TreeSketch 3.0

Rob Redman finds that this updated iPad app offers a simple but effective toolset for generating tree models

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  • Interactive tree-modelling system
  • Exports FBX and OBJ

DEVELOPER: Steven Longay

Drop-down menus reveal slider controls for many aspects of your tree, from tropism to the colour of fruit

Drop-down menus reveal slider controls for many aspects of your tree, from tropism to the colour of fruit

The variety of iPad apps for 3D artists has grown massively since the device was launched. We are now starting to see updates to some, as the developers get to grips with both the technology and user wish lists. Steven Longay has done both, and version three of his tree creation application is now a more all-round release.

TreeSketch’s interface is slick and intuitive, with gesture- and sketch-based controls. A sweep of a fingertip can produce a unique tree that can be further customised for accurate end results. You can go back to edit aspects of the tree at any time; from using multiple fingertips to twist and move trunk and branch segments, to refining tropism and branch thickness. There are many different texture presets included in the app and the enhanced exporter makes it easier to change these in a desktop 3D app.

This release has many more options for environmental control, with sliders for hue, saturation and brightness and ambient lighting. The sun can be shown as an object in the main viewport, from where it can be directly manipulated.

The Organs tab has slider controls and here you can also control the size and appearance of buds, thorns and fruit. The results look somewhat generic rather than species-specific, but work well as long as you don’t get too close. Trees can be saved and exported, either by standard iTunes export or by the much slicker Dropbox export.

If you have any interest in creating trees in 3D, this is the app to get. It’s fast, intuitive and produces excellent results


Rob Redman is a 3D artist and trainer, and is 3D World’s technical editor

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