Walten, thanks for all the critiques!
About the model:
I actually can’t add any more levels; I already have 4 levels in addition to the segment splitting on lower levels.
The branches were definitely too edgy, so I changed that in the new render.
I also tried to integrate the other model-related suggestions you posted in this render.
About the leaves:
I did my best to work with the leaves overlapping. Obviously, some of them are going to overlap regardless, but I think that as long as I don’t have them in tight clusters, it should turn out alright.
I’ve used three different leaf textures with this model, and all of the leaves are different shapes as I applied displacement to each of them as a whole, which gives each individual leaf its own unique traits.
I was actually already using a translucency map and SSS for the leaf shader. I’ve attached a screenshot of my current node setup for said shader.
I tried to add a bit more detail to the trunk, but I’ll admit that this next render is still a bit lacking. Due to the massive number of leaves, as well as the SSS and increased light bounces I’m using, these take a while to render…
There are certainly many programs that produce trees that look much better than Blender’s, but all of the ones I’ve found aren’t currently in my price range (at this point, I think I’m most likely to buy GrowFX; then I could open them in 3DSMax and hopefully export them to Blender from there). Because of the cost of these programs, I’ll be sticking with Blender for a while longer :yes:
Anyway, here’s another render. I went for a bit of a different shape for this tree to see if I could potentially make it a bit more interesting. My plans for the next render include:
1.) Adding more detail to the trunk (such as more knots, scars, moss, etc.)
2.) Adding more detail to the branches (they seem too smooth right now and need more displacement)
3.) Making the leaves smaller (they’re too disproportionately large as they stand)