Space Ramblings

Verdant 1.6 Photoshop Plug-in

Programs like Verdant have been around for a while, though I have technically never seen one intended as a Photoshop plugin. While Digital Element makes a stand alone plant creation program called Plant Mechanic, Verdant makes for a pretty decent Photoshop plugin for anyone who just needs some trees or shrubbery in place and doesn’t want to work hard drawing them.

Much like the aforementioned programs, Verdant 1.6 works basically by adjusting variables for the tree or bush’s parameters from trunk curl to greenery. You get about two dozen trees and bush models to choose from, from oaks to willows (but don’t expect a lot) and the photoshop integration end lets you scale the tree model and position it on the picture before completing the operation.

Verdant is best for someone working with illustration or who just wants background greenery. Verdant 1.6 is a definite improvement from some of those programs I mentioned and Digital Element is to be congratulated for doing a decent job with it but don’t expect to stick a tree in the foreground of your photo or photorealistic render and assume that it will mesh fine. Verdant’s trees aren’t Bryce but they’re not Vue either. If you do have to use them in photos or photorealistic renders, keep them as dark green and as far from the camera as possible. Up close the leaf and trunk textures are not going to work unless you work on adding to them.

Verdant is basically good for shortcuts. For people who don’t have real 3D programs capable of importing and rendering plant models or feel too lazy to do it. Considering Photoshop CS3’s Elements 3D model capabilities, the ability to export Verdant’s trees as image layers would have been nice.

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