Create your Own Trees in Blender 2.8 | Fast and Easy | Blender 2.90 | Victor Duarte | Skillshare

Create your Own Trees in Blender 2.8 | Fast and Easy | Blender 2.90

Victor Duarte, Learn everything you can

Create your Own Trees in Blender 2.8 | Fast and Easy | Blender 2.90

Victor Duarte, Learn everything you can

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7 Lessons (36m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Creating the base tree

    • 3. Save and Load Presets

    • 4. Creating the twigs

    • 5. Creating the leafs

    • 6. Adding the leafs

    • 7. Bark material / Tree Variations

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About This Class

Hello everyone! 

In this class we are going to learn how to create our own trees! 

If you ever tried to make a nature scene or an exterior archviz scene or a concept artwork, you'll probably now how hard it is to add vegetation and also keep it varied and realistic, specially for trees. There are tones of resources out there, but it's also hard sometimes to find the kind of tree you're looking for. 

So in order to have more freedom while creating our scene we will be using a free addon for the tree creation. Then we will explore the different possibilities that brings this addon and take a look on the leaf material, taking special care on the translucent setup to achieve realistic behavior of the light

After that, we will create some twigs and populate the tree.

Finally we will take a look on how to create different variations of the same tree and keep it ready to append to our projects! 

In this class you'll learn: 

  • How to download and install the Free addon: Mtree
  • Create a basic tree shape and generate different branch levels
  • How to Save and Load different presets quickly 
  • How to set a realistic translucent leaf material
  • Create different twig variations and populate the tree
  • Generate different variations of the same tree quickly

Here you can see the links to download the addon and other useful resources: 

I hope you enjoy this class! 

Take care and have fun! 


Meet Your Teacher

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Victor Duarte

Learn everything you can



I'm Victor Duarte, a 3D artist and Mechanical Engineer from Barcelona.

As a mechanical engineer, I've worked for 10+ years in many sectors, specially in renewable energy. Mi passion for 3D art, 3D visualization and the CGI world has always kept me in constant learning and willing to improve every day.

I enjoy doing 3D related to archviz, hardsurface, sci-fi, concept art and mechanical design among others :)


