Price When Reviewed: 620
Pros: Volumic mode cuts down polygons while retaining density. Offers simulated growth, seasonal changes, and trunk customization. Trees can be exported as 3DS Max skeletons.
Cons: Expensive, and the base plug-in offers limited potential.
Bionatics natFX offers 3DS Max and Maya users the ability to create bespoke, highly realistic vegetation in 3D, albeit at a high price. Version 4 is currently for 3DS Max only. You can then buy additional libraries of plants and trees, which vary in price.
The process can turn out to be quite expensive, so if you are looking for a few shrubs for your rendered artwork or Web animation, you might want to check out Vue 5 Esprit or Daz Studio. If you’re after realistic, broadcast-quality plant life or rendered forests in your games though, natFX is ideal. There are cheaper alternatives for professional work too, such as Xfrog or the Onyx range, but none are as simple as natFX.