What are these trees from Final Fantasy VII's sleeping forest ?

Discussion in 'Plants: Identification' started by Molosev, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. Molosev

    Molosev New Member

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    Hello,
    I am new to the site. I registered to try to get an answer to a somewhat original question. I hope you can take some time to try to answer it!

    I would like to know the essence of a tree that appears in a video game and in a movie related to the video game.
    It may be a totally imaginary species, but perhaps the creators have used the reference of an existing species. I have my idea on the answer but I will not give it to you right away so as not to distort your analysis.

    Here are the game's pictures:
    448.png
    449.png

    And now the movie's pictures :
    2.jpg
    proxy.duckduckgo.com.jpg

    Are these trees of an identical species in the game and in the film?
    Can you tell me what species it is?

    Thank you in advance for your answers !
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2019
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Imaginary, I reckon. Closest match on the bark / trunks is Hornbeam, but the leaves (what little one can see of them) is more like a maple.
     
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  3. Molosev

    Molosev New Member

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    Thank you !
    So it could be an imaginary hybrid.
    My interest is more on the trees of the game than those of the film.
    Does anyone have another idea?
     
  4. Douglas Justice

    Douglas Justice Active Member UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society 10 Years

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    I'm in agreement with Michael F that the trees are definitely made up. The ones in the movie images only superficially look like trees. Real trees definitely don't produce branches in that way. Note the inconsistent architecture/arrangement (some branches arising opposite each other, some clustered, some alternating), but the reverse taper in a couple of places is the real giveaway for the representations being just that—representations. Similarly, in the game shots, the leaves look to me to be an amalgam of oak and maple (or something else). Alternatively, the animator/artist could have started with real trees and modified them to suit the purposes of the game/movie. In the final analysis, I'm sure they do the job well enough, looking "like trees" and "like leaves" to satisfy the audience.
     
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  5. Molosev

    Molosev New Member

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    Thank you for your analysis that seems pretty close to what must have happened during development!

    I am happy to see an Oak mentioned, since it was my hypothesis. Is there any chance that the trunks also look like those of Oaks? (those of the game)

    If this may interest you I will quickly explain what interests me about it.
    I think that the opening cinematic of the game "Final Fantasy VII" is visually inspired by a scene from the movie "Parking" by Jacques Demy. In this scene Eurydice (who is known for being a Dryad, a nymph of trees and oak in particular) goes down to hell. The opening cinematic of the game also features a female character, Aerith. You can compare the two scenes on this page if you wish. The fact that these trees, which are on the territory of Aerith's ancestors, are in fact Oaks could possibly confirm the link between these two works. See lead to a deeper understanding of the plot of the game.
     
  6. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    It seemed clear that both responders said that these trees are in fact imaginary.
    I don't think you can confirm anything based on what has been said about the tree IDs here.
     
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  7. Molosev

    Molosev New Member

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    Thank you wcutler for your intervention.
    These trees are most likely imaginary or hybrid, but there is no doubt that they were modeled from references (because this is how you create good looking visuals).
    I am well aware that I have received answers from people with a great knowledge of botany, and I thank them for taking the time to do that.
    Now I think that it is always more interesting to have many opinions, that's why I allow myself to relaunch the discussion, by presenting the context, to show that I am always attentive and interested.

    I probably did not speak well, I thought the word "could" was enough to indicate the conditional. I totally agree that nothing can be confirmed after the compilation of these elements of answer.
    Moreover, even if these trees had immediately been recognized as oaks, that would have confirmed nothing, as far as the game is concerned.

    Do you have a personal opinion about the trunks, the leaves ?
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
  8. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Not me. I'm the one who didn't know
     
  9. Molosev

    Molosev New Member

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    Yes, I perfectly understood this part.
     
  10. Sulev

    Sulev Active Member

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    I think, the game creators modelled pine trees (for simplification they used small number of large leaves instead of countless narrow needles) and in the movie root systems of different trees were modelled as tree crowns.
     
