Today we’re introducing the long-awaited early access of ‘Megascans Trees’, a brand new asset type unlike any we’ve released before. Far from being ‘just another type of foliage’, our first pack, available on the Unreal Engine Marketplace for free, is the culmination of extensive research, development and iterations on how to capture these complex and beautiful living things.

In order to do justice to the magnificence of trees and create a faithful adaptation of nature, our approach has been a scientific one, relying on botany and deep knowledge of how trees grow, react to light, wind and respond to seasonal changes. The result has been not just a set of assets but also a powerful foliage master material to control seasons and wind.

What’s in the pack?

In the European Black Alder pack you’ll find early access Megascans Trees with 22 unique models of various maturity to build a photorealistic forest. It includes nine forest trees – versions of the trees that you’d typically find in a forest where the trees take in nutrients from the sun from the top of the canopy; five field trees of the sort that would have more direct sunlight; six saplings, and two seedlings.

Along with the trees we have included several new features to our foliage shader. In addition to the standard parameters, we added a season and health system. This will work with your entire scene by adjusting a few sliders, which are driven by the new global foliage actor, where you’ll find everything related to the season, health and wind in your scene. On top of these global parameters, you can also go into each material instance to fine tune the settings on a detailed level.

To get started, check out the tutorial below.

What’s next?

Our scanning teams are busy capturing different tree species from a variety of biomes around the world. We’re excited to continue rolling these out to you over the coming months. Once Megascans Trees are out of beta we will also be making them available through Bridge to make it even easier for you to use this powerful new asset type in your environments.

Finally, and importantly, we want to hear from you. We have released this early access pack so that we can gauge what you like, what we need to improve, and how we can better provide everything you need to create your worlds and 3D experiences. Share your creations with the hashtag #MegascansTrees and let us know what you think via the usual channels!