Hi All,

I want to add plants to a scene but I don’t really want to have to model them. I’ve heard about billboarding which sounds like the perfect solution to my problem (projecting an image onto a flat plane) but I’m unsure how to do this.

It sounds like a simple process but I’ve also heard about alpha channeling which you also need to know about but I’m unsure about this too.

Any tutorials about billboarding/alpha channeling that someone could point me to please?



Not really a tutorial, but a resource for tree images with alpha channels.


Cheers for the link fatfinger!
I’ve attempted to use billboarding to dot some plants around my scenery but whenever I render, the planes with the images on them show black as the background colour (plant image on black plane).
It’s the alpha channel I don’t get. If I slap one of the images in fatfingers link onto a plane would it automatically show the image with the background transparent? If not, what settings do I need to use in Blender in order for the plane to be transparent but the image to be displayed?

I just looked at the L system used to make trees and the
leaves are uv mapped onto plane using these setting.
Ztransp on.
Map to Col and Alpha on
In Texture Buttons Alpha is turned on.
Also the materials A (alpha) is turned down to 0.007
I tried 0.001 and it still worked.


Thanks for the reply!

When I try this method and render my scene you can still see the chequered background of the image which is supposed to be transparent.
How do I make the transparent part of the image appear transparent after the image has been rendered?

Help appreciated,


Post an image so we can see what’s going on.

You may have to unwrap the plane, so that it has UV coordinates.

With the plane selected:
go into edit mode
select al vertices
press u, select unwrap from the pop up menu

In the uv editor, (with verts still selected)
click on the selector to the right of the uv menu (two triangles)
select your image
You should now see the image in your 3d viewport and when you render, it should use the alpha.

Rinse and repeat :smiley:
Meanwhile, here’s one I created earlier.