Got some clothes on the pine trees. I'm actually pretty stoked how it turned out for my first real 3d tree ever. I am going to have to figure out the best way to cheat - with only 6 trees my scene is at 6mil polys, and I need a full forest. Might make my own alpha-masked image plane backgrounds.
These are the parts:
A stick with weight-painted Hair Grass, totally based on @jonathan_l 's Grass tutorial, which is awesome if you haven't done that yet.
A branch (in the future I'll make more variations of branches for realism/variety), with the stick-and-hairGrass Group hair emittered as well, with weight paint at the ends of the branches.
Here's the rub: if you then apply the Branch object to the tree as an emitter, you lose the pine needles. So I made hundreds of linked duplicates of the branch object and manually stuck them on the tree, which is what made my poly count go bananas. Anyone know of a way to retain the pine needles through two emitter applications?
Think I'll start posting an art-themed motivation quote with each update... just because I can.
"The most pernicious aspect of procrastination is that it can become a habit. We don't just put off our lives today; we put them off till our deathbed.
"Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives. There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny. This second we can turn the tables on Resistance.
This second, we can sit down and do our work."
Steven Pressfield, the War of Art