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Our Douglas-firs are Tree-mendous

Find out what we're doing and thinking as we develop WolfQuest 3: Anniversary Edition and the Tower Fall expansion!

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Our Douglas-firs are Tree-mendous

Postby loboLoco » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:39 pm


Video link: https://youtu.be/TZxwEQjZe8k

Thank you to the folks who have requested a video update about trees! Anyone who has been following our progress knows that I love working on the 3D environment of WolfQuest, so it should it should come as no surprise that I also love trees. Here’s a joke: How do trees get online? They just log in!

But seriously, trees are a critical part of the environment, both ecologically of course as well as visually. Douglas-fir are the most common tree species in WolfQuest, because they’re the most common tree in Yellowstone’s Northern Range, which is the heart of wolf country in the park. But they’re not the most common tree in Yellowstone — that’d be the lodgepole pine, which is the dominant species throughout the rest of the park. But Douglas-fir likes the cool, moist, north-facing slopes of the Northern Range, so they predominate there.

Here’s a fun fact about Douglas-fir: the name is hyphenated, and that’s to indicate that it isn’t a true fir. It’s genus name is Pseudotsuga, which means ‘false hemlock” — it resembles a hemlock as well as a fir, but it’s a different genus entirely. Douglas-firs grow to about 30m or 100 ft tall, and can live for as long as 600 years in Yellowstone. Their thick, corky bark protects them from fire so, unlike lodgepole pines, they can survive moderately intense forest fires.

So Douglas-fir is an important tree species for the Northern Range, and for the game. We’ve partnered with Kerry Baldino, one of the best 3D nature artists around, to create some new Douglas-firs for WolfQuest (along with other vegetation like the fescue and sagebrush we showed a few months ago, see link below). We also sent our old WolfQuest senior producer Steve Allison-Bunnell out into the field (he lives in Montana) to take comprehensive photographs of Douglas-fir bark, branches, and needles. Kerry used those photos to create a basic model of the classic Douglas-fir form, and now he’s working variations to give make our forests more realistic. Today’s video shows the first batch of Kerry’s trees in a test scene, which also uses several other tools by amazing Unity developers: Enviro for the sky and lighting system, a new vegetation spawning tool called Vegetation System Pro, and tree shaders created by vegetation shader wizard Forst.

In future videos we will share more new trees cottonwood and lodgepole, along with the finished forest environment complete with understory vegetation. In the meantime, check out our past videos about making the terrain!

Render in the Grass (New grass and sagebrush)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBMV_q00yKQ

Cliff Notes (Creating cliffs)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpUawoSEtaY

Texturing the Terrain (Creating realistic ground textures on the terrain)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnW_ZO0GESM

Roughing Up the Terrain (Using new tools to create more detailed terrains)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_PIVvLP-wQ
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Re: Our Douglas-firs are Tree-mendous

Postby LamarWolf » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:45 pm

It looks great. Can't wait to run through the forest. Keep up the good work.
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Re: Our Douglas-firs are Tree-mendous

Postby Weylenn » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:49 pm

This is looking fantastic so far, thanks so much Dave. Are there any plans for god rays or any sort of volumetric lighting? Also, will positions for beta testing be open? I'd like to try and test stability with Ryzen systems seeing as I'm guessing you guys have been working mostly with intel/nvidia.
Thanks!
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Re: Our Douglas-firs are Tree-mendous

Postby YellowstoneWolves1 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:54 pm

The trees are beautiful, especially when you look at them with the sun shining on them. Makes me think of the trees up in the mountains near me. Absolutely beautiful.
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Re: Our Douglas-firs are Tree-mendous

Postby DispersedHowl100 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:59 pm

WOW! This look so great! Cant wait for WQ3!!! :wolf:
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Re: Our Douglas-firs are Tree-mendous

Postby PearlyReborn » Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:01 pm

They look so REAL! I've never dreamed of the forests looking this good!
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Re: Our Douglas-firs are Tree-mendous

Postby Nor-easter Forecast » Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:08 pm

Wow, these are incredible. I've been waiting for this video for a long time. Douglas-fir are such beautiful trees... it's thrilling to see them reach their full potential!
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Re: Our Douglas-firs are Tree-mendous

Postby Phasoli » Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:09 pm

This is breathtaking! Forests are my favourite environment in-game (and in real life), so to see how much they've improved is amazing! The way the light shines through the leaves is so realistic and utterly magical. I really hope that my computer can handle a good graphic quality. I'd love to waltz under those beautiful Douglas-Firs!
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Re: Our Douglas-firs are Tree-mendous

Postby AmberZeWolf » Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:12 pm

Absolutely gorgeous.. hopefully by time Wolfquest 3 comes out I'll have a better computer that can run all of these great graphics!
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Re: Our Douglas-firs are Tree-mendous

Postby TimberRaven » Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:17 pm

These are beautiful!!! These trees are amazing! So much better than the 2.7. ones XD
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Re: Our Douglas-firs are Tree-mendous

Postby DawnWings » Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:31 pm

I've been waiting patiently to see the new trees ever since I heard about WolfQuest 3, so I am pretty excited to see this post! The trees look awesome!

I am impressed that the team went through the trouble of researching and using actual real species of trees and grass for the game. Things like that show how dedicated you all are to the realism and quality of the game, and It's all very appreciated!
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Re: Our Douglas-firs are Tree-mendous

Postby Jeames » Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:38 pm

This is so amazing! It's only getting better and better, ahhhhhhhhhhh!
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Re: Our Douglas-firs are Tree-mendous

Postby Frost_Fire » Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:05 pm

Wow, these look AMAZING!!!! Every update has me more and more excited. Great job!
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Re: Our Douglas-firs are Tree-mendous

Postby MysteryFoxSpirt » Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:26 pm

Running through the forest will be so much fun with the new camera angles!!! Still being very impatient, like always!

Hopefully, people have actually been donating, and they probably have been!

Keep it up, my Wolf loving pals! :wolf:
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Re: Our Douglas-firs are Tree-mendous

Postby Gillato » Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:34 pm

Woah!!! Shut up no way! i thought those were real tree's! Great job guy's!! :pawprint:
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