3DS Max R3
File size: 580KB
|| Forrest Lite is a cut down version of a more advanced Max add-on, but it's useful enough in its own right to merit inclusion here.
Put simply, Forrest scatters trees within any closed shape. The trees are made up of single or crossed planes (the full version allows you to use mesh trees too). These planes can be made to turn so they're always flat on to the camera. That way your trees will appear real no matter what angle you look at them from.
This isn't a perfect solution to creating forests, but it takes a good deal less time and effort (both from the user and the computer) than trying to design and render every leaf individually.
The results - especially if you're creating still images - can be really quite stunning.