Making foliage for video games?

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Old 11 November 2012   #1
Making foliage for video games?

How do you do this? It doest seem to be as simple as making them for a highly detailed render or something. Do you paint plantlife for a game and get your textures that way? No video game has detailed textures for foliage, its like a combination of pictures and digital paintings, none of which is of high quality.
 
Old 11 November 2012   #2
I do kinda know what you mean, less so recently. I believe it was due to not having much depth in the alpha channel. Do you mean that pixelated cut-out look in say crysis?
 
Old 12 December 2012   #3
I've recently seen a small documentary about Crytek, and there's a little peek at how they create their foliage:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdGmH2AFvQo
(foliage starting at the 5:00 mark)
 
Old 12 December 2012   #4
The problem is that vegetation is insanely complicated, from a geometry standpoint. Even if you only use one polygon per leaf, you are looking at millions of polys for one tree, and that's beyond the realm of what modern graphics hardware can deal with.

That's why you end up with game trees that only have their major branches modeled in 3D, with the rest being handled by alpha-mapped leaf/branch clusters mapped onto flat geometry. I don't think getting a 3D tree that truly looks good close to the camera (right on up to the leaves) is going to happen anytime in the next 10 years.
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Old 12 December 2012   #5
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