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..::growing plants::..

Enlarge Screenshot The initial stem of the plant is drawn out for 10+/-5 frames to get the plant off the ground surface. This particle is spawned every time it travels X distance, which are passed to another event with shape properties, no velocity, and an animated scale. The main drawing particle is passed to another event where its motion is affected by two Wind Space Warps. After a period of time, this particle spawns another with a reduced inherited speed and scale to produce a branch.
Enlarge Screenshot These particles are tested for scale and age to ensure the branches aren’t too thin. Due to the turbulent nature of the Wind, they are also checked to ensure they don't pass below the ground surface. All drawing particles (stem and branches) spawn trailing particles as before using a simple referenced GeoSphere object with animated scale to get the stems to expand as they age. The drawn stem particles are then passed to another event to prevent them from scaling up any further, else all of the stems would get fat!
Enlarge Screenshot Finally, a leaf particle (referenced from scene geometry & its corresponding material) is drawn out at the end of each branch which has an animated scale to suggest that the leaf is growing. The particle speed is set to 0 to prevent the particles from moving and rotation is set to random horizontal. See the comments in the accompanying scene’s Particle View events for any more information!
Download the max file! Zip file to accompany.

..::quick tip::..

Although this paper covers a generic plant growth, it can be easily tailored to create specific plant types, complete with a flower at the top!

Initially published: 3D World magazine, Issue 68, September 2005.

Copyright Pete Draper, September 2005. Reproduction without permission prohibited.