If you have a photo in need of foliage, fire up Photoshop and generate for a 3D rendered Sakura Cherry Blossom, Redwood, Young Maple, Palm, or nearly three dozen other trees. Just go to Filter Render Tree and let your creativity, er, take root. This curious feature even enables you to tweak the leaf sizes, branch height, and other variables. But what's the story behind this curious feature? From Input:
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The trees, it turns out, came in response to architectural artists who wanted to be able to drop trees into their work but struggled to smoothly integrate them into the image. Before the tree filter was introduced in 2014, designers would have to cut out a preexisting image of a tree taken at the right angle and then paste it in. “We thought it would be convenient if you could generate customizable trees that fit illustrations,” says Daichi Ito, the technical research artist who developed the tree filter for Adobe. “By ‘fit,’ I mean it doesn’t have a strong style; it’s somewhat realistic, but not photorealistic.”
Ito created the project as part of the development of an engine, codenamed Deco, that would help Photoshop create generative patterns. “Daichi came to us and said, ‘I can actually write a bunch of interesting scripts that leverage that Deco engine and allow us to generate all kinds of things,’” recalls Stephen Nielson, director of product management for Photoshop at Adobe. Ito spent a month writing the algorithm that created the generative images. “Generating tree data took me some more time,” he adds.