Camera

Overview

One of the problems with using billboards, is that items must be rotated towards the camera, in order to get a 3D look. Forest can do it automatically, using the Camera features included in this rollout.Also, the plugin allows us to build only the items which are inside of the camera's frustrum, allowing to create large areas of vegetation while minimizing the number of scattered items.

In this section:

Interface

Camera

With the Camera button we assign a camera in the scene, "Clear" un-assigns it. "Copy" assigns the current camera to all Forest objects in the scene.

Auto assign to active view

This checkbox automatically assigns the camera to the active view, if any.

Apply to Look-At

When on, assigns also the active camera to Look-At target (see below). This is not necessary for billboards (Geometry->Template mode), which do it automatically.

Area

Limit to visibility

Using this checkbox, we limit the items only to the areas covered by the camera's field of view.

Expand

Sometimes (in scenes with camera motion), it's possible that some items will appear or disappear "suddenly" from the edge of view because the vision limit is very narrow. With this parameter, we can widen the field of view. With a 10% or 20% value, the effect is solved in most scenes.

Far Clipping Plane

This parameter limits the creation of items beyond a specified distance from the camera. This value is defined in scene's unit system.

Back Offset

Extends the creation of items behind the camera's position. Use it in combination with the "Expand" parameter, to fix the problem of items and shadows appearing suddenly from the edge of view.

Copy Parameters

Copy the current camera parameters to all Forest objects in the scene.

Look-At

When enabled, rotates the items to look at a specified object (the camera or other node from the scene). This option is commonly used for One-plane billboards, but it also works with Custom Objects.

LOD (Level of Detail)

When on Forest LOD objects added to the scatter are active. This features enables you to switch objects based on distance from the camera or by the size of the objects in the rendered view.

Override Max. Distance

If zero Forest uses the Maximum Distance value specified in the Forest LOD objects. If greater than zero, the value specified in Forest LOD objects are ignored and the value specified here is used.

Use Environment Range

When enabled, the maximum distance is derived from the Environment Range settings of the active camera.

Use Look - At Target

When enabled Forest uses the pivot point of the object assigned in the Look-At Target slot as the origin for the Max Distance measurements.  This enables you to separate the camera and origin used for all LOD calculations.

Density/Scale Falloff

Lets you to define density and scale curves for camera distance.

If "Use Environment Range" is on, the range values are taken from the Canera's environment range. This allows us to assign different ranges from each camera easily.

Be careful if you use falloffs with camera motion, because items may appear or disappear suddenly (the distance to camera changes when moving).