimm a tree in shape.

Watch the Pruning video tutorial

There are also example files available for this tutorial: Download the files for the Pruning a tree tutorial

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