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After 'Cathedral' presentation on DigitechMedia 2002 I had opportunity to ask Tomek Baginski about effect of growing branches which he has used in his animation. It is done by scaling groups of vertexes down to 0%. Then you apply morpher modifier and use original object as morph target. Effect of growing is result of animating faloff size or position of Volume Select gizmo.

There's one important thing that you should remember about when using this script - height of each segment of mesh has to be bigger than its width. Otherwise object may squashed instead of beeing shrinked. If you don't quite understand look at top left branch - it's top two segments.

Later - to get nice and smooth effect you can apply Mesh Smooth modifier.

Additional Info: 

Example Animated Gif of tree growing

View interface screenshot

Pick object: script will create copy of picked object so original object won't be affected

New object color: Color for newly created object

Radius: The bigger radius the more vertexes will be groupped. Just slowly increase this value an watch object changing until you are satisfied with results.Remember to switch viewport to wireframe mode - new object is inside of old one.


Apply Volume Select and Morpher: this button applies Volume Select and Morpher modifiers.

Faloff size: Faloff size for Volume Select modifier.

Animate: Animates position of Volume Select gizmo along Z axis to create effect of growing.

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