Zacharias Reinhardt writes:
In this two part tutorial you will learn how to set up a large scale forest in Blender, that is memory friendly and can be rendered using GPU in most cases. In the first part you will learn how to generate and render a 3d tree and use the rendered image as texture for an alpha mapped tree. Also, you will learn how to add several effects to this alpha tree, so that it is interacting with the light. In the second part you will learn how to fake a better ground shadow for the tree and how to set up a particle system to create the forest.
Below you can see a comparison of a standard alpha tree vs an alpha tree with normal map.
This sci fi scene I created to test the method on a practical example.
Watch the tutorials on my site, or below!
P.S. A German version is coming in the next days.