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Creating the Tree
1. Start by going to File>User Preferences and enabling the Sapling Add-on.
2. Delete the default cube. Press Shift+A>Add>Curve>Add Tree.
3. Press T to bring up the toolbar and change these settings:
4. Go to the Branch Splitting section and change these settings:
5. Go to the Branch Growth settings and change these settings:
6. Now that the tree is formed we need to separate the trunk. Go into edit mode, select the bottom handle of the trunk, then Ctrl+L to select the rest and P to make it a separate object.
7. Press Alt+C to convert the trunk to a mesh.
1. Hide the branches (H) and with the trunk selected, go into edit mode and select one edge down the back and make a seam (Ctrl+E>Mark Seam)
2. UV Unwrap the mesh (U>Unwrap) and in the UV Image Editor, scale the vertices (S) till the width fits the grid as shown:
3. Add a new material to the Trunk and use the Black Rough image as the texture.
4. Bring back the branches (Alt+H) and give it a new material as shown:
Scene and Lighting
1. Position the camera front on to the tree and set the dimensions as shown:
2. Add a Plane and extrude one edge to make a wall in the background. Add an edge loop just behind the tree.
3. Press Ctrl+2 to add a Subsurf Modifier. Set the plane as Smooth in the toolbar (T).
4. Change the default lamp to a sunlamp and position it as shown:
5. Go to the lamp settings and make the Emission Strength 5.
6. In the World settings make the background light blue and set the Strength to 0.5
Give it a render and you should now have this:
Creating the Pine Needles
1. Select the branches and convert it to a mesh (Alt+C) so we can add a particle system.
2. Add a new particle system to the branches with these settings:
3. Scroll down and make these changes:
4. Scroll further and make these final changes to the particle system:
5. Give a new material to the particle system with the following settings:
6. To further adjustment the material, go to the node editor and create this setup for translucent, shiny pine needles:
Render now and you should have this:
Adding Christmas Lights
1. Add a Bezier curve (Shift+A>Add>Curve>Bezier) and place it at the bottom of the branches.
2. Split the view in two to see the top and front view. In edit mode, with one handle of the bezier curve selected, Ctrl+Click to extrude and create a new handle. Repeat until you have spiraled up the outside of the tree.
3. Go to the curve settings, set the fill to Full, and the Bevel Depth to 0.007 and Resolution to 2.
4. Give the following new material to the curve:
5. Now we’ll make the physical lights. On a new layer, add a cylinder (Add>Mesh>Cylinder) and scale it to the dimensions as shown. Apply the scale afterwards (Ctrl+A>Scale).
6. In edit mode, add an Icosphere to the cylinder and scale it to a small ball at the end. Using proportional editing, stretch the tip to make a candle shape.
7. Assign the object the previous Cord material, then create a new material for the bulb (as shown) and assign it to the icosphere in edit mode.
8. In edit mode duplicate the Christmas lights 4 times and place them about the same distance they are in real life. In side view mode (pictured right) rotate each one 90 degrees.
9. Add a Curve modifier and assign it to the newly created BezierCurve.
10. Add an Array Modifier and position it above the Curve modifier. Change the settings as shown:
Creating the Tinsel
1. Duplicate the Bezier curve and in top view, rotate it about 90 degrees for more variation.
2. Convert it to a Mesh (Alt+C) so we can add particles to it.
3. Add a particle system and give it the following settings:
4. Scroll down further and make these changes too:
5. Add a new material and use the Glossy shader to make super shiny tinsel.
Render it now and you should have this:
Adding the baubles
1. Add a Sphere (Add>Mesh> UV Sphere) and scale it down to suit the size of the tree.
2. Go to the node editor and create the following setup for dynamic baubles that will be either purple or red when duplicated :)
3. Press Alt+D to duplicate the bauble, then place it on another branch. Repeat until you’ve covered the tree.
Render now and you’ll have this:
Creating the Star
1. Enable the Extra Objects add-on in the User Preferences (File>User Preferences)
2. Go to a new layer and in the Add menu add a Star (now possible with the add-on).
3. With the Star selected, go into edit mode and select the top and bottom edge loops. Then press S (scale), Z, 0. This will collapse both edge loops into each other.
4. Go to the toolbar (T) and Remove the Doubles so there aren’t duplicate vertices.
5. In edit mode, add a Cylinder and scale and position it at the base of the star as shown. Extrude and fan the bottom of the cylinder out to create a practical way to place the star on the tree.
6. So that the Star catches more light, add a Bevel modifier.
7. Place the star at the top of the tree and scale to suit.
8. Give the Star the material as shown:
1. Before rendering, we want to be able to add glow to the lights in the compositor. So to do that we’ll create a separate pass just for the bulbs. Do that by selecting the lights, and for the Bulb material, give it any number other than 0 (I chose 1).
2. To take advantage of this special material pass, go the Render Layer Panel and under Passes, enable Material Index.
Render it and you’ll have this:
To make the Christmas lights glow, create the following Compositor node setup: