Instanced Grass


A few weeks ago, George asked me whether it would be possible to have random color variation for his instanced grass scene. He wanted to achieve something more appealing to the eye than creating numerous instances with the same look.

– Giannis, I would like to setup grass very quickly with color variation. What I would like to have, is a noise procedural taking different values from instance to instance.
– George, this requires quite a few (small) additions but it would be indeed very nice to have.

And So We Started…

I liked the idea so much that, putting aside everything non-urgent, we started working for it. First of all, we would need to have a special channel based on the instance index. Second, certain changes on the engine, to be able to link between the instance index and UV coordinates. And third, it should be interactively available using Presto (which means that I had no excuse anymore but to – finally – implement Perlin Noise for it).

I have to say that the result was astonishing, not in terms of rendering (we have seen greater renders than my simplistic tests) but in terms of workflow. With a few clicks, you can transform a scene with boring instanced grass to something way more colorful. Checking the title image above, you can see how a grass scene was rendered before and after applying the new effect.

This effect is one only addition of our next edition which will be feature-packed. We are putting a lot of love into it and it certainly worths all the waiting.