Planet Earth 2 Grass Transition

Thought I share a clip I saw from Planet Earth 2 Desert episode (#4). Really got the urge to make a similar scene come to life in Uniy.

I know there is other better references but thought I share this one the moment I saw it.

Let me know how you would approach doing such a scene. PC, Mobile, Unreal It would be cool to know.

When it comes to larger environmental pieces with height differences it really is challenging my boundaries as a developer/artist


Another (shitty) gif form ghibli


setup all the foliage shaders to use vertex offset and opacity values driven by a few parameters in a material parameter collection - then just animate those values with a blueprint timeline or sequence. no idea how to do it in unity though mind.

for extra style points i’d probably use a world space noise map to break up the growing effect so that everything doesnt grow at once, and also have different parameters for things like grass, small plants, trees etc. so i can stagger those and grow things one after the other

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Maybe make modular growth sims in Houdini and then bring them into Unreal with vertex animation shaders? Get more control in engine by separating as many sections of the growth into their own vertex animation shader, so you can control different areas of the environment and how fast they grow or when they do grow to give it break up. Don’t really know if this would be to heavy but I think it would be an intriguing workflow.

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I remember a Livestream from Epic HQ about growing foliage and Pivot Paint. Maybe this video can give you some inspiration about how to animate your grass, trees, flowers and such

here is the broadcast link, see around time 17:00:

Regarding animated plants, I have tried growing plants in Unreal and Unity with 2d texture based morph target shaders and it works pretty well. Plant unfolding animation was the biggest challenge. Rigging and animating growth of a plant in Maya is quite hard


Awesome suggestions
Thank you for the great brainstorm inputs.

I think with shaderforge Unity is pretty much like Unreal but probably missing a few inbuilt specific inbuilt tools.

I love that one, always want to do something similar myself.

Do you know the Grimm Games?

They do it the other way around though, but it has nice props. It is fun to see them switch between light and dark version, and the creativity that went into it.

–Ah, don’t know if you played that one, but Devil may Cry from Ninja Theory has super cool level shifting techniques!