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1. Introduction: Hello everyone, weaker here. In this class we are going to learn how to create our own trees. We will be using a free either for J3 creation. And we will explore the different possibilities that brings these habits. Then we will work on the leaf material and see some tricks to create the translucent material of the leaf. Create some tweaks populate the tree. And finally, we will look at how to create different variations of the same three and keep it ready to append to our project. I'm looking forward to see your trees. Take care and have fun. 2. Creating the base tree: So here we are in when they're 2.90. And if you have the 2.8 version, don't worry, it's going to work also in that version. And the first thing we need to do is to install the actual alone. So here is the page where you can download it for free. I will leave the link in the description. And here you have these Code button. Just download the zip file and save it to your add-on folder. Once you have downloaded to just go to edit preferences and search for M, three. Enable and your though. Now these entry add-on allows you to create really nice trees and different variations with leaves, roots if you want, and all, you sing a note system like Judo, for example, either shader editor. So to start creating our tree, going to open here near window, dragging these corner. And I'm going to change the editor type to entry node three. And notice that this is actually like the shader editor window. So to start creating the actual tree, we need to create a new node tree system. So I'm going to click here height, Neil, and I'm going to call these three Ravinia, Silva Catia, as you can see here, I have some references of these three colleagues also, falls Garcia. And it's always good to have some references of what you are going to do. We have here like scale of a human and how it looks, the leaves and Barak. So yeah, try to have your references at your side screen or in another window, and you will have better results. Once we have created our node three, we can start adding some nodes. So if I press Shift a, I can go here to nodes and I can start, for example, adding a trunk nodes, right? You have here some settings. We can tweak, we're going to see in a moment. But to create the tree, we have to add the node that each call three parameters. So once you have these, note, notice that we'd have these atom here, say is create three. So if I click that button, we are going to create a tree. All right, now let's change some settings here. The trunk nodes, we have the length. If I change these value, I have to click to update three or I can activate the auto update. So now if I change some settings, we are going to see it in real time. So for example, the length of this tree, it's something about 1520 meters. So this is meters. If I go here to the window and I select these three, go to the item tab. You can see here the seat dimension, about 18 meters. Changing properly regarding this value. So something like a, something like here and good work for these three. We have radios and radios resolution. And if I go to wireframe, changed the resolution, we are adding more loops or rings. And notice that these changes also the shape of this curve. I usually go with a resolution of a Jew. I think it's not low poly, but not so high police. So this is something where I have medium distance, it's about, okay, we can change the shape of these triangles. And so randomness as well. We're going to go well something over here and also an axis attraction. So how straight is this trunk? Now to add extra branches or branches at the first level, I'm going to add a node and it's called a Branch node. And just connect these trunk note to the new branch node, noticed that we have created branches starting from the trunk. So this is like a first level of branches. Now I can change here as well the amount of branches. The split angle is like the rotation of the branches, the radius, the length is just the matter of tweaking values to have something similar to the references. For example, here I'm going to add a little bit more branches, like 20, I think it's a good value. I'm going to change the start point of these branches. So I think these value of 0.2, it's about correct. I can change the shape. I think this value, it's correct. The resolution as well, I'm going to change. And notice that if we change the resolution, more branches are going to grow. So you can see here, for example, it's going from one to four branches. And if I decrease the resolution, we are going to decrease its branches. So something over here like, yeah, 2.5, I think it will work. We can change also the seed value in half another variation of these ranches, which is really useful. And now notice that when I added these branch node, connected trunk to the branch, a new slot is created. So I could go here and create another branch node and connect these trunk note to this new branch and create extra branches. And notice that we are creating this is like levels, Alright? So we are creating more renters at the trunk level. So I can, for example, at some branches here at the center point, I'm going to add four branches and change these start point. So I'm going to add a leader with more branches over here. All right, and now we can go further. For example, I can add another branch node, but now starting from the previous level of French's. So if I connect these branch node, this one, I'm going to create more branches starting from the previous one. This is a little bit weird, so I think I have to decrease the length of this deal branches and maybe we have to start to point to half this ranges. Start near the trunk. We can of course change some nice settings here like the gravity. By increase the gravity, branches are going to fall down. We can also change these value is Florida avoidance. And this is really nice because we increase that value. The wrenches, are you going to try to avoid these floor level? This is really cool to make some unique trees. In this case, I'm going to say these 21 and I'm going to decrease these were IBT like this. And this is looking a little bit more similar to their reference. I will go with the wireframe mode because I can see better these little branches. But let's add another parameter. For example, we can add here a root's node. So I select here the roots node to place it here. And I'm going to connect the trunk to the roots. And we are going to create really nice routes where you can obviously change also the lens roots. We change the resolution of that roots are the same as before, but creating this really nice words, in this case, I'm not going to use these roots out. Now. I feel that these branches for temple, these one, its unique branch. So I feel that I need more split here, but I can go here to these split probability in Greece it, so now we will have more