I am a 1 man team, so modeling isnt my main thing, but I do have an artistic left half. So, I need to make some tree models for my world and am not sure how I should create them.
For example, I am wondering if I should break up the tree into 2 seperate models: the solid stalk center as one, then all the leave folliage quads as another.
Why? I am thinking that the stalk/trunk doesnt need alpha rendering so all models if this type get rendered in the non-alpha batches and can save some alpha testing. The leave/folliage model *is* rendered with alpha and will be batched at the end with all other alpha batches.
Another concern is with shadow mapping trees. I am considering, using a low LOD billboard of the tree also as the shadow map for projection, instead of going through the model polys for possible speed reasons, if possible.
Well, this is where I am at. I dont know if I should be worried about the alpha rendering or not. Im curious to know how you guys (or your artists) do things.