I will have to test it on for optimizations, but billboard trees are definitely nearing completion. Screenshots added. Lod modeling possibility in a simple way is included with this new feature.
So you replace the farest trees with billboards? How did you create the billboards? Exporting your 3D models to a plain image file?
All the trees are billboarded. This means that the foliage is given by screen facing squares. But the further the tree is the less and bigger squares the foliage will be on. The furthest tree has only one foliage square. Currently I don't have exported images of the trees, I use more dense foliage texture for the different levels of detail. The closest trees has big leaves on the foliage, the furthes has many little.
If you keep things up, it may be worth exposing some of your framework as a "3D game library"...That billboard tree looks sensational.
Hey, Charlie! If things get more subtle and organized in source code your idea may be a strong option! I think it can be separated into some kind of JMonkeyEngine extensions if the code was more strictly separated into JME like objects. I'm glad you like the trees! :-) I like them too! And it is really easy to add new ones with ngplant and new cool foliages. I plan to add more kind of trees when maturing the climate 3D look. I am very much inspired by watching BBC HD documentary, there are a lot of beautyful panoramas to reproduce, if I could grab just a few of them in the future it will be a pleasure. (And especially useful because jcrpg is a framework.)
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