I am currently using spriteplants (2D) for the borders of my outdoor level. Out of a seamless forest-looking sprite I create a whole wall of a forest. I do also use sprites for the vegetation on distant mountains and every place where the player won't come near. And, of course, for the details like creeping plants on ruins. Sprites do have the advantage that you can create a whole plant with one single entity. Additionally you have on two opposite sides the same texture. 100 equal spritetrees are nor problem for the engine. The disadvantage of sprites are that they do not have any shadow. It would be possible to create a second sprite as a faked shadow. But that would only work on flat surfaces. They're plane and they do look plane if the camera moves closer. Hint: Place the spriteplants in your level without altering their angle. Then it will circle constantly with its surface area towards the camera (this can also be defined by script).

Where the camera remains longer and the player can get near, I am using plants consisting of models (3D). They create a shadow which looks good on hilly terrains, too. Of course they look more realistic. One disadvantage is a higher effort when creating the model. Other disadvantages are that they consist mostly of several parts, and that means they are handled as several entities. The trees are often consisting of two parts. One entity for the trunk and one entity for the leaves. If you have one hundred of these trees you have yet two hundred entities. Additionally, plants can consist of several hundred polygons, what creates a negative effect on the framerate, of course.


For not having to explain everything twice, I describe the first example in every section more detailed. The following examples don't explain things which are already said very detailed.


Let's get started with the creation of...


 2D plants

 3D plants

 textures for plants




handling a treesprite from Bryce 5

broad-leafed tree 1

creating an alpha channel for a texture









broad-leafed tree 2

bark texture with Photoshop











leaf texture with Photoshop