DarkTree 2.5 Review

PENdzel 2004-07-31 00:00 article  > Review

Many CG artists around whole world use procedural maps every day - in 3d graphics you can not do without them. What is the best characteristic about them?

When we did some close ups on the procedural maps they were perfect - there were no pixels. And this is the biggest problem with normal textures. It's hard to make detailed textures by hand when we want to create grass or wavy water (and we aren't able to use high poly object generators or fluid animators) - and animate them for lets say 30 seconds... The DARKLING Simulation is trying to solve that problem, they are the market leader on procedural shaders plugins for editors and producers. One of his excellent products called Dark tree - It's standalone program. The Evermotion group called it shaders shaker :)

After installing the software we found a 234 page manual which answered all of our questions. It has been a long time since we have seen such a detailed manual - which explains even the smallest program functions. At first sight the application looks complicated, but with an expanded manual and available tutorials, allows the user in a short time to understand the basic functions and also expand the knowledge of advanced users.

A solid base of textures comes from the programs tweaks that allow you to fine tune your textures and not only just mix maps and add attirbutes to them. The effects of that are mappings with a nonreduced surface, that work on a scene where we need a near and far view or in a case when we are displaying only a small surface map and we have to spread it out over half of a city - our eyes shows good known from beginings, wire, to annihilate it usually we have to get throught photoshop to do a map for extension, it is very work intensive and time-consuming. With Dark Tree this problem dosen't exists, the map repeats generating to infinity which covers the entire view. One interesting function is the ability to explore a shader for Dark Tree as bitmap or jpeg image, and in the size that we need. We can acquire it as a reflection or cube mapping which we can use in any available 3d application.

Additional plugins, that are avaliable on Dark Tree page create with it a very powerful work tool, because they allow us to work with most popular 3d programs. They let more than one shader export, either as shaders belonging to our program or the renderer, as it is in this case renderman.

The plugin Simbiont contains two elements, the Dark Tree generator and plugin for our 3d program. The Plugin appears in material editor and allows for the integration of Dark Tree shaders into our scene. It has basic modification elements. It is pretty much an extended application which allows the user to create complex and detailed textures. Because it is an independent application, users have more liberty and most important, the processor is freed from the "heaviest" of applications. This is a great solution in creating complex shaders and making preview renders for them. Simbiont allows users to work faster and more precise by way previsualization of textures which is far more efficient than those in the standard 3d Studio Max program.

For people who want to learn this program, the plugin is shareware on the Darkling Simlations page.

Best Regards
Evermotion Team
Author: PENdzel
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ammarshow14:44:18  |  12-10-2015
and now after 10 years ?


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