Starbound

Starbound

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How to Create Custom Starbound Trees, Without Mods!
By pixelrage
Sometimes you might want to customize a scene in Starbound with a particular tree that has a certain kind of trunk and leaves. Thankfully, there's a way to do this yourself, without having to visit dozens of planets, find the right tree and cut it down for saplings. Best yet, you won't need any mods to do it. Let's get started!
 
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How It Works
In Starbound, there's actually a way to type a command and get a custom made sapling. This command will allow you to specify a top (leaf type) and bottom (trunk type) + color for both, essentially creating a tree that looks just the way you want.

In this tutorial, we'll review how exactly this is done, and get you on the path to generating your own saplings for free -- and most importantly, without ever having to download a mod.

The only drawback to this method is that not all tree tops and bottoms can be mixed and matched. Some of them will clip with each other and look "off," while others simply won't generate at all. It's something you'll have to experiment with until you've found the right formula.
The Sapling Creation Script
To create a sapling in the game, enter Admin mode (simply type in /admin while in-game, and hit enter). From there, here's the base code template that creates a sapling. You might want to copy and paste this into an editor like Notepad to make sure the syntax is correct, as a missing comma or apostrophe will prevent the entire thing from working:

/spawnitem sapling 1 '{"stemName":"pine","stemHueShift":0.0,"foliageName":"pine foliage","foliageHueShift":0.0}'

The example above will generate 1 sapling with a "pine" trunk and "pine" foliage, with default hues (colors) for both. The sapling will appear in your inventory. Copy and paste that code provided above into your dialog box in the game, and try it out!

As you may imagine, there's far more than just "pine," and you can input other options in these two quotation-marked sections. As you also may have guessed, you can choose different colors by inputting different numbers aside from the "0.0"s you see in the example.
Tree Trunk Values: "stemName"
Starting with tree trunks (which are labeled as "stemName" in the code above), a full list of Starbound trunk types[starbounder.org] can be found on on Starbounder. This list includes pictures of what all the trunks look like.

You can add any of these as an option to the code. So, using my line of code above which references "pine", substitute the word "pine" with something else. Let's say you chose the first one on the list, alienpalm. You'd change the code I provided before to say "stemName":"alienpalm" instead.
Tree Leaf Values: "foliageName"
Leaf Types are the top half of the tree. Here's where you might run into some issues - certain leaf types will not match with certain bark types, and the only way to find out is to create a tree, plant it, accelerate time and see what happens.

As with trunk types, a full list of Starbound leaf types[starbounder.org] can be found on Starbounder, along with pictures of each. For some reason, the code for them is labeled "foliageName". Input your chosen type in that appropriate area of the code.
Important: Syntax matters!
Note that you cannot use capitals nor spaces for the trunk/leaf values.

You'll notice that several of the values listed on Starbounder have spaces in them (i.e. "Giant Flower" which would not work because it has a space in it). This is because the page has not been curated in a long time, and nobody in the community added the proper values. In order to find out what the true values for those trunk/leaf types are, you'll have to look into the /plants/trees section of Starbound after you unpack the files*.

*If that makes no sense to you, you'll want to read up on how to modify Starbound by unpacking its files to see all of the actual game files which can be modified in programs like Photoshop...this guide will help[community.playstarbound.com]).

When it comes to using these codes, I highly recommend you copy/paste them directly into Starbound instead of sitting there and typing them out. The margin of error is too great if you mess up the syntax!
Hues: "stemHueShift" & "foliageHueShift"
Here's the annoying part. Hues determine what color your tree trunk and leaf type will turn out to be, but there are lots of catches...namely:

  • Hues are defined by a parameter called "HueShift" which exists for both trunks (stemHueShift) and leaf types (foliageHueShift). There is no guide or table in existence which explains how they work. For some boggling reason, the developers didn't use RGB nor Hex values, but some kind of confusing #.# format that doesn't really match any known color chart. So, if you want a certain color, you will have to sit around and generate a lot of the same tree using many different hue types until you've found one that you like.

  • Starbound seems to block certain color ranges for trunk and leaf types. You'll notice that it is impossible to get each to be a certain color. So, for instance, there's no way to make a pink trunk and pink pine leaf type. Once again, there is no chart or guide in existence that tells you which color options you have for each, and you will only be able to find out through pure trial and error.

Hues are represented as a number, which may include a decimal AND may also be a negative number with multiple integers (i.e., -39.667). As you'd imagine, that means there are an awful lot of combinations, but only a small amount will actually work in-game.

Example Hue Values

Through testing, here are a few known hues for you to try out. I'll add more as I discover them:

  • Light Blue: 180
  • Dark Blue: -180
  • Teal: 135
  • Dark Purple: -135
  • Light Purple: -90
  • Dark Green: 90
  • Reddish-Brown: -45
  • Light Green: 45
  • Brown: 0
Cheating Time to See Your New Tree, Quickly
Since this process is somewhat of an annoying trial-and-error process that can be time consuming, the best way to see what you wind up getting is by planting a tree and using a time cheat to accelerate time and therefore grow the tree in a second of real-world time.

To do this, plant your tree and enter the following:

/timewarp 32000

This will accelerate time about 12 in-game hours, which should insta-grow your sapling. If not, use this cheat again! It will not break your game or harm anything.

For your own information, it takes about 5-6 minutes of real time for a Starbound tree to grow, which is why I prefer using a time cheat for the sake of scrapping my tree if it didn't come out the way I anticipated.
Creating Many Saplings
Your new custom tree will drop a sapling like any other tree. However, it probably makes sense to just save the code you used to generate your tree, and mass produce them for free.

Using my code example at the very top, say you wanted to generate 135 saplings. You'd use this code:

/spawnitem sapling 135 '{"stemName":"pine","stemHueShift":0.0,"foliageName":"pine foliage","foliageHueShift":0.0}'

I recommend using a mod like Named Saplings which will help you name your newly created trees. Otherwise, you'll have an inventory full of custom made saplings which will be impossible to tell apart.
This Guide Isn't What I Wanted, I Want to *Design* New Tree Graphics
If you came to this guide thinking that it would teach you how to actually design your own new tree graphics in a program like Photoshop, you'll be a little disappointed to know that there doesn't seem to be any guide out there teaching how exactly to do this.

However, I can point you to this forum post[community.playstarbound.com] which deals with the topic of creating entirely new Starbound trees, and will point you in the right direction.
Conclusion
Hope this guide helps you in your path to make better looking scenery with nicer trees. If you have any helpful additions to this guide, including new hue variables, please leave them in the comments and I'll update the guide. Don't forget to favorite this guide if it helped you!