Onyx is the oldest of all big plant editors. It have been developped since
1992 by Dr. Bojana Bosanac and her husband Pjer Zanchi.
Onyx editors are currently available in 6 flavors : Bamboo, Broadleaf, Conifer,
Flower, Grass, Palm.
Each of them is focused on generation of specific kinds of plants, such
approach takes the burden of building plant graph like with other procedural
editors (Xfrog, Speed Tree, TPF), and provides user with a set of parameters
which make sense for selected kind of plant (ex. you will see "number
of petals" in Onyx Flower, but not in Onyx Broadleaf). Theoretically
this should simplify whole process of creation of new models, but in the
same time it limits what you can get from Onyx.
Onyx has very retro feel and appearance from early 90's - it looks like
an application from good old times of Amiga, designed for 640x480 resolution.
Well, the first editor "Broadleaf" was released in 1992, and it
looks as if it hasn't changed since then.
There is no real time preview like Open GL or Direct X in Onyx. Plant image
is generated after each modification, and it takes a couple of seconds.
Swift, but not real time like in Speed Tree or TPF.
Onyx lacks smooth connections between branches and bark. It is not a big
problem for background trees, especially ones with dense foliage, but Onyx
can't create nice, detailed "Hero Tree" for HD resolutions.
Export works fine, and in numerous formats : 3DS, C4D, DXF, FACT, LWO,
OBJ with multiple optimization options.
Onyx could still have a lot of potential if it was updated to todays standards
- swift Direct X or Open GL preview, more parameters visible at a time (now
on HD screens it should be possible to display most parameters directly)