The Magical Touch / TreeSketch 2.0

Apple’s iPad launch was one of those moments you knew things were about to change… profoundly. Not everyone had the same sentiment back then, but look where we are now. With TreeSketch 2.0, by Steven Longay from Algorithmic Botany I see this change entering our field, and I hope to see more of these touch implementations for 3d content creation & exploration. Just imagine – Creating a tree in the palm of your hands!

It’s pretty simple really – The touch interface calls for the distillation of all the usual multitude of settings & parameters into touch gestures. All of us who sketch & draw know how much simpler it is to just put our ideas on paper before we head into to the more complex task of 3d modeling it. Why not skip that part completely and make the sketching stage the actual 3d creation stage too? We are a long way from doing this fully that way, but TreeSketch 2.0 showcases a remarkable and intuitive interface for creating 3d trees on the iPad.

Both Onyxtree and GrowFX are parametric in nature, rigid and not too intuitive… I’ve only seen a move towards natural input in SpeedTree with their Hand Paint mode which is very cool by the way!

Zoran “Kizo” Gorski posted some great examples on the forums of what could be done with TreeSketch 2.0 as it is now.

And here an example by Paul (also on the same forum thread) showcasing a TreeSketch tree with textured leaves done in Maya based on Jeff Pattones tutorial – Rendering Leaves with Mental Ray (that was based on Peter Guthrie’s – Making Leaves using the VRay2SidedMtl… A nice chain here).


Think about the next 2-3 hardware updates,
Add siri’s natural language recognition to the mix,
A much more accurate touch with sensitivity recognition too…

What will we be able to do then? on TreeSketch 3.0 and beyond 😉

TreeSketch 2.0 Videos

The Playground Report…

So… I been playing around with TreeSketch 2.0 and specifically started to use it outdoors – looking at tress and shrubs trying to remake them as I see them! It sure did spark a lot of interest among the crowd passing by 😉

This first one grows over an obstacle on one side and so I made part of it hover in a way to allow for such an obstacle to have a place under it.



A lower plant/shrub type. This one was super easy to make by altering the architecture parameters first.



Look pretty good from short distance too… although the leaves and textured do not transfer with the FBX currently ;(


The next one is an attempt at a drooping type of plant… the kind that grows in a planter and falls over the container. The starting point wasn’t perfect, but TreeSketch 2.0 has a bending feature that came into play here.



By pointing on pivot points on branches, I was able to rotate/bend them over into a lower/drooped position that I was aiming for… this was super easy and very responsive – I did not have to think about any kind of parameters… just do what I like in a very intuitive way 😉




I’ll keep on experimenting with it and share more stuff here or in a new blog post later on.

14 replies
  1. ronenbekerman
    ronenbekerman says:

    TreeSketch 2.0 exports to .FBX by the way – so you can use the models you create. If any of you already did so and have some examples. Please share them with us all 😉

    • MartinZmeskal
      MartinZmeskal says:

      quck question, is the geometry of the leaves flat? or is it bent a bit?

      wonder wht are the limits of the polycount…do you think its worth waiting for iPAD 3? 🙂


  2. ronenbekerman
    ronenbekerman says:

    Ok… Got iPad… Got TreeSketch 2.0… AND I LOVE IT!!! this app is so much more impressive in the palm of my own hands 😉 Expect some more examples soon…

  3. fergusonsarah
    fergusonsarah says:

    Sweet! I can’t wait to try this TreeSketch 2.0, more sample please. Thank you for sharing this.

    • ronenbekerman
      ronenbekerman says:

      @fergusonsarah More samples added above… Just me playing with it on the go! It is very cool to be able to see the tree and model it right there on site!!!

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