How to Render 2.5D Grass from Podium Browser
This is a tutorial on how to create and render realistic grass using SU Podium V2, Podium Browser and free Fur plugin by Takuji Hatakawa aka tak2hata on Sketchucation.com forum. You can download the Fur plugin here from SketchUcation or download the RBZ file directly right here. If for some reason, you can not download the .rbz file, download the ZIP file here. Once this is downloaded, change its extension to .rbz.
Please note: Cadalog, Inc. does not provide tech inc al support for Fur. It happens to be a plug-in that will like to use. But we did not create it.
Installing the .rbz extension - Download the .rbz file from either SketchUcation or from this web page. Download the fur_en_v2.rbz file and save it to a folder you can access. Open SketchUp and go to SketchUp Preferences. Pick Extensions. Then install Extensions. SketchUp default file format for extensions is .rbz. Select fur_en_v2.rbz to install the Extension automatically. Once this is complete, the Fur icon tool bar will display. Also the Fur pull down menu will display in SketchUp plug-ins.
1. Download the 2.5d grass component into your scene
First download a grass instance component from Podium Browser. 2.5D grass can be found under the Vegetation 3D Plants category (Paid content license required).
2. Create a surface to populate
Next create a surface which you want to populate. It seems that Fur distributes components more evenly when surface is subdivided to smaller segments but it is not strictly necessary to do that.
The easiest way to make sure grass components do not appear through other geometry is to lower the surface and make a basin that is slightly lower than the height of the grass.
3. Select the surface and open the Fur dialog
With surface selected, open the Fur plugin web dialog and use recommended settings as shown in the below images. Only parameters that need adjusting are Density, MaxNumber and Make by component.
Note that on the detail tab, force(Z) needs to be a positive value. 1 is enough.
4. Click "Make Fur" and wait until the plugin is done populating.
Paint the bottom surface with a green texture so that there is no white coming through the grass. In this example, we are using Grass 05 from the Textures Ground category in Podium Browser.
5. Render using the Exterior Vegetation preset
"Exterior Vegetation" is not included in the standard SU Podium distribution, but is a custom preset tweaked to better handle grass, 3D trees, and vegetation. The exterior vegetation preset can be downloaded here.
If your render image shows black spots in the grass, you can manually increase the value of one of the parameters called "var_Lightbounce" in Exterior Vegetation preset. You will need to open the preset with note pad or Notes or any ASCII editor and search for the mentioned phrase. Increase value in increments of 10 but be cautious since higher values will increase rendering time. Then save the edited preset and make sure it is saved in the ../plugins/SU_Podium_V2/presest folder.