Adding a little Windy look to your trees

Game Version: FS15 and later
GE Version: ? and later

Modding Index | Map Making Tutorials

Hello everyone and welcome to this little Tutorial in adding a little more Wind to your tree's.

  Don't be alarmed by thinking this is a massive thing, and I am scared just in-case I stop my game working or will corrupt any future games played? this is not the case, we are only going to adjust the game you are playing personally and any future maps added to the forum with this simple shader adjustment added will become MP compatible.

  So are you ready ? then let's begin

Choose a map you wish to add this windy look to, if in zip format then open a new folder on your desktop and rename for now called “Windy Map”, now if you don't have Win-RaR then you can download a free trial from, after the free trial it may prompt you to buy it and your trial has ran out? but the program still works when you skip?, Please look into this before downloading as I will not be held responsible for people downloading. Most people should have Win-RaR when compressing and placing mods into directory in ZIP format, so don't think this should be a issue.

It would be a good idea to temporary remove the original zipped game from your mods folder,to your desktop until this new zipped version has been placed in your mods folder and you are happy with the outcome, if not after creating these changes the edited map with windy trees can be removed and the original map placed back into your mods folder? sorry if that confused you's a little just best to keep the original on desktop as the new edited zip has to have the same name as the original?.

Now open the ZIPED Map and un-compress all the files to the new folder just made “Windy Map”, once this is complete within them files look for “map” and double click on this to move on, now look for a file that has “i3d” attached meaning mapi3d / map01.i3d or could even be a name, ie: “MyMap.i3d” example!. now open this with “Giants editor”.

Once open we need to open a new window to be able to adjust the values of the shader, so we need to click on the “Window” Tab and then move down to where it say's “Material Editing”. You will now notice the Material Editing box has opened, and if it's opened with very little width just get close to the left hand side of the box and open it a little more by clicking and dragging the box, as shown in the picture above.

Now look for a tree on the map and select it by clicking on the tree itself, once this is selected the whole tree will become covered with a mass of green boxes/lines, now we need to open the tree's hierarchy in the Scenegraph, named as directory on the following picture and also on the right were it say's Custom Shader, there is also a icon in the corner to open a drop down box for the Shaders values, click that to open the extra functions of the Shader shown in picture below.

Now we need to make the adjustments to the Shader to make the Wind effect. Shown in the picture above you need to click on the tree_lod, for example I have chose oakBranch_lod0 which in turn now gives the values in the Custom Shader, also shown in the picture above on the right hand side, the original Shader's values should be “0.06—-0—-0—-1.2” this will make the tree move a little only as original, we are going to change this now.

The values I have added to gain my best look are as follows “0.2—-0.3—-0.4—-0.5”,  you can play with these values yourself for maybe a better look ? but i have tried and you are more than welcome to play as at this point you will not damage anything, as they can all be reset back to original at any time “0.06—-0—-0—-1.2”. Once you have your values added you can click the play button to view your differences in Giant's Editor, before confirming you final look but please make a note of original values, and also your edited values as you do need to change the rest of other trees the same, AND THAT is it?

Just remember to make slight adjustments, as big adjustment may make it look too unreal as the movement can become rotational looking so play around if you are not choosing my values.

Just make sure to keep the play button pressed and look around the map as like mentioned you may not be converting all tree's, so just quickly look through them to make sure and repeat this procedure for the rest of the tree's that haven't been effected by the first edit of the shader? this must mean there is more than one Shader within the map or there is more tree's in the map that have been imported in, if that is the case they don't need to have the same values as the first so they can be less Windy or More. Also you could add additional tree's and Shader if you wanted these to be less windy looking? like say if they were in a valley in a court Yard where they would receive less wind? but that would involve a little bit more work? but for mappers that are easy with this can make this happen. Issues would be to have duplicated Shaders and increased file size.

Right we need to get this back in game! and the way to do that is save the map edit in GE, by clicking “File” then “save” or close Giants Editor and then click save when prompted, Once saved you then need to highlight all the files shown below! your's may differ but this is just to indicate the right path you need to re-zip (compress). Once highlighted right click on the blue boxed area and then select “send to” then “Compressed (zipped) folder Then just rename the zipped folder back to the original named zipped game that was temporary removed from your mods folder

Now try in game a look at the difference of these wind looking tree's, and tell me they are not better looking?