probability is that a single branch, it's going to split. And I think actually we don't need these secondary level of branches. I'm going to delete them and we have a nice shape to create our tree. 3. Save and Load Presets: And at this point, we can start with the creation of the leaves. But before I do that, I want to show you a different presets that includes. So I'm going to save these node tree. I press n, I am going to these M3 tab. And here I can save my presets or load another one. So I'm going to call these seal the cassia and save it. And now I'm going to create a node tree. I can click in these literal icon. It says fake user. So these no tree, it's going to remain in this binder file even if I not use it. And now we can click here and create a new tree. And here are these tab. I can go to a load presets. For example, let's create an old oh, OK, I click Load preset. And now notice that these three parameters note it says create tree. It's going to create a new tree, but you have also the possibility to update these three phi, select these three. Notice that we have now the option of update these tree. In this case, I'm going to create a new tree. So when I deselect these one, it says again create tree. So I'm going to click on create tree. Now we have these nice old, oh, really to populate with some tweaks and leaves. And of course you can go here, for example, I'm going to duplicate these three. We've shifted D, Now we have these three saved. So if I click on that tree and now notice that here in the tree parameters we have these active is 33 is this one. So we know that these parameters are going to modify these three. I can click here at these stop tracking tree. And now we can select any one of these trees and update them or create a new one. I'm going to update these tree and I can click randomize three and we will have a different variation of the same three in seconds. So I can create like all different variations. I'm going to click that and randomize three. You will have different variations of these old oak in seconds. 4. Creating the twigs: So back into our tree and going to select these and the lead them. Now we can load again these node tree that we made before. We have the same node tree as before. I'm going to click that. Okay? We have here the octave is three, okay? And now to add tweaks and tweaks that are containing the leaves, we just need to create here a new node that is called 20k nodes. And this is really similar to the trunk nodes length, radios, number of branches. So we need to just click on execute and we just created a tweak. And now we can adjust these parameters. For example, I can change the number of branches, select, for example three, and execute again. And it's going to update these little tweak. I can increase the gravity, for example, click Execute, and there we go for jig more down, flattened or increase also the leaf size. And also we have the possibility to change the elif type to some presets. That brings, for example, we have Baum eight and now we can change it to saturate and execute. And we'd have these kind of leaves WHO contains two Palma de sate, or we can choose Custom. And it says here elif object, and that's where we are going to create right now. And of course you can change the seat and have different situations. Now we then have any elif because we have to say what leave object. It's going to be using. 5. Creating the leafs: To create the leaps, I'm gonna be using these texture, this material which is pretty similar to the reference and it's also free. You will leave the link in the description for these leaf material and other really cool leaves material. So here, a blender, once you have it, the loaded and in your folder, I'm gonna close this window and I'm going to press shift a image, images as planes and navigate to the folder where you have your textures. And I'm going to choose these base color. I'm going to deselect the US alpha n in part. Now here we have our image going to movie two right over here. And I'm going to material preview to see my texture. Alright, I'm going to rotate it in this set axis and 90 degrees like that. And the control a, let me enable these showed that control a and apply rotation. And now we have to create some basic mesh for this leave in order to have some deformation. And for this I'm going to use the knife tool. So in edit mode, I praise k. Before these, I'm going to go to the top view and press k to activate the knife tool. So let's see, I'm going to make some geometry over here. I'm going to make something like this. Now I want to cut more vertices or more edges. So I press E to start a new one. And I can start over here, something like this. Another one over here, press IY again and got just over here in this, okay? Now I can select this face and these faces, faces, and I'm going to create more mesh. So for example, this is something that we could make to the formality to eat more these leaf. Ok, now I have these basic question. I can select these faces and delete them. But now we need more geometry because if I move that vertex and you can see the stars shone and he's not, he's not working. This is not a proper deformation of the mesh. And to do that in a proper way, I'm going to add a triangulate modifier. Now if I go to the wireframe mode, you can see we are adding these extra geometry to our leaves. So now I can apply these modifier. Now we can select, for example, these vertices. Are these little branch. Select these vertices. Or maybe it's better to select the edges. In this case. So I select these edges. And before moving anything, I'm going to go here to options and check the correct phase attributes. And these will correct DUE while we are moving some vertices. So now we fees edges selected. I can press G movie set axis, leader wheat, so thin like this. I'm going to cut new edge over here. So I burst K and gut Neil one over here. We're going to select these edges and move them up. Leave it like this click of shade, smaller. And now we have a basic shape, these leafs. And now let's work on these leaf material. So I'm going to open here a new window and change it to their shader editor. So here we have our leaf material and the first I'm going to do here is adjust the gamma of the image because the C's imported from a 32-bit file. So I need to set these gamba to chew point to notice that we have a more reasonable base color. And I'm going to place here also a hue saturation and value to have the possibility to IQ. Well, the value or saturation, I'm going to import the roughness map. Just drag and drop the roughness here, Sadie to non-color data and pluck into the roughness. O, here we are. I'm going to tweak these roughness with a color ramp and the color ramp, if we press o n, If you don't have it enabled, you should go here to preferences islands and search for node wrangler. Most of you may know it already, but within our director we have some nice