Northeastern US Plants and Ecosystems

Try game asset Northeastern US Plants and Ecosystems 4.27 Unreal Engine for your project.

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    Unreal Engine

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  • This work was funded in part by a 2020 Epic MegaGrant:
  • Virtual Nature projects are interdisciplinary collaborations between the University of Central Florida (UCF) digital media researchers and botanists, biologists, and ecologists. Read more about this work at The Harrington Lab at UCF:
  • Appalachian forest plants and flowers: 35 plants (10 trees and 25 flowers and plants).
  • Plant Field Guide:
  • Plant 3D Model Atlas:
  • Check USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map for correct locations:
  • Northeastern US:


  • 35 AR/VR photorealistic, low-polygon plants ideal for large open worlds, AR, and VR applications
  • Individual variations, LODs, wind and light effects, all made using photographs taken in the wild
  • 102 unique meshes for use in Appalachian landscapes
  • Editable wind material with leaf rustle
  • Subsurface scattering maps for light transparency and reflection on leaf surfaces
  • 6 ground materials for use in landscape painting and some weeds for ground surface noise
  • 1 landscape for large-scale foliage painting for Appalachia

Plant list:

Appalachian forest

  • American Beech
  • Bellwort
  • Black Cherry
  • Black Cohosh
  • Blue Flag Iris
  • Bluets
  • Blue Violet
  • Christmas Fern
  • Cinnamon Fern
  • Cream Violet
  • Dogwood
  • Eastern Hemlock
  • Foam Flower
  • Greenbriar
  • Jack in the Pulpit
  • Large White Trillium (pink)
  • Large White Trillium (white)
  • May Apple
  • Miterwort
  • Mountain Laurel
  • Northern Red Oak
  • Red Maple
  • Red Trillium
  • Serviceberry
  • Snags
  • Solomon Seal
  • Spring Beauty
  • Tulip Tree
  • Virginia Bluebells
  • White Oak
  • Wild Blue Phlox
  • Wild Geranium
  • Wild Ginger
  • Woodland Fern
  • Wood Poppy
  • Yellow Violet

About: These digital art 3D plant models were created by an interdisciplinary team of artists and scientists. Dr. Maria C. R. Harrington, Dr. John W. Wenzel, Bonnie Isaac, Chris Jones, and Zachary Bledsoe. The content created for the Appalachian forest resulted from several iterations. The original models were constructed for a Ph.D. dissertation, The Virtual Trillium Trail, then revised in a collaboration between The Harrington Lab at the University of Central Florida and Powdermill Nature Reserve at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. The Epic MegaGrant funded the improvement of the models for use here and by the community. Inquiries to Dr. Harrington for collaborations are welcome.

The Harrington Lab at UCF, Digital Media Team

Dr. Maria C. R. Harrington: Assistant Professor, Director of the Project

  • Zachary Bledsoe: Undergraduate Research Assistant: Team Lead, Environmental Artist, 3D Artist and Modeler, Unreal Engine Production Pipeline Lead, August 2017 – August 2018
  • James Miller: Undergraduate Research Assistant: Lead Developer and Programmer, Unreal Engine, January 2018 – August 2018.
  • Chris Jones: 2020 Epic MegaGrant contractor. Undergraduate Research Assistant: Lead 3D Artist and Modeler, Environmental Artist, and Unreal Engine, October 2017 – August 2018.
  • Thomas Pring: Undergraduate Research Assistant: Programmer, Unreal Engine, HTC Vive, January 2018 – August 2018.
  • Kellie Beck: Undergraduate Research Assistant: Arboretum Content Liaison, Graphic Designer, WordPress, January 2016 – August 2018.

Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Powdermill Nature Reserve Team

  • Dr. John W. Wenzel: Director of Powdermill Nature Reserve
  • Bonnie Isaac: Botanist at the Carnegie
  • Example of AR App, 2018:
Read More

Technical Details

Technical Details:

Number of Unique Meshes:

  • 102


  • None

Vertex Count:

  • Each of the 102 meshes has variable vertex count including reduced hand-made LOD


  • Mid LOD + Billboards for all assets except for clutter (meshes tested for AR/VR runtime efficiency)

Number of Materials + Material Instances:

  • 4 Master Materials
  • 101 Material Instances
  • 2 misc materials

Number of Textures + Resolutions:

  • 4096x4096 - 2
  • 2048x2048 - 13
  • 1024x2048 - 10
  • 1024x1024 - 137
  • 512x512 - 125
  • 128x128 - 60

Supported Dev Platforms:

  • Windows YES
  • Mac NO (Not tested)


  • Harrington, Maria .C. R., Bledsoe, Z., Jones, C., Miller, J., Pring, T. (2021) Designing a Virtual Arboretum as an Immersive, Multimodal, Interactive, Data Visualization Virtual Field Trip. Multimodal Technol. Interact, 5(4),18.
  • Harrington, Maria C. R., Tatzgern, M. Langer T., Wenzel, J. W. (2019). Augmented Reality Brings the Real World into Natural History Dioramas with Data Visualizations and Bioacoustics at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Curator: The Museum Journal, 62(2), 177-193. First published in Wiley Online Library (April 19, 2019).

Important/Additional Notes:

  • Any example scenes that include water rely on Epic's water plugin

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  • Unreal Engine
  • 4.27
  • 106272