Screenshots of the open tree can be rendered for a variety of purposes.
Screenshots up to 4096×4096 can be rendered. Enabling antialiasing will render the tree with 32x oversampling. You can also change the background color and include an alpha channel for use in compositing.
When taking screenshots that are to be immediately implemented in photo editing or compositing software, it is sometimes easier to simply copy the image to the clipboard rather than to save the image to disk. Keep in mind that the alpha channel will be lost, since the clipboard can only hold RGB data (not RGBA).
Instead of simply exporting a simple tree image, you may find yourself needing to export a set of images that compose a complete material.
When using this option, three image files are created – a diffuse map with an alpha channel for opacity (RGBA, no suffix), a normal map (RGB, suffix “_Normal”), and a “specular/transmission” map (specular is saved in the RGB channels and the transmission mask is saved in the Alpha channel, suffix “_Spec”). These three map types coincide with a standard leaf or frond material that would be used on a SpeedTree. As such, they can be instantly assigned to an automatically generated material after export.
Since SpeedTree can easily be used to model clusters of leaves and complex branches, this is a perfect mechanism for leveraging the great rendering quality of the SpeedTree Modeler to quickly iterate through custom made materials for use on your final trees.
It is possible to preview the area of the screen used by each of the exporters above by enabling the “Screenshot Safe Frame” using the “Tree Window” properties. The safe frame is a red box that indicates exactly where the screenshot borders will be. The best way to position a model for a screenshot or material export is to enable the safe frame, position the model within it by navigating the viewpoint of the scene, and then exporting.