If you don't like them you can always like mentioned just reverse the values back to normal, or just replace the original zipped game that was removed at the start.

So just to add about the values? first value is “X” red line left to right, second is “Y” green line up and down, third is “Z” blue line left to right, and fourth is speed, but to be honest I don't see much difference in speed on the Wind Shader, be you can also play around with this on other Shaders such as the Flag Shader and others.

Again thanks for looking and hope this brings a little smile to peoples new games and also best played maps to make them a little more realistic?

[center]Now to look at 2015 Tree's and add the Shader to them[/center]

Right before you start this part, it best to look through the files and look for the Shader/s  required,just so you know where to find them when adding the Custom Shader, ie windShader and also flagShader if you want to experiment with a better look? usually you will find these in the main directories in a folder called “Shaders”. You may have to look elsewhere if these are not in the shaders folder, so just open folder up and if not found just keep pressing back until you look in other folders and allocate them.

Open this and search for the shader required.

So once you know where these are we can begin, I am also adding a new link to a video at the bottom of the page, and this will show the 2015 tree's blowing around and also showing how to add the shader via video also just to back this Tutorial up a little, also in this video you will see me adding the windShader to a fir tree, and then re-adding the flagShader to show you that there can be a different looks available with other shaders, best look can only be achieved with playing around.

So here we go again, open GE and just like before track down a 2015 Tree that has no movement, I have chose the oak20m for this written tutorial and easier for you's to follow if you select the same? not essential, so like mentioned previously select the tree and then open up the hierarchy shown in red on the picture and select attachments shown in blue.

Now if you were to hover over the Shader Source Tab shown in picture below, it will tell you the directory path for the treeBranchShader which is assigned to the 2015 tree's, you need to change this and I will show you how step by step.

Now click on this icon as we are going to replace the Shader with the windShader, you may have to click this twice?

Once this has been selected, it will open up a new window “Open Shader File”. This will also need the correct path for the Shader to be assigned, meaning your edited map files and folders and not from another map on your desktop, so as a example I am editing oxygendavid's map so my path is in the red box “This PC > Desktop > ThorntonAdjusted - Copy > map > models > misc >” and it's in this “misc” folder where the shader is for the original treeBranchShader.

So we need to find the windShader_xml and have it selected for the Custom Shader Source, in the picture below (and sorry it looks a little all over the place?) you can see the windShader and this has to be double clicked or selected then opened to add it to the Custom, I have edited the picture due to me not selecting the shader, to show you the screen with the windShader and the drop down Custom Shader box at the same time, as once you select the shader the “Open Shader File” box disappears, now like in the previous tut above we now need to add the values as before in the Red boxes to the right, as mentioned you can play with these but here are my settings. 0.2—-0.3—-0.4—-0.5

And that should be it done for that tree? you may need to check the others as shown in the video on this map I had to add this to fir tree and “mapleTreeLODs”, also as a side note and I know this is visible on the video but if adding the flagShader to the tree's make sure you have the settings only on the first three, if you add the 4th it will cancel out the movement? again trial and error, have a play around and have your best look, my settings for flagShader on fir tree's are 1—-1—-1—-0.

Hope this has also helped and opened a few doors for modifying objects for a different appearance in game and will make each game unique, if the settings are different to others?

If there are any questions about this Tutorial, please post in here or give me a pm I will do my best to try and help you's along the way, but hopefully this tutorial should cover everything needed.

Remember playing makes it possible and a little tip if you's read this far down? just open a static hedge that doesn't move, add the windShader to Custom now add the settings as follows and tell me in comments what you think? Personally I think more realism and endless amount of playing to get the right look and at these settings they give a little bit of movement and not as much as trees, but all in all it's a hedge and they are usually harder to move with wind than tree's in real life. The setting for the hedges are 0.01—-0—-0.01—-1. Let me know what you's think and I bet you's try and add these shaders in a different way in future maps made.

[center]Here is the Link to the video[/center]


Thanks Giant's for leaving the door open on opportunities to edit the game to make it better and better every day.

Original Author: robbie | Date: October 03, 2016

Modding Index | Map Making Tutorials