Enviroment Optimization

I decided I would get a head start on my summer project since I have the time, but I already ran into a problem. I have never made an outdoor environment for a game and I heard that blender was powerful enough now to handle “3D Trees.” I tried my hand at making a few - the trunks are as low poly as they can get, but I think I have way to many leaves with alpha. I’m probably going at this with the wrong approach, so could somebody show me a proper tree, or direct me to a tutorial on modeling one? I can’t seem to ever find good game tutorials anywhere.

Heres the best you could find, made by the blender institute themselves from the amazing game yo frankie: http://www.yofrankie.org/download/
Just scroll down into the tutorial section and you’ll see tree tutorial, hope that helps.
Inferno

Ok, though that seems like a lot of polys for a single tree, especially when I want to be able to duplicate some in some instances to create a denser patch of trees, a forest is out of the question, but that many trees - like in the tutorial - might just slow it down just as bad as my trees do. And by the way: Can somebody explain clip alpha to me too? Is it better/worse than regular alpha, and by how much? And one more question: Can somebody direct towards a thread concerning 2.5’s game engine progress and future plans?

For lot of trees I recommend a LOD. As this is not build in you have to do that by python.
I can remember a demo from ideasman42 with lots of trees. The trees where dynamically created and destroyed that it looked like flying over a forest. I could search for that.

Clip alpha avoids the problems with semi-transparent texels (pixel of a texture). These texels can’t be included into the z-Buffer. To still support them faces with alpha are sorted by distance from the camera in a separate render process. This produces problems with overlapping and performance.

Clip-alpha texels are fully transparent or fully opaque. This makes them available to the z-Buffer processing. It means they render with the same speed as normal textures and there is no order problem. The disadvantage is it might not look that nice and there is not semi-transparence (e.g. glass). You can use that for shape forming surfaces (leaves etc.).

I hope it helps

Thanks, I actually found that Ideaman42’s a couple weeks ago. But, I think clip alpha will help a lot. I’m in the process of seeing how much I can get out of blender currently, but I wish 2.5 was here and in full.

Yeah I am curently using ideasman45’s tree thing in a game I am working on, I’m using it for grass and other things, it works really well, but it took me a long time to figure it out. But well worth it once you do, if you want me to explain it I will write it out for you, if not, well it saves me writing.

Actually I was thinking of using that basic idea and making my own - without looking at the code of course; I want this project to be all my and my team’s work. The only real thing I can contribute is scripting; I’m their teacher and taught them everything about blender, and I still know things they don’t (which are my own little secrets), but I only decided to master scripting. We have a scripter, modeler/texturer, and an animator. My modeler… sometimes gets addicted to various games cough call of duty cough and gets distracted.