  11. Molosev

    Molosev New Member

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    I find the hypothesis of roots used as tree branches very interesting. This could possibly evoke a world upside down, which could represent hell. We can also notice that the hand of the character in red looks like a skeleton. His name is Vincent Valentine and his favorite weapon is a triple barrel revolver called Cerberus. Vincent is also the hero of another game called "Dirge of Cerberus". Perhaps a Valentine who will sing in hell (even through a revolver), could make think of Orpheus, the lover of Eurydice.

    Thank you very much Sulev!
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
  12. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I see nothing remotely pine-like in the fantasy trees ;-)
     
  13. Sulev

    Sulev Active Member

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    Of course, it's all over simplified and needs a bit imagination to see pine trees there, but the overall look is more like pines than oaks.
    Some major over simplified aspects:
    1. Only individual trees are modelled, not the whole forest. The forest is made up of solitary trees at pseudorandom arrangement, not considering realistic interaction of trees in relatively close arrangement.
    2. Tree models are extremely simplified to reduce needed computing power, several trees are even presented as repeated exact (only variable size) clones, exposed at somewhat altered viewing angles.
    3. Small trees are modelled according to the same model as big trees, but in reality smaller trees have rather different form than big trees.

    The result (although it's in 3D) resembles real trees maybe even less, than artist's simple 2D painting:
    maalid, klaas ja graafika

    I haven't seen the game, I haven't seen the movie. I'm talking based on this screenshot only (attached):
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
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  14. Molosev

    Molosev New Member

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    Just as a real life reference:

    An oak (one of an essence) forest
    chc3aane-fauteuil-1.jpg

    A pine (one of an essence) forest
    habitat-jlc-chapuis-foret-pin.jpg

    A hornbeam forest
    1200px-%C5%BDernov_2.jpg

    A maple forest
    pic-21.jpg
     
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  15. Sulev

    Sulev Active Member

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    Right!
    Maybe your pictures are of forests, that are too dense or too young, compared with the simulated forest in the game.
    Here is a sample of older and more sparse oak forest:

    Oak forest (by Heidi Tooming)
    lehmja_tammik.jpg

    Oaks at so sparce arrangement tend to have a trunk, that is divided into multiple branches of similar size a way before the top. The game's model has basically approach: single trunk from the ground to the top.
    I think, that the tree model of the game is limited to ca 7 branches per trunk.
     
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  16. Molosev

    Molosev New Member

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    I admit that I have specifically posted photographs of forests that "resemble" the game. It may also be planted and "unnatural" forests, I do not know ...
    With regard to your last photograph, it is interesting to see how much an old forest has an aspect much more tortured than the forest of the game. Besides, perhaps this remark could possibly push to question the old character of the forest of the game (as it is presented as ancestral)... Or maybe I'm going too far in my analysis and the visual of the game is just the result of the effective work of a modeler, without special meaning.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
  17. Sulev

    Sulev Active Member

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    Your samples are of very dense forests, where canopy cover rate is near to 100%, compared to the game, where this parameter is below 30%.
    When the forest grows at sparse arrangement, there is always a reason. Usually that means, that environmental conditions are not so good for lush and dense growth. Anyway - oaks crown is usually distributed relatively evenly, and is denser at the top. Pine has crown, that is clearly divided into smaller bunches, like in the game.

    Sparsely arranged oaks, at less than 30% canopy cover, should have this kind of crown:
    Eiche_bei_Sch%C3%B6nderling%2C_2.jpg
     
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  18. Molosev

    Molosev New Member

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    I think I can see how the trees in the screenshot that you analyzed can be reminiscent of pines (which would have grafted leaves). Your analysis of the distribution of branches on the trunk according to the density of the forest is rather convincing.
    I came to the conclusion that the trees of the game were not created from references of oaks. In any case the goal was certainly not to represent oaks specifically. This is not at all in the sense of my theory but I'm leaving here with other assumptions :) Thanks to you!

    Thank you all.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019

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