How to Create Stunning Trees

Discover how to create trees with ease using Blender 2.49

28 minutes
Blender 2.49
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 4.3/5 (52 votes cast)

During the tutorial you will learn how to:

  • Efficiently use bezier curves
  • Use the curve to tree script to generate complicated twigs
  • Create low poly leaves
  • Properly texture a tree
  • Hand paint displacement onto an object
NOTE: This tutorial was created with Blender 2.49, unfortunately it no longer works with later versions.

Finished Result

Download the Source File


At a Glance

Screenshots from the video:

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Be sure to post your results in the comments section below!

How to Create Stunning Trees, 4.3 out of 5 based on 52 ratings

About Andrew Price

User of Blender for 9+ years. I've written tutorials for 3d World Magazine and spoken at three Blender conferences. My goal is to help artists get employed in the industry by making training accessible and easy to understand. I'm an Aussie and I live in South Korea ;)
  • Elijah

    Here’s the link to the original reference image:

  • Josh Franklin

    Hello, nice work. I have seen a lot of similar modeling videos last few days and I still wonder why do you guys not using a tree modeling plugin or some app ? Take a look here it is cheap, almost free. Maybe it is worth saving so much time if you need quality trees that actually look like trees ..

    • Roberto Locatelli

      Josh, interesting link. But Blender 6.x have a new tree generator app, it’s tottaly free and we have absolute control over our work.

    • kakaa

      nice, looks like bugs life’s tree

  • Roberto Locatelli

    I keep some older Blender versions on my computer just to use amazing tools like this one. Once made the tree, I open the file with Blender 2.64.

  • jas

    I have blender 2.5 not 2.49 will it still work?

  • Ryan Duncan Gatley

    Why does this have to be a video tutorial only?  Some of us have bandwidth caps which make tutorials like this expensive and useless to us.  Make a normal readable tutorial please!!

  • c_mak

    Great tutorial Andrew! (I am still using blender 2.49, because I like it better than the new versions.) But I have a question, when I render the tree the leaves still look like planes. Why is that?

  • pontus

    think you can update this, really want to make a tree but wrong blender version:P

  • mamou

    How do u do this in blender 2.59. Which scripts you use to generate the tree and the twigs and all that…I cant seem to find it….I saw sapling, but it seems to create the tree but not the twigs. im a noob so plz forgive if the answer is really obvious and i didnt see it. :P\

  • Karol

    Hi I have a question about this tutorial how to do a great tree, it works only in a blender 2.4. Could you do this tutorial using Blender 2.58

  • alex

    I’ve just realized that I forgot to tell that “convert mesh from curve ” is ONLY usefull to create the base of the tree with beizer curves ( which is certainly the best way to modelise it in Blender). When you have to use the script after it can’t replace it because it has nothing to do with it.

    Sorry because I should have told it in my first post but I forgot this. Please forgive me if my english is too aproximate.

  • RelliK

    BTW ALL 2.5 USERS!!!
    Ever think to just download pre 2.5 just to use the script? I do it with other software when the new version has a bug/missing feature

  • Andrew

    This has been a matter of great frustration for me since I picked up Blender almost ten years ago. I came from a college setting where the art class I was taking as required credits used programs like 3ds max and bryce 5. I found blender, and decided to try it out because there was no license required, something I appreciated as a starving kid. I’ve never gone back. But the one thing I have missed is foliage generators. I never used them to just make a tree, but they were decent starting points. Being able to see how to create a tree from simple curves is wonderful.

  • alex

    Sorry for the double (well triple now post)

  • alex

    For 2.57 users; instead of using the script you have to go to object with the tree selected (at the bottom of the 3d view) and then to “convert mesh from curve”

  • alex

    For 2.57 and most recent versions, instead of using the script; with the tree selected you have to go to object ( at the bottom of the 3d view) and then “convert mesh from Curve”.

