Leaves' Shadows

I’m trying to make a park scene. I wanted to make that dappled look on the ground when the sun is shining through the leaves. The camera is at about eye-level, so the camera won’t actually see the leaves, only their shadows on the ground and the tree trunks.

My solution was to create a virtual cukaloris by deforming a circle, making it a face, then duplicating it and rotating it numerous times. I did this numerous times, and shined a spot light through it, but the leaves were too big, and the area covered was too small. So I duplicated the lights and cookie a half dozen times, and I got the look I wanted, but it took five minutes to render one frame (and I have a fairly up-to-date computer). I’m assuming the number of verts in my cukaloris is what slowed it down, but I can’t think of another solution. Is there a better/faster way for me to get this same effect?

I don’t know if this works… but you could try making a plane with a texture that is basically like a cookie cutout sheet… you have the parts you want to shine through as 0 alpha… and- well, I haven’t tried that yet, I aught to…

textured lights work great for this… use an image map for the texture

Forgive a noob, but where would I find a texture map that looks like that? Also, I’m not sure how the alpha function works. It never seems to make the object transparent.

make a black and white image of the leave’s shadows as they would be projected on the ground in Photoshop or Photopaint or Gimp or whatever. save it as a jpg or a tga and then go to the lamp settings in Blender, change the light to a spotlight (adjusting angle, etc) and under textures, load the b&w image (which functions as your lighting mask) , set it to affect color, and voila. wherever you point the light, itll look like shadows of leaves and it should take seconds to render, theres no raytracing involved.