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Thomas Kole's Trick To Render Massive Forests Using Shaders


Technical artist Thomas Kole has shared a thread on Twitter detailing a shader-based solution to rendering massive forests in Cycles. The results are stunning, and the best part is that these forests are "cheap" and effective to render.

The technique is based on generating view-aligned islands based on a Voronoi pattern, which then have pre-rendered tiling textures applied to them.

Check out the full Twitter thread for more information on the link below, and follow Thomas for more technical insights!

About the Author

Mario Hawat

Mario Hawat is a Lebanese 3D artist, writer, and musician currently based in Paris. He is a generalist with a special focus on environments, procedural and generative artworks. Open to freelance work.


  1. Would have been nice to learn how exactely he makes each cell texture rotate *individually* facing the cam. Sure I can use the object node, but it applies on the whole texture.

  2. Stephen Norrington on

    Hi Thomas, this looks brilliant! - and is exactly what I need for some massive forest landscapes I'm doing for a small movie project - please put me out of my misery and reveal how you are generating the "little view aligned islands" - I spent the last couple of evenings trying to figure it out with various combos of texture coordinates, vectors, normals, geometry nodes, drivers... and failed totally :) - cheers, Stephen Norrington

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