- Get the latest release of Blender and install it.
- Download TheGrovePackage.zip and unzip it.
- Inside you will find TheGroveAddon.zip – keep this file as it is and do not unzip it.
- Launch Blender and from Edit > Preferences go to the Add-ons section.
- Click Install… Browse to your download location, select TheGroveAddon.zip and install it.
- Search the list for The Grove. If it’s not there, you installed the incorrect file – please go back and carefully read steps 2 and 3.
- Check the box to enable the add-on. Click the little triangle to reveal The Grove’s settings.
- Let The Grove know where to find your twigs and textures. You can download twigs and textures to anywhere you like, and then point The Grove to your these folders. Read more on this below.
- Save your user settings to keep The Grove enabled next time you start Blender.
Close the Preferences window. Open up the 3D view sidebar from the View menu (or simply press N to toggle it). The tool shelf opens next to the 3D view. Switch to the tab named “The Grove”. Add a new grove and simply hit “Grow” to start and have fun growing!
Be sure to back up your downloaded copy of The Grove Add-on for the future. After installing an update of Blender, it might be necessary to repeat the above steps. If all went well, start growing with the Quick Start guide. If you have trouble installing, please let me know.
Note that when there is a new release, you can keep the old one installed. They don’t interfere. The Grove is in rapid development and things change, so you may want to keep the old release for a while to edit trees your existing trees, or maybe you’ve created a preset that grows differently in the new release.
Your purchased twigs come in separate .zip files that you can download from your user profile. Unzip these and move the extracted folders to a master folder with a suiting name, something like TwigsLibrary. Point to this folder in your preferences. The Grove will search the folder and list all twigs in the twigs menu, from where you can simply pick one – the twig objects will be automatically appended to your working file.
If done correctly, your TwigsLibrary folder will have have a number of sub folders like AshTwig, FieldElmTwig and WillowOakTwig. Each of these folders contains the .blend files and a textures folder specific to that twig. Keep the structure of each twig folder intact. If you add new twigs to this folder, The Grove will automatically find them.
The Grove comes with a set of bark textures that you can download from your user profile. Simply unzip them and put all the image files into a single folder with a suiting name like BarkTexturesLibrary. Point to this folder in your preferences. The Grove will search the folder for image files and list them in the menu in the Build panel – simply pick one to assign it to your tree.
Some textures also come with a normal map. The Grove searches for normal maps in the same folder, so make sure to extract all image files into a single folder without sub folders.