Modeling trees for games

I was wondering what a good poly count to trie to stay inside for modeling photorealistic trees for games is?, I’m using Irrlicht for my game engine and I’m going to have an entire forest of trees.

Hi. I don’t use Irrlicht, but surely it must support level of detail for meshes? i.e. you don’t need a 10k polygon tree that’s too far to see any detail? So you have multiple meshes for each object and the further away the lower poly count.

Other than that the question really depends on what your target hardware is. You say photorealistic, so that implies top-end. You’d need use good cullting, level of detail and other techniques e.g. imposters, to get a photorealistic forrest in real-time even on a top end card.

FYI You could use Dryad to generate the trees and then use MeshLab to reduce the poly count (Dryad can generate some seriously high poly counts).

Thanks for the reply, and yes Irrlicht does have dynamic level of detail on meshes.

gen3 ( a blender plugin ) will make low poly trees, but if you are going to have a bunch of them, i’d suggest making some high poly ones, and rendering them with an alpha channel, then using that as a texture, to fake trees, at 1 poly apiece.

Yeah I know that trick, it’s a cool one. I just posted on the Irrlicht forums about setting up level of detail so this one’s solved.