April 7, 2017
Continuing on the solid foundation laid by SceneTerrain 0.9, this first version in the 1.x development cyle improves the distribution of the populations, especially useful for a lot more natural-looking forests. Several other minor features have also been added.
Being at 1.0 also means SceneTerrain is now considered stable, with the most important features in place. The coming 1.x versions will consolidate these features, to make them always more user-friendly. Getting terrains that are as realistic as possible is the second priority, so expect better looking results with each new version.
Populations were added in 0.9 but you had only the 'trees' vertex group created by default, with random weights. So it was necessary to manually weight-paint the vertices of the terrain to create clusters of trees. Population layers fix this, with the added benefit of having as many vertex groups as needed, each with their own procedurally generated density distribution, and several control options.
(A link to the documentation will come here, it is being written...)
Then when you want to populate the terrain with an object, choose which layer to use when you enable the object.
The included tree library has 2 new tree species, with 3 variations each: Pecan and Grey Birch. So it's 6 new tree models for you to populate your terrains with, or to use anyway you like.
Each tree's leaf material is randomized for a slight variation of color. The randomization can be augmented manually for stronger and more varied effects.
Finally a few renders of the same terrain shape with the same trees, but with different textures, color schemes (by adjusting Hue/Saturation/Value nodes in the terrain and trees materials), and different times of the day with SceneSkies. The atmospheric haze has been added with a mix color compositing node. Except for the rendering, these only took a few minutes to create, and no external models/textures have been used (though you're free to use your own too). Enjoy!