35 AR VR Northeastern US Plants and Ecosystems

4.36 out of 5 stars(11 ratings)
  • 73%
  • 0%
  • 18%
  • 9%
  • 0%

This content pack includes 102 unique meshes, 35 AR/VR ready botanically correct plants that naturally occur in Northeastern US (Maine to Michigan to Kentucky and Virginia).

  • Supported Platforms
  • Supported Engine Versions
    4.26 - 4.27, 5.0 - 5.3
  • Download Type
    Asset Pack
    This product contains an assortment of Unreal Engine assets which can be imported into a pre-existing project of your choice.

About: These digital art 3D plant models were originally created by Maria C. R. Harrington for her dissertation research. Harrington, Maria C.R. (2008) Simulated Ecological Environments for Education: A Tripartite Model Framework of HCI Design Parameters for Situational Learning in Virtual Environments. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh.

The Virtual Trillium Trail Project investigated the digital media design factors that resulted in impacts on emotions and learning outcomes. It was a Ph.D. dissertation in information science (research 2003-2008) that lead to significant findings on the immersive virtual environment (XR) design factors of information fidelity and navigational freedom on informal learning and emotions. The first version of the application was a MOD of Unreal Tournament. The download here was a redevelopment required to create the .exe file.

The plants were resurrected and used in a new research project in collaboration with the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. The AR Perpetual Garden Apps (2015-2018) is for use inside and outside museums to extend the learning impact of real dioramas and gardens. It was created by an interdisciplinary team of artists and scientists.

Research findings on the importance of design of applications and the interactions between beauty and knowledge may be found here: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/frvir.2023.1100540/full

Research and software projects may be downloaded here: https://virtualnature.org/

Copyright © 2008, 2010, 2021, Maria C. R. Harrington, CC BY 4.0 Deed Attribution 4.0 International: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Licensed to the UCF Foundation, Inc. https://ucffoundation.org/

For any educational or non-profit use, please contact Dr. Harrington [email protected]


Appalachian forest plants and flowers: 35 plants (10 trees and 25 flowers and plants).


  • 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

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. https://chrisjones3d.com/
  • 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: https://youtu.be/maJ7iOu2BT4

This work was funded in part by a 2020 Epic MegaGrant: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-05/uocf-egm051120.php

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)

Important/Additional Notes:

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


  • 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. https://doi.org/10.3390/mti5040018
  • 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). https://doi.org/10.1111/cura.12308