WhiteBoy: I really appreciate what you said. And that is very good advice
BgDM: You’re absolutely right This turned into more of a meditative little project, something I really didn’t need to spend as much time on but wanted to get somewhat closer to it. It didn’t take long to do in terms of modeling, probably about twenty minutes, but alphamapping would have nearly eliminated the UV mapping part, which took about fifteen minutes to get just right. It was good practice though. The whole project took about an hour to complete. Maybe modeling made it a little more meaningful in the end. I’m somewhat inclined to model than texture details, but these are all areas I want to improve in. I do have another project in mind for this model in the future, a possible animation about the life of a leaf.
Gabio: Ah yes If I had more leaves and was doing a different kind of scene, I probably would have pursued a more efficient route, including alphamapping. Since I approached the central leaf as a super closeup subject, I felt a little more comfortable in creating the geometry for it rather than going the planar way, especially as I considered possible future use of this model for an animation. It’s great that we have all these choices though based on what we need, and even though efficiency or speed was not a major consideration in this particular project, as you and BgDM point out, there often can be easier and quicker ways to realize certain ideas.