Working with Plants

Working with Plants


Working with Plants

nXtRender includes a fun and powerful plant generator which efficiently generates complex entourage objects during rendering. These plants have little impact on drawing size; only a place-holder is kept in AutoCAD.

Two broad categories of plants are included. Tree-like plants (including shrubs and houseplants) are distinct objects which are inserted in specific locations. In addition, an existing AutoCAD object can be tagged as groundcover to make it appear to sprout when rendered.

Creating Plants

Run nXtPlantEditor64.exe or nXtPlantEditor64.exe from the nXt folder in Program files to load the Plant Editor

Changes effective with Build 330

September 2013

Bug Fixes

  • Certain trees may not scale properly when using the "Randomize" feature.

Changes & Features

  • The UI for Complex plant type has been reworked to make it more understandable. I'm still working in this area so I haven't yet sent the changes out to be translated for non-english users. Some english may be present in the foreign languages versions, and some labels may not make a lot of sense in these versions.
  • The default Complex plant type looks more like a tree. Much easier to work with.
  • The render engine for the Tree Editor has been switched to the Hybrid Engine for performance reasons.
  • The OpenGL display should be more responsive.
  • Added a persistent Units setting. You can now choose between Imperial and Metric. Overall plant dimensions are given in feet or meters. Leaf and flower dimensions are given in inches or millimeters.
  • Display and controls can now be sized independently.

See: Tree Editor Changes

Tree Editor usage

Plant Type

Set the type from the File/New menu at the top.

There are four tree types - Standard, Conifer, Broad Crown, Palm and Complex
(Do not use Groundcover with RpTreeMaker).


Each has different setting on the tabs of the tree editor.

Play with the various settings to see what they do.

Trunk Settings


Change the Parameters and see the results at the left.

Foliage and Flowers


You can click on the leaf image to select a different image.

You can also add an image to be used as flowers or fruit

Leaf and Flower Images

You can select new leaves, trunk, etc. by clicking on the image.

You can also add your own leaves and bark to the Plant Image folder and use them for your custom trees.



Click 'Start' on the RayTrace drop down menu to see a sample rendering of the tree with foliage.

Use the mouse and scroll-wheel to on the image to set a new view before starting rendering if desired.

Plant Editor - Ray Trace.jpg

Obtaining nXtRender Plants

nXtRender comes with a full-featured, easy to use, Plant Editor which enables you to create your own plants. The Plant Editor is located in the Windows Start menu, under the folder nXt.

There are also several online sources for nXtRender plants, including the Plant Library and Mixed-Content Library sections of the main nXtRender website:

To Insert an nXtRender Plant:

  • Select Widgets->Plants->Add... from the nXtRender palette menu bar
Add Plant.jpg
  • Select the .ArPlant file you want to insert
  • Pick a Location for your plant in the drawing
  • Cancel or pick additional Locations for additional instances of the same plant

To Tag an object as nXtRender Groundcover:

  • Select Widgets->Plants->Add Groundcover from the nXtRender palette menu bar
  • Select the .ArGroundcover file you want to insert
  • Select the object to tag

If you tag a 3D Solid object as groundcover, the groundcover will take on a "topiary-like" appearance.

Additional notes on nXtRender Plants

  • Make sure the units are set correctly for your drawing. The AutoCAD _UNITS command or _INSUNITS system variable controls this.
  • nXtRender Plants can be scaled, copied, and rotated.
  • Widgets->Plants->Randomize allows you to select a group of plants and randomize their scales and rotations
  • Widgets->Plants->Id tells you the name of a previously inserted plant
  • Widgets->Plants->Remove Groundcover allows you to "untag" an object previously tagged as groundcover.

See also

nXtRender Add-ons