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SpeedTree middleware $19/month for Unreal Engine 4 subscribers
SpeedTree middleware $19/month for Unreal Engine 4 subscribers
June 23, 2014 | By Christian Nutt




Last week, SpeedTree developer Interactive Data Visualization unveiled a new version of its SpeedTree Modeler package for game developers, specifically targeted at Unreal Engine 4. For $19 a month, subscribers to Epic's game engine will gain access to a special version of SpeedTree customized for Unreal Engine 4.

The company has posted a blog which answers questions arising from the initial announcement.

Notably, SpeedTree clarified that it is not charging a royalty above its monthly subscription fee (unlike Epic, which takes 5 percent of revenue for games developed by UE4 subscribers.)

Of note, however, is the fact that a traditional flat-fee license for SpeedTree will not be available to Unreal Engine 4 subscribers. There is one important bit of info, however, which may soften the blow of that news: "The Modeler will cease to function at the end of your subscription term, but any trees you create with it or buy at the SpeedTree Store will continue to operate in UE4 indefinitely."

There is a catch, though: "This license is intended for use for UE4 Subscription only and works with that pipeline only. There are no other export options."

For the rest, check out the SpeedTree blog.


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Comments


Terry Matthes
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Not bad considering the time it saves you. I wasn't overly impressed with the last version that came with UDK so I hope this one is worth paying for. It had a lot of great features but the export process was obtuse, or at least more so than I thought it should be.

I didnt appreciate having to create a tree in one piece of speedtree software only to open it in a other piece of speed tree software that then exported it into the UDK. The whole export/import process was not user friendly. I did like the creation process though.

Kevin Fishburne
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The quality of SpeedTree aside, I find it interesting that one would pay by the month to generate trees. Perhaps there should be a free-to-play version of SpeedTree, where exporting a tree brings up a prompt to charge you a dollar. How strangely our industry is evolving.

Bob Fox
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@Kev

The problem is game assets became too costly to make, the fact that speedtree even exists shows us that as CPU power advanced expectations rose and even making something like a tree became too costly. The reason speedtree exists is because CPU/GPU power has advanced to a point where you need a dedicated team of people just to make sure tree's look nice.

Think about that statement for a minute. Tree's are the least important related to a games fun and interactivity, the passive graphical assets are sucking up all the time and money just to get a believable world.

Terry Matthes
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This is an extremely limited perspective. So much so that I don't think you can apply it to development as generally as you have. No one is forcing you to use it.

For me Speed tree is less about creating resource lite trees as much as it is about saving time iterating on the aesthetics.

I can make a tree in Maya in 10 minutes that's just as easy on resources. Its being able to change the configuration of branches and leaf cards in seconds that makes speed tree a valuable tool. The automatic skinning and wind force preview doesn't hurt either.

Kevin Fishburne
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@Bob

Yeah, I'm familiar with the tree situation as I do modeling and programming. What really threw me off was the idea of -subscribing- to a plugin rather than simply purchasing a license. And I do appreciate the irony of your observation about the difficulty of creating tree assets considering their relative unimportance to gameplay. But damn they're pretty when done correctly. :)

Greg Scheel
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Because "speedtree" is as valuable as UE4.

Not.

Kevin Fishburne
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Someday someone will prove you wrong when they create Tree Simulator. It will all start as a joke...until it goes viral.

Jonathan Murphy
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Speedtree will have a major role in all next gen games. The real ones.

Ruthaniel van-den-Naar
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Was thinking about price U4 is for 20 dolars per month and next 20 dollars just for plugin? I think that for non free plugin is still better model, pay after game is actually shipped, or pay nothing.

Michael Thornberg
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It's not about the $20/month. It's that they don't charge 5% of your revenue that differs here. So yes, it is worth the money. It's a low price to get something out the door.

Krzysiek Justynski
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And only person/team making trees needs to acquire this subscription. You can pay 100 Unreal license and only one SpeedTree license :)
It's extremely cheap offer. Creating small but awesome forest without ST takes weeks and months. Still poorly optimized ;)


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