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Supernat02

Rendering Trees

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What is the best way to render trees? I noticed in this game called Empires that is currently hot, the trees move in the breeze. They look pretty detailed, but I THINK what they are doing is just rendering 5 or 6 layers from the top of the tree to the bottom of the tree, each layer containing a quad texture or set of quads angled toward the ground. Are there any good tree rendering algorithms out there? In Empires, you can zoom in to first person view, and it is rendered as well there as it is from above in 3rd person. Anyone have any tips or tricks? Thanks, Chris

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Why not just render some nice looking low geometry models( < 300 vertices , all trees use the same 1-2 textures maybe different vertex colors)?? It''s not so bad anymore..

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Like critical said, it really does depend on the type of game you want to make. For example, if your game nees to render an entire forest (i.e hundreds, or thousands) of trees, then you should use billboards. If you don''t need to render so many, then maybe you could afford to actually model your tree as 3D geometry.

As for what kind of technique Empires uses, I don''t know. Perhaps someone else on the forum can give some insight.

neneboricua

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i don''t know exactly if its the right game named ''empires'', but ive seen a couple of screens 2 minutes ago. in the screens there arent much trees, but the trees, that are there, are lowpolygon trees like the concept ''wicked ewok'' mentioned.

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Here is a paper on creating trees that I find worthwile. Probably used by the SpeedTree's people
Link

[edited by - onebeer on February 27, 2004 9:25:50 AM]

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If you are going to be able to walk up to a tree and look at it, use a mesh. If the entire tree isn''t going to be seen (it''s behind a wall or level boundary, for example), then use a billboard.

If you want your trees to move, you can just animate them, just like you''d animate a character.


Dustin Franklin
Mircrosoft DirectX MVP

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Thanks for all the replies. I was going to implement a Tree engine into my game engine, to optimize trees, because I''ve always thought them to be video card unfriendly when you have a lot of them. I will give the programmer the option to make them billboards, several layers of quads (as I spoke of before), or just use a 3D mesh.

The programmer has the option to move the camera anywhere, so it could be a 3rd person game in the middle of a forest or it could be a first person game in the middle of a desert with an occasional tree. That''s up to the game designer. I would, of course, like the best performance for either situation.

Is it your suggestion that I just leave the tree engine out and let them decide which way to display them?

Thanks again for the ideas.

Chris

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Medievil Total War uses billboards for all it''s trees and it looks kinda crap from the 3rd person view. Maybe if they''d added a couple more quads to it it would look a bit better.

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