Getting Started Guide (Version 1.11)

Adding Shrubs and Grass

The grass texture that you added to your terrain provides a good base color and texture but gives little realism. Painting in shrubs and grasses adds movement, responsiveness, and variation that cannot be achieved with texture alone.

To add shrubs and grasses

  1. If the Rollup Bar is not open, open it by clicking in the main menu Tools, RollupBar (LEGACY).

  2. In the Rollup Bar, on the Terrain tab, click Vegetation.

  3. To paint different types of grasses and shrubs into the scene with one stroke, you must set up a new category.

    To do this, under Vegetation, click the Add Vegetation Category icon.

    In the New Category box, type Grass. Click OK.

  4. Select the Grass object category that you just created, and then click the Add Vegetation Object icon.

  5. In the Pick Geometry dialog box, navigate to Game\Objects\Natural\Vegetation. Hold down Ctrl while selecting the following vegetation objects:

    • am_grass_01_plain_group.cgf

    • am_grass_tuft_04_group.cgf

    • am_groundcover_01_group.cgf

    • am_river_weed.cgf

  6. To modify the settings for the placement of the shrubs and grasses, select the group Grass.

    Unlike with trees, you want the player to run through the grass and shrubs without colliding with its geometry. Select the AutoMerged check box. With this setting enabled, the player can run through the grass and affect its movement.

    Enabling this setting also makes the Bending property ineffective for this group. Instead, the settings for Stiffness, Damping, and Variance now affect the movement of the objects. In this tutorial, the default settings are acceptable, so leave them at default.

    Just as you did with the trees, modify size, rotation, and density settings using the following values, or experiment with your own settings:

    • Size: 1.25

      Sets the base size for the objects that you place.

    • +-SizeVar: 0.2

      Varies the size of each object (larger or smaller) by up to this amount.

    • RandomRotation: Selected

      Rotates the objects in random directions.

  7. Modify the Density setting for each of the different grasses using the following values, or experiment with your own. To do this, click each of the grasses in the group to set the Density settings individually.

    • am_grass_01_plain_group: 16

    • am_grass_tuft_04_group: 10

    • am_groundcover_01_group: 12

    • am_river_weed: 8

  8. Select the Grass category.

    Set your Brush Radius to 8.

    Paint shrubs and grasses into your scene.


    It is easy to paint too much grass into a scene, which may cause a lag in performance. Focus primarily around the area that the player walks through. The amount of grass should be similar to the following image.

  9. To check the frame rate in the current scene, repeatedly click the "i" icon in the upper right corner of the viewport until the FPS message and additional render data appear. Ideally, the FPS rate should be over 30 frames per second. If it is below this, you may have too much information in the scene.

  10. For these types of grasses, set the AlignToTerrainCoefficient to 1.0 to make the objects align to the terrain.

    The AlignToTerrainCoefficient controls the alignment of the object with regards to the terrain it is on. A value of 0 makes the objects ignore the terrain's angle where it is placed. A value of 1, however, causes the objects to align themselves to the slope of the terrain.

    For example, the following image shows the AlignToTerrainCoefficient set to 0. Notice how the grasses point skyward even though they are on a steep slope.

    The following image shows the AlignToTerrainCoefficient set to 1. Notice how the grasses appear to grow perpendicular to the slope, which appears more natural.

Next: Inserting Rocks and Undergrowth