#3 Inkscape – Creating trees in Inkscape 1 –

Creating trees

There are several way to create trees with or without Inkscape.

Option 1: an automatic tree creator.
Head to this site to create random trees which can be saved as PNG files.
This site helps you to create random trees which look very realistic. One disadvantage is that the PNG’s you create are quite big.
If you’re developing a game for a website, this shouldn’t be a problem. If you’re developing a game for a smartphone, it’s always wise to keep images as small as possible.

On the right hand side of this website you can choose which leave textures, flowers and wood texture you want to use.
You can select multiple items; for instance choose two or three leave textures which makes the drawing a bit more realistic.

Leave textures


Wood texture

You can also add your own images of leaves, flowers or wood texture or add a URL to an image by clicking the +-symbol.

On the left hand side you can adjust several settings before creating a tree:

Parameters creating random trees

: width in pixels of the image canvas in which the tree will be drawn
Height: height in pixels of the image canvas in which the tree will be drawn
Size and complexity: the overall size and complexity. Can be slow when generating so increase by 1! Lower = younger tree, faster to generate. Higher = grown up tree, longer to generate.
Shadow amount: quantity of shade in the tree. Lower = less shade, faster to generate. Higher = more shade, longer to generate
Shadow strength: how dark shadows are. Lower = light shadows. Higher = dark shadows.
Shadow size: size of the shades. Lower = concentrated shades, faster to generate. Higher = more diffuse shades, longer to generate.

Length: branches length. Lower = shorter. Higher = longer.
Sub-branches length: branch shortening factor with each sub-level.  Lower  = branches keep getting shorter. Higher = child branches are the same size as their parent.
Angle mean: average children angle relative to their parent. Lower = child branch grows parallel to its parent. Higher = child grow perpendicular to its parent.
Thickness: lower = thin branches. Higher = bulky branches.
Sub-branches thickness: how thinner child branches are relative to their parent. Lower = thinner children branches. Higher = children have same thickness as their parent.
Curvature amount: how curly branches are. Lower = straight branches. Higher = curly branches.
Curvature noise: how chaotic curly branches are. Lower = normal curved branches. Higher = chaotic curves.

Leaves scale: general leaves size. Lower = small leaves. Higher = large leaves.
Leaves scale variation
: how much leaves can deviate from their normal size. Lower = all leaves are the same. Higher = leaves have very different sizes.
Leaves density
: general quantity of leaves. Lower = few leaves, faster to generate. Higher = more leaves, slower to generate.
Leaves local density
: how packed leaves are. Lower = loose leaves, faster to generate. Higher = dense bunches of leaves, slower to generate.
Leaves lighter
: some leaves can be drawn lighter than the others. Lower = few light leaves. Higher = more light leaves.

When you have selected and edited one or more of these items, you can hit the button ‘Draw tree’ in the upper left. Not satisfied with the result? Just click the button once more.
If you’re satisfied with the result, click ‘Save tree image’ just below this button. You’ll then be directed to a new page with your freshly drawn tree on it. Right click and choose ‘save image as’.

Some examples:

Tree 1

Tree 2

Tree 3

Option 2: create trees in Inkscape manually.

You can create (simple) trees manually by combining some circles and rectangles.

First create a rectangle (F4):
Color: c87137ff
Make sure the rectangle has no stroke by holding shift and clicking the red cross down in the left corner (beneath the toolbar).

Tree trunk

Create a bunch of circles in different sizes (F5), hold Ctrl to create perfect circles.
Color 008000ff
Make sure the circles have no stroke by holding shift and clicking the red cross down in the left corner (beneath the toolbar)


Tree circles


Then place all of the circles together with the select tool (F1): make sure they overlap like so:


Select all of these circles by ‘surrounding’ them with the select tool (F1) and click Ctrl + G.
This will put all these circles in one group so it’s easier to move them and change the color.


Move the group above the trunk of the tree until you’re satisfied with the result.
Make sure this group is ‘above’ the trunk by selecting the group and clicking ‘raise selection to top’ in the (second) command bar:

Raise selection to top

Simple tree

Your simple tree is finished now. In future blogs we will make these trees look more realistic by adding shades, tree roots etc.

The third option, creating trees with the automatic tree creator within Inkscape, will be discussed in the next post.




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