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I've been using Mtree, and I would like to use my output tree as an instance in a particle effect. Normally I would take the leaf particles on the tree, convert them, apply them to the trunk and then use that, but for whatever reason that isn't working.
What I end up with is a forest with no leaves (depressing)

Any advice is greatly appreciated - I've been through a lot of tutorials and haven;t found more information than how to make a single tree.

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So, I am back with another Mtree answer, I guess.

I will tell you my way of doing it, may not be the best one.

What I do, is I first join the leaves with the trunk.

How?

Well, First, I take the leaves and in edit mode, I assign all their vertices to a single Vertex group. Why I do this? I will answer in a moment. Then, I join the leaves object to the trunk (Ctrl + J). You will see that the leaves are gone. But why? Well, the leaves object is just vertices, emitting hair. So, by joining them in the trunk, they lose their modifiers. And particle systems are modifiers, so now the particle system is gone. That's why, I go to the particle system settings, add a new particle system, from the drop down menu I choose "leaf"(that's the one that was on the leaves object) and then, down there, at Vertex group section, I set the density to be that one group I created before.

Now, I can add the hair system on the terrain object. If a hair instance object has his own hair, it will be displayed, but only is its from type "Path"(default streams of hair), it will not if its an object. So, that's why, now I convert the trees into meshes(before that I hide the Leaf particle system so my pc doesn't crash). So, now its working! But, there is one thing you will notice- if the hair system on the terrain had the trees smaller, than their original size, they will look like bushes- because the leaves didn't change in size. So, now we have to it. We go to the particle system of the plane and we see what is the scale of the instance object- if it was 1:1, it will be exactly 0.25. So, if yours is smaller/bigger, we need to find how much. If we divide the 1:1 scale(.25) by the current scale(lets say its .05), we get 5. So, this means that the trees are 5 times smaller. If you get a value of, say .5, that means that you actually scaled them up(in the case of .5 its twice bigger). So, now we have to change the scale of the leaves with that ratio. So, if we get that the trees are 5 times smaller, then we also scale the leaves down 5 times. We do this from the hair particle system settings, same as from where we got the tree scale.

And now, you should be set.

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for your (super quick) response! And sorry for my (super delayed) response back! I tried this and it worked (along with bushy leaves and all). This actually might help me with a different issue, too - I really appreciate it! $\endgroup$ Jan 9 at 18:03
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Coincidentally, I have very recently run into the exact same problem, and It took me a while to figure out, but there is a solution that's relatively easy and worked quite well for me.

So first, you need a tree with leaves (obviously) enter image description here

next, what you need to do is select your tree, and then in the scene outliner (that's the box in the top right corner that contains all the object in your scene) click the little dropdown arrow to the left of your tree object, to show everything contained inside of the tree object. And then make sure your leaves are selected as well. enter image description here (This step isn't necessary, but it makes it a lot easier to see what's going on)

Now, you need to make a new collection and name it something like "Trees" (If you don't know how to do that it's a very easy thing to google) and then you are going to move your tree object into that collection. MAKE SURE that you move the leaves into the same collection as well, trust me, I made the mistake of not doing that and it was not fun.

enter image description here

For the next step, with your leaves selected, click on the modifiers tab. There should be a particle modifier in the tab with a big button on it that says "Convert". Click this button, and it will convert each leaf on your tree into its own individual mesh.
enter image description here (tips: If your computer is not very good at handling a lot of objects at once, I would first recommend changing your number of leaves on your tree to a smaller number. (Tip inside a tip: if you change the split probability in your m-tree node editor, you can get away with having a lot less leaves and still get a good looking tree) And one more tip: If you use your mouse to look away from the tree in your scene, it actually makes it easier for the computer to calculate it.)

Now, you will have a couple thousand of individual leaf objects in your scene. don't worry about them for now, the first thing we need to do is delete our initial leaves object that used to contain all the leaf particles. So, in the scene outliner, right under your tree object, click on your "Leaf" object, and press "X" on your keyboard to delete it. enter image description here

Alright, just a few more things to take care of. Next, you will need to select all of your leaves and your tree at the same time. to do this you can right click on the "trees" collection that you made, and click on "Select Objects". This will select everything in your collection that is an object. WARNING: you need to make sure that your tree object is the last thing that you have selected. You can do this by holding down The control key on your keyboard (or command key if you're on mac) and clicking on your tree object with everything else still selected. you will know that your tree is the last thing selected if it turns a different shade of orange then everything else. enter image description here enter image description here

Ok, now if you've done everything correctly the last thing you need to do, is to right click over the tree, and click on "Join" and after your computer is done calculating that, you will have one tree object with leaves and all. (Tip: if you right click on the tree and the "Join button does not show up, you will first have to click on "Convert to mesh" and then the join button should show up)

And that's that. you should be able to turn it into a particle system now and build entire forests. Have fun!

(sorry if there are any spelling errors in here)

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  • $\begingroup$ This was a brilliantly detailed response, and it worked fantastically - thank you so much. For another person reading this (who I like to think of as 'future me') - follow the instructions carefully and fully and right to the end. I was hasting so quickly that I missed the 'convert to mesh' part, which held me up for a full ten minutes before I was wise enough to read all the information. Absolutely gleaming response, Ethan, thanks again! $\endgroup$ Jan 9 at 17:59
  • $\begingroup$ No problem! I'm happy to help, and I'm glad it worked! : ) $\endgroup$
    – ETHAN DAY
    Jan 9 at 18:41

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