Development of how I made my tree:
I went looking on the internet for a tutorial as I knew they weren't exactly the easiest thing to make.
The internet is actually void of decent tutorials, seriously. I want to moan about one in particular, cause it was so crap I wondered why it was even a tutorial at all (granted that it is probably really old, but still, it was crap)
Ok, maybe it isn't that bad, but still, I know if I made that exact tree I'd get a big fat fail. Also, is that a great big texture seam by the roots? Ugh.. What tree actually looks like that anyway? It looks like it's supposed to be a realistic looking tree, but the texture offends my eyes a little. When skimming through it I remembered reading; "You can use the texture I created" which just made me laugh a bit. Surely if you want to make something you'd like to put a little of your own effort in?
I think the leaves look awful, but I think if he had positioned them properly it might look a lot better. But once again, this is probably a very old tutorial.
I ended up asking for help, and had a tutorial made for me (lawl) But I would like to say that it was awesome. The process of making the tree is actually easy, it's just making it look like one that's harder.
Using the first tutorial on how to make branches I came up with this, but needed to sort out the branches. I actually messed it up and decided to start again, but the process was easy enough and I guess it's practice.
Using the second tutorial I was able to make the trunk, after that I tried making the branches look better.
Having made the basic shape of the tree I tried to make the branches flare out more becuase they were very bunched up and it didn't look right.
It needs some work, I'm working on the leaves right now. Anything to take my mind off the fact I'm supposed to be writing my dissertation...
Anyway, unwrapping the tree took forever, not that it was hard, I guess I'm just slow at it. I think this is an ok unwrap, (for a such a beginner like me :P)
I started to test different colours on the trunk next.
I liked what I had come up with so I added an ambient occlusion, and came up with this. I'm happy with the way it looks. Although it is a tad too dark.
I did make a few mistakes, which is expected of me really. I accidentally saved the unwrap as a 32bit targa, (I seem to have such trouble with file names and extensions >__<) which had some weird effect on the texture, it looked like a wireframe render. It took me a while to figure that out, and it was annoying. Here is said epic fail: (with one of my various leaf alpha tests lawl)
Making the leaves/alpha was easy enough, but I've been having trouble with them. I don't want my tree to have a 348975374 poly count. I've made a fair few alpha tests, and the one I'm currently using isn't just a flat plane so I'm using a far too many polys, and looking at the poly count I have right now, it's nearing 2000 which isnt good, I need half of that! However, I'm just testing this out:
As you can see that looks pretty awful, I was mainly testing out the planes that I had made, as this is one technique of doing it. However, as I said before I was just using too many polys, and I was really unhappy with the actual texture too (Even though I had made about 3 others >_<) I got a lot lof help with this. I experimented more with the layout of the leaves, using this tutorial that Warwick gave me:
I chose the tree on the far right:
I also got help with the texture, (it was too dark)
The shape was warped, and the dark bits made a little lighter.
This is what the tree looks like now but I need to change bits so that it fits, there's too much detail on the trunk, and I need to edit the leaf texture still. It's too dark, I want the whole thing to look more simple, it doesn't fit to the style I have in mind.
I also had to remove bits of geometry from the trunk so that there were no branches sticking out. (LOL WASTED TEXTURE SPACE ;D lesson learned :P)
But I have to say, this is the first time I've tried to make a tree so I can only learn from it, and not make the same mistakes in the future.
I made it look more presentable. The lighting is a bit harsh in this actually, I'll get another one. I added the grass alpha just so it makes the scene look a little more interesting. (That's why there's half a border around it, wasn't being lazy here)
Overall, I am happy with it, but I know I am now able to do better. I'm n0t going to stop here, I plan on doing so much over the summer to get better at this!