How can I improve my trees?

I’ve been making my RPG game all myself, and generally I am okay with everything. However, I’ve been really bad with trees recently. I’m not much of a builder so for harder aspects of building like trees and certain buildings are tough for me. Here are some pictures showing off my disastrous trees:

As this topic’s title goes, how can I improve my trees? (Aside from adding some variation – I want to improve the general shape and ‘formula’ before I begin putting lots of effort into making my environment look good.)

Thanks :slight_smile:


The tree style is really nice. The tops look a bit small in comparison to the trunks. Have you tried making them larger?


Literally just selected the leaves and scaled them up with the resize tool. Now it actually looks somewhat like a tree. I’m not sure if this’ll be the final look (and there are more types of trees too and I’m also working on some other modifications a couple of people I have contacted have given me) but I’ll add this disturbingly simple modification into my repertoire :wink:

Thanks! If anyone else has any ideas please share them, this isn’t necessarily a full solution yet and sometimes having a single solution isn’t very useful.


As far as trees go, there are a number