By Marc Fredrickson
Many years ago when I was working on Nintendo 64 games we tried to make trees move in the wind by programatically shifting the geometry vertices. It didn’t look so good and took a lot of CPU cycles. There’s been progress since then both on the hardware and software side. A paper has been published by some smart people that take a tree model, move it, make copies in image form and then use the images to make the appearance of moving leaves. And to top it off, they make different versions of the same tree as not all look the same! Back in the day all we had was rotate and scale so that the same tree profile wouldn’t be seen from the same vantage point. Progress is excellent!
Source: New Scientist