  • KostraHB

    Hi, thanks for very great tutorial. I’m novice – this is my first true work in 3D(actually in graphics at all) so here it is:

  • http://Website(optional) Elijah

    Thanks for the great tutorial! This is the tree I made for this courtyard scene…

  • yahya

    جميل جدا
    هذا فضل موقع رأيته
    شكرا لك

  • Pingback: [Tutorial écrit] Modéliser un arbre avec Blender 2.5 | Apprendre la 3D

  • Macropodmum

    No, I was following the whole thing without exiting. I think if I had been trying for that type of tree I may have persisted but I was happier with the way I ended up doing it for the type of tree I was working on. Ultimately I am hoping to create a meditation environment for my thesis project but have had to take a break from blender in the meantime, which means I will probably have to teach myself all over again!

  • Aaron
  • Aaron

    In case you’re interested, here is a screenshot of the compositor settings for this image, It is loosely based on the settings used by Andrew in the “Red Barrels” tutorial, but with a few touches of my own.

  • Aaron

    ” I had problems with the leaves just placing randomly on the branches so after I was finished with the tree trunk and branches I created leaves on a plane and warped it around to suit…”

    Clever clever! Nice work.

    One thing that I noticed with the tree script is that it doesn’t remember your settings if you save, close Blender and open again. I had some similar problems where my twigs were not being generated properly. There was an option along the lines of “Write Settings to Object”, and I was using this to record the settings to my NURBS tree hull – you can then load them using the “Load Settings” option under the scrip window next time you run Blender. Could it be possible that you saved and closed Blender, then tried to run the leaf generation afterwards?

  • Macropodmum

    Looks great Aaron, I had problems with the leaves just placing randomly on the branches so after I was finished with the tree trunk and branches I created leaves on a plane and warped it around to suit…

  • Aaron
  • aj

    i was currently following this and got suck after you needed to add the script and becuase i use 2.56 ( now 2.57) the script is no longer available…any way to do something like you did in this video with adding twigs and leaves?

  • Slitharg
  • wach

    everything worked until i got to generate leaves. i didnt follow the tutorial exactly as i just used a mesh i created from a subdivided plane for the OB:leaf. but when i hit generate from selection i just got one big leaf

  • noob

    Is there a way to create the leaf so that you could change the value of the transparency of entire leaf in an animation? It would be useful to know how to create an image on a transparent plane that could fade in or out.

  • Ryan Airth

    Are you going to make a 2.7 updated version of this?

  • noob

    RE: transparent plane for leaf texture:
    I figured it out. Make sure that the black leaf has a white background to get the background alpha to be 0.

  • noob

    RE: tranparent plane for leaf texture:
    How do you stop the Diffuse material color from showing up as the border around the leaf? I’m using Blender 2.5. I have the two leaf layers set up just like the tutorial.

  • jhwblender

    Thanks for the awesome Tutorial!!! I was wondering how you got the key stroke viewer thing on the bottom left of the screen??

  • Enger Bewza

    Thank you so much for this, I used this to make a tree for maya, the result is something more interesting then paintFX

  • The TEd

    Heres my attempt

    Sorry I stole your lighting idea but i couldn’t get it working in day light.

  • The Hammer

    I don’t know how to get to the script thing in 2.5. I mean, it does exist there, doesn’t it?

  • Flyhy

    Good tut too bad it doesn’t work in 2.5 =( .

    Anyway here is my result ….

    Thnx for the tut I’m very new to 3D modelling and this is helping me a lot !

  • Max

    For people with Blender 2.5 ;
    for now that scrip isn’t in the system, This is the solution I made up : ( it ain’t perfect but it works )
    ones done with the curves, just use your tree as a reverence and model a tree around it using a plane that you extrude and trace along your curves, basically you just manually do what the script would do for you, but after you can just apply twigs with leaves using a particle system. I still gope they will enter the script in 2.5 but this works as well though it takes about a hour to do what the script would have done for you in 1 click.

  • Matthew

    Dude… you are the best.