The simple TREES

DRZEWA - the tree
this simple work is made with simple trees
the trees are the plains with trees textures



Hey, that’s pretty cool. Good job. How long did it take to render?

…30 sek

Yay where did you get those textures for the trees?


nice one.


I have been looking for a tree solution like this for some time now. I tried out tree generators but the results were nothing like this especially considering the rendering time.

I need to make a spruce and a birch. They wouldn’t have to be too accurate since I won’t need close-ups and I guess this technique would be most excellent for that task.

You basically took a picture of tree and then UV-mapped it on to a plane and place two of planes like a cross (if looked from up)? I had no idea that UV handles transparency and shadows that well.

That’s a HDRI skymap behind there? It looks excellent.

voila !!!
the trees are here

this is my screenshot from this work


They look great!

With this technique you need to watch out for two things.

  1. That center tree’s geometry is fairly obvious. For this to work, you can’t have any plane pointing more or less at the viewer.
   GOOD       BAD
    eye       eye

   \  /        |
    \/       --+--
    /\         |
   /  \

  1. The leftmost tree’s trunk terminates abruptly at the leaves. The trunk for these kinds of trees must be fairly straight, or the cards must be arranged so that at least one side has the continued trunk (in the leftmost tree, the cards map a mirrored projection.

These are just my own observations from looking at the picture. I think it’s a good idea and I’m inclined to use it in the future myself.


It looks good, but it’s not a new concept. It is called billboarding and is used in games to get major performance gains. If you want to avoid the shadowing issues (like the light tree in the middle) you can tell Blender not to render shadows on the billboards and/or use a slight alpha on the texture.

Another way to make a tree would be to model the trunk and larger branches and use billboards for groups or bunches of leaves. This is great for viewing the tree from many angles because you can have the billboards always face the camera giving it a different look from every angle.

The way you have done it works very well for still shots where the trees will be eye-level and a bit in the distance. Also works really well for meshing background image of sky with modeled ground.

Nice work!

;)cool trees! i gotta try to make something like it.

To avoid that, maybe the tree planes’ orientation can be adjusted to the viewing direction so that they always appear like an X and not a +. This is how its done in games with billboarding. But then, the tree always looks that same no matter where they are being viewed from.

…and my second version of trees
method is the same :slight_smile:[/img]

This technique was used a lot in games before they started getting to the level of technology where individual branches could be modeled. It’s fairly obvious in the first picture and it seems like a waste of Blender’s potential. The second version looks much better, though the technique is still obvious on the right tree where the trunk and a branch are duplicated at different angles.

I dont like the stills, but for an animation, i think this would work great. :smiley:

maybe you could obtain more coherent results with hexagonal (i.e. 3 planes) basic alpha mesh. I used it for website splash composit I did few yr ago, albeit with C4D. rendered in a fraction of time needed compared to hipoli stuff a-la xfrog. you could also use uvmapped mesh trunks, similar to ingame stuff, to avoid card-look.

btw. some game-tree stuff, a-la aliencodec programs, use spiral shapes for the ‘green’ parts of trees, which alows for more coherent visibility in animation (well - moving around …).

other than that, I don’t think a casual observer (non-cg, non-techie person) could really spot something distracting?

EDIT: !!!EH!!! I didn’t look at your screngrab at 1:1 size - I see you already used hex shapes. yikes!

:expressionless: 8)

thanks for the textures link
nice result you got there

I really like that second pic (even more than the first)!

In CG there’s an unfortunate tendency to belittle an image that’s not photographic. Rubbish.

CG is about the suspension of reality.

The effect wouldn’t work as well in animation, because the human brain detects form better when in motion.

A similar fast technique for modeling trees but with better(?) detail: