In my neverending quest to find ways to make more efficient stylized trees, I happened across this Unity technique the other day that greatly impressed me. To drill down to the bare basics, it’s a shader that takes the individual faces of a lumpy quadmeshed object, each face individually UVed, and turns them into camera facing billboards. It’s a fairly simple process, and the results speak for themselves.
…now I want to be able to do this in Blender. Admittedly, my knowledge of nodework is fairly shallow. I can do the basics no problem, but I still have yet to get truly fancy with them. As far as I know, there’s no way you can transform geometry like this with a shader outside of using a displacement map, which probably wouldn’t work in this situation. The Geometry Node in the shader editor seems to be more concerned with surface normals and shading than it is with actual manipulation of underlying geometry.
So far, the only way I’ve been able to recreate it is through a particle setup, which has given me okay results, but it’s more complicated to deal with than what I’ve linked to above. I want that simplicity.
Is this possible to do in Blender?