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Is there an easy way to make a tree in Blender? I'd like to have branches that have smaller branches that branch off, but I don't want to go through all the trouble of modeling each branch by converting curves to mesh, then joining them, then turning them back into curves. Any suggestions?

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Valid question, valid answer. The format reminds me of Jeopardy: the answer in the form of a question. I like it. – MarcClintDion Apr 18 '14 at 7:12
@Marc I saw your question about my animated GIF software: I use LICEcap with Max FPS set to 24. Enjoy! :) – Thom Blair III Apr 18 '14 at 13:56
up vote 19 down vote accepted

Make a Tree with the "Sapling" Addon

If you want to make a tree in Blender, you can use the built-in addon named "Sapling".

To enable it:

  1. Info header -> File -> User Preferences

    enter image description here

  2. Then:

    • In the search box, type Sapling

    • Check the checkbox at the right hand side of the addon

    • If you want to always have Sapling in your Add menu, then click on the Save User Settings button at the bottom of the screen:

    enter image description here

  3. To add a tree to your scene:
    SHIFTA -> Curve -> Add Tree

    enter image description here

  4. Adjust all the settings:

    enter image description here

    Since quite a lot of the settings are not labeled in any obvious way, I recommend studying
    tutorials on Sapling.

    NOTE: You MUST set all the settings the way you want them to be before you do ANYTHING else, otherwise they cannot be changed and the tree will stay that way (i.e. it's parameters are not changeable after it is first created.)

    Sapling is very versatile and can create many, many types of trees and bushes. Here are some samples:

    enter image description here

    enter image description here

    enter image description here

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And if you want to make a tree with lights all over it, then use 'LED Sapling' – user18288 Sep 22 '15 at 20:32

Sapling is a nice tree generation addon, but another one you can try is Space Tree:

  1. Download the addon.

  2. Open blender and open the user preferences (CtrlAltU or File > User preferences)

  3. Click install from file at the bottom of the preferences window and select to the downloaded zip.

  4. Enable the addon.

You can also try this tutorial about using the addon.

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