The SpeedTree® Compiler is a stand-alone application used to transform an artist's SpeedTree® Modeler (*.SPM) files into optimized run-time files for use with the SpeedTree SDK (*.SRT). This process includes rendering billboards, creating texture and billboard atlases, merging materials for fewer draw calls, and optimizing the vertex buffers for the fastest rendering.
The pipeline for using SpeedTrees in real-time applications is shown in the figure below. The preferred path is highlighted in blue, as using the SDK will give you dynamic wind effects and smooth LOD down to a billboard for both the geometry and shader effects. However, if a static mesh asset pipeline is preferred, meshes can be exported from either the Modeler or Compiler applications and brought into your application the same as any other static mesh, but without wind effects, camera facing leaves, and smooth LOD. Meshes from the Compiler will be more optimized than those from the Modeler, and they will have Effect LOD information available for mesh exporters that can use it.
The Compiler was redesigned for version 6.0 to be much simpler and easier to use than ever before. With that came a more streamlined workflow that is broken down, at a high level, into the following steps.