How to make Bushes, Hedges and Topiaries using the Bulky or Cone Shaped Conifers
for Vue Infinite and Vue 5 Esprit


Here are several different ideas on what can be done with the Bulky or Cone-Shaped Conifers from Cornucopia 3D. For Vue 5 Infinite and Vue 5 Esprit with Botanica.

Note: My computer doesn't like Open GL too much, so all my illustrations here will be in wireframe.

Making a Conifer Bush:

1. Open a new scene in Vue Infinite or Vue 5 Esprit. Go to File|Options. In General Preferences, uncheck "Offset Duplicate Objects". Hit OK.

2. Load a Bulky or Cone Shaped Conifer into your scene. Select the conifer, right click on it and select Edit Object to open the Plant Editor. In the Trunk/Branches menu, set all elements to "0" and repeat the same action for the Trunk and Branch Subsets, selected from the dropdown menu. Then do the same for all the Leaf/Petals menu elements as well as those elements in the dropdown menu subsets.

3. Now one by one, go through the menus as well as the dropdown menus and use these settings:

All subsets: no change
Trunk subset: Length= -75, Diameter= -45
Branch Subset: Length = -50, Falloff= +95, Angle= -60

Leaves/Petals: Leave all at "0", including the subset menu elements.

4. Now you have a fairly nice looking conifer bush! If you would like to save your bush as a plant species so you can use it again, hit the "Save Plant Species" Icon and the "Save As" Dialogue Box will pop up. I named my species "conifer bush" and saved it to my plant folder for later use. It's possible in Infinite to save the texture maps while saving the species, so I would check that too. You can also write a little description for your bush if desired.

Once your new plant species has finished saving, the "Save As" Dialogue Box will close and you will return to the Plant Editor. Hit OK to save your changes to the Bulky Conifer and close the Plant Editor.

Making a Hedge

Your conifer bush can have several different uses. Individual plants close to the ground, topiary (see below), and I like making hedges with them.

The easiest way to make a conifer bush hedge is to place them one by one next to each other, so that each plant overlaps the one next to it by about 30%. This will make a nice thick hedge. Make sure all your conifer bushes are the same height for this. You can use the bounding boxes to pull them up (vertically) about 10 to 15%. This makes the hedge less rounded.

Creating Topiary

5. At the top, click on the "Toggle Current View" Icon to get the 4 window views and then, with your conifer bush selected", press the "Frame All Icon. With your plant selected in the Front View, select the top middle bounding box point and pull it down a bit to flatten your bush a bit. It should look something like this:

6.With the bush selected, go to Edit|Duplicate to make a second instance of your bush and, while still in the Front View, use the rotation tool to rotate your second bush about 180 degrees. Once your second bush is positioned properly to make a spherical shape, you can select both trees by holding down the shift key and group them by hitting the "Group Objects" Icon on the left. You now have a Conifer Pompom. :)

7. You can use a thin cylinder with a bark texture as the trunk or create a default dead tree. If you want a more natural looking trunk, Right click the dead tree and choose "Edit Object" to open the Plant Editor. In Trunk/Branches "All Subsets", set the Length to -17 and the Falloff to -100. Click OK to save the modifications to your dead tree and close the Plant Editor. Using the bounding box, resize the tree so the branches are all hidden within the conifer pompom. If the tree is too low, use the bounding box to stretch it higher.

This is the first version of the topiary. This topiary cannot be saved as a plant species because it's made up of several different plants, but it can be saved as a Vue object. If you would like to save it for future use, just group the pompom and the tree and save the group by right clicking and and selecting, "Save Object" and then save it to the folder of your choice.

8. Now we will try making a sculptured topiary. In your topiary group, select the pompom and duplicate it by going to Edit|Duplicate, then move the second pompom away so you can continue to work on the first. Reselect the first and flatten it into an oval shape using the bounding box.

9. Resize the second pompom and move it so that its attached to the first pompom as a head to a body. (You can use another elongated pompom as a neck, too.)

10. Now open the head group and select the top Bulky Conifer inside. Go to Edit|Duplicate to duplicate it and then resize the resulting conifer to the size of a beak and attach it to the head. You will find it's too round when looking at it from the top so you can make it thinner using the bounding box and play with rotating and positioning it until it looks like a properly attached beak.

11. In your topiary group, select the top bulky conifer in the pompom and duplicate it by going to Edit|Duplicate. Then, in the top view, stretch the mesh to approximately twice its length using the bounding box. Rotate it and position it so that it looks like a tail coming off the backside of the bird. You can now group all the bulkys and dead tree together to make your second topiary and save it as an object if you'd like.

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Incredibly Lush Tips and Tricks Copyright 2006 by L. Daireaux