How was this acheived

Hi there, how was this achevied in Blender?

http://img132.imageshack.us/img132/940/tree1dj6.jpg

http://img132.imageshack.us/img132/8001/tree2vg3.jpg

How was the image applied and the actual 3D model is not seen. I have seen this in multiple games before where you have a square leaf for example and a texture is applied hiding the mesh?

Thank you.

Alpha mapping. Either an image with an alpha channel (e.g a PNG image) or another black and white image is applied to the mesh. You check “alpha” in the map to panel, put the alpha down to 0,and render. (for a black and white mask image, you need to check “calclate alpha” in the texture bit.

So it was an image designed in a graphics program with transparency applied?

Would you say they were done the same too?