shortcuts in order to work with these, with these notes. For example, here in color emic and press control shift parent left-click. We'll be watching directly to these nodes. I'm going to increase these black values or something like that. Increase the White. I want to leave them eat more of contrast here. So let's back into their principal, VSD F with control shift Greek, OK, something like these. For now, I'm going to place here the normal map. So drag-and-drop here, the normal map. It is also known colored data like into the normal. But before we need to add a vector normal map, we're going to adjust. It alleviates very, we go and now we need to add the opacity of these leaps. Again, drag and drop the opacity. This is also non-color data in play entirely to the alpha value. And we will have these result in cycles he will render nice, right? In EV, We have to tweak some parameters of these material. So I'm going to change to render engine to EV. And here in the shader editor I'm going to press N to access these settings panel here in Options and change the blend mode to alpha. And now we have the proper transparency of the leaf. Now we need something a little bit more tricky, but it's not that match. We need to add the translucent. Behavior off the leaf. In order to do that, I'm going to add here a translucent shader. I'm going to import the texture of these translucent shader and you will find it in the folder. So import that into here. And this goes to the color of the translucency. If we take a look at these note with control shift, click, This is the texture, but we need this texture only in these blackface of these leaves. So we have to mask these translucent shader to only show it in the back phase of this plane. This is actually a plane. And if we go to the viewport overlays and enable face orientation, blue is the front face of the blame, and red is the back face of the blank. I'm going to disable the space orientation. And now we're going to add a shader, mix shader. I can do that, or I can simply shift control and right-click to one of the shaders and drag it to another shader, we will perform a mix shader. I can go here. And these opacity, texture five, press Shift and right-click and cut these line. I have another note here. So what I'm gonna do is wrap this note and connected to the factor of these mix shader. But notice that we are still mixing in the front phase, the translucent shader. So we need to separate the front face from the back face and added to this mask. In order to do that, I'm going to add here a new input node and geometry. And here we have back facing within another wrangler. If I press control shift and left-click and I continue clicking and going to preview these nodes. And if I go to back facing, we can see this is black and the Barclays is white. So this is a mask. And we need to multiply this mask with the Abbasids, with these weren't. So I'm going to add here a color mix, RGB color. I'm going to connect these seeing and these opacity mask. I'm going to make new node here and movies. And move these over here, okay, now disconnect these previews, mask and connect the deal one. Now if I preview this node and notice that we are now mixing. But if I multiply and I set the factor 21 and going to be separating the front phase from the back phase and keeping this mask. So now if I preview my shader, we'd have these result. Now we can place here again another color hue saturation. Because maybe we wanted to tweak these value. And if we go to the rendered view, for example, EV or cycles, now I'm in EB, I'm going to go to the world and decrease the strength. And go here and add a quick point lamp, movie it up and scale eat, you eat. And if I look from below, you can see here it's working properly. These scattered through the elifs and the same with cycles. If I changed two cycles. We can see here these nice scattering. And the material is, it's pretty much eat. Another important thing really is to have the origin in a properly position. In this case, it's in this vertex, in this point of the leaf. So with these vertex selected, I'm going to press Shift S and cursor to select it. And now an object mode right-click and set origin to 3D cursor other we have the 3D cursor hearing when to select these two vertices and press o to half the proportional editing enabled, as you can see over here. And I press period to change the pivot point to the 3D cursor. And now we fight. And with a wheel Mouseion going to decrease all the elite radius of these proportional editing in just move these down, needs to have this effect of gravity. And something like this. It cool work nice. Notice that when we have delight from below, we are not seeing these translucency effect. And if we look down, the light is bouncing into the leaves. So in order to avoid that, or I can do is disconnect these mask that we have made and the leave these factors at these 2.5. And now as you can see, if we move these light is going to the properly behavior. But now we have the issue with the alpha mask. So now what we can do is odd here, a shader, transparent shader, mix these Chu shaders and connect the opacity texture into these factor. Now this is the inverse of what we want. So I'm going to place here a color invert, and now we have better behavior of the light. As you can see. We are passing through and we'd have the same behavior on both sides. And we, this is later we can change how much the light goes through the leaves. So this is another kind of approach for these leaf material. 6. Adding the leafs: So now we have our leaf created and I'm gonna get rid of the spotlight. And now we can come back to our tweak. And I'm gonna change these again to the M3 node three. And here we should have our cuz Tom node three. There we are. So now we can select here these leaf object with these eyedropper and execute. And now we will have our tricks nicely created. So let's make a, some variations of these tweak, gonna make some of more branches like this one later when moral gravity, there we go thinking, going to tweak leader with more randomness. And I can now duplicate these with the shifted D movie two right over here. And now I can select this one and make another variation, like for example, in going to decrease the branch numbers. So they like these one, change the seat to have another variation, k shifted D. Let's create another one. Alito eat less of gravity where we go. So he like this, shifted D And let's make another one because they're free. So for example, if I change this C two of these one, there we go. Let's change this seat. Yeah, this one, for example, cool work. So now we have these four tweaks here created. I'm going to organize a little video of liner. So for example, here we have our leaf in these collections. So I'm going to call these collection leaf and going to grab these four treats. And here in the view port I'm going to press M and move to a new collection. I'm gonna call these collection tweaks. And then we have the tree over here. So now back in our tree, I'm going to select these three and press these update three button. And now it can activate the Auto Update. And now we have these options to create leafs. I'm going to enable it, how we have to select the tweak that we want. So for example, d n, we will have our leaps out ready placed. And now we can change here some settings like the Leaf amount. For example, I'm going to say here thousandth and you will see less amount of leaves. I think 3 thousand was k. And we can change, for example, the leaf size, make it bigger or smaller. 0.1 is a route, right? Looking nice, and we are getting there. Now, notice one thing. If I select these leaves, we have actually hear a object with a particle system and we can change some values here in the particle system as well. But an important thing to notice is that if we go to Render, you have the option and now it's rendering as a, an object. And it's these 3202, which is this object over here. But actually what we want is to render these as a collection, as we have created these tweaks collection. Now we can select here the tricks collection and be corundum. And now we are going to be using these four different tricks in this particle systems. O, we add more randomness to the tree. Consequently, moral realism, I think we need to increase a little bit to scale, may be 0.12. Something like this. Maybe you can increase the scale of randomness or increase cell lead, lead to scale. It's important to keep watching the references. I think this is pretty much the actual size of these leaves. So now the last thing we'd have to do here is the bark material. So let's see, before adding the bark material, now is when we go to the three parameters and in the Output Settings, select final. So when we update the tree, all the branches are going to merge. And these resolution value over here, it says 16 are actually the vertices of the cylinder. So yeah, 16 seems a good value for this example. Take into account that every time you change some value here in the tree parameters, the particle system of the leaves are going to change as well. So you just have to go to the particles settings and in render, change again to collection and just tweak again this scale. 7. Bark material / Tree Variations: Now, for the Barrick material comes with some procedural materials for each. If you go here to the side panel and go to the entry tab, you can click here in appends materials. So if I selected three and go to materials, we will have here some procedural materials, but they are actually Alito eat expensive in terms of rendering and it doesn't work quite well with EV. So instead of this, we are going to use our own material. I am using these material from CG bookcase. I will leave the link, the description, it's free. So here in Blender, I'm going to change these window to the shader editor and create a new material. I'm going to call it bark. And just as we did before, I'm going to drag and drop by its x tours. For example, I have here the base color connect the base color. And if I select these texture, now, price control T, I'm going to place mopping note. So maybe we have to tweak, i'll, these scaled were here. Maybe the scale in the y-axis allele, you eat, something like this. I'm going to import my roughness map, city02 non-color data connect the mapping note. And this goes to the roughness. I always like to place here a converter Color Ramp to tweak Alito VDS roughness map. So for example, if I preview these nodes going to increase a little bit, the contrast just aloo eat, maybe decrease the speed of these material. I'm going to import the normal map, connect the mapping note city to non-color data and connect it to the normal. Before these a need a vector normal strains of P like this looks quite nice. Maybe we have to insert here a color hue saturation value. Maybe decrease LED, we'd these value the saturation as well. So yeah, something like this. Let's go to the rendered view. I'm going to increase the strength of the world. Oh, it's looking really great. So now we just need to make some different variations of these three. I'm gonna move this three to one sides and M3 node three, going to disconnect the stream from these three parameters are going to change the output to preview and don't create leaves. So if I don't have anything selected, I can create three. We have another tree. And now this is pretty much the same as before. I'm going to check auto update. Now you can click for example, randomize tree. It's going to randomize these tree with the same parameters. It's actually changing the seat of these different nodes. If I click here and take a look at the seat, I can simply tweak some parameters of the wrench note. Or for example, I'm going to decrease the length here. So these three, maybe it's more something over here. For example, decrease the radius, only reads something like this. And once you're happy with the new settings, you just have to check again the creation of leaps. So here we are with the leaps and change the output to final update the tree. And there we are. I'll remember to change the settings of the particle system to render as collection and be corundum select the collection, of course, and just tweak again the scalar elite, maybe the randomness. And now we just need to copy this same material from these bark. So I can go here to material and drag and drop these little icon. So the trunk and we are done. We have another variation of the tree. So I'm going to make these one more time to have three trees. We will be pretty much don't. And that's it. We have three variations of these three going to close this window. And now we can create a new collection here. I'm going to call the pulsar cassia and move these trees to these collection. So in this way you will be able to append these collection of joy, another blend file and have these nice trace your C. Let's see how it looks with a rendered view. I'm going to disable these background. I go here to the Render Settings. We'll check transparent. You will height the background CLE, we'd better, they are looking really nice. I'm going to add quickly a sun lamp to see how the light passes through the lips. So I, you select these fun going to maybe rotate it a little weeds, the site going to increase this value to something like, I don't know, five maybe. And I'm going to change the color to something warmer. For example, something like that, maybe more from the site. And I'm going to decrease these warm background. So we have like a sunset scene. And as we can see here, the light is passing through the leaves. Look at these nice lighting, the material. We look from behind, we are going to see these behaviour of the translucent leaf. So yeah, this is pretty much it. So now it's your turn. Make some nice trees and make some render and share it. Take care and have fun.