Sunday, 24 March 2013

Trees pt 2

I added more leaves to the texture and rebaked. While the result was improved, it was still a bit spindly. Pruning some of the more adventurous parts helped give it a bit more bushiness, and clustering the branches into shapes gave it a more interesting form. I was also able to reduce the triangle count to 8500 as hoped. Here's my development of the tree:

I then corrected the leaves' vertex normals to help with lighting. The shader will hopefully do a better job of lighting the tree, using a couple of tricks here and there. I'll be interested to see the performance implications of the tree receiving and casting shadows.

Given that the tree actually looks pretty good using default normals (and a bit weird in the picture above), I'm considering calculating the vertex normals shown immediately above at runtime (unless I find a way to use a UVW channel to store them) so that the default normals and these normals can be used in conjunction with one another. I don't *think* averaging the two will work, but I may try that too.

I'm hoping to make a couple more trees using these branches. This one was intended to be a largish tree, but has come out pretty small/medium-sized, so I'm looking to make a larger one, a young sapling and a shrub-like version (may not look believable but worth a shot and might save me making an entirely new shrub). I may try using speedtree to make the variations to save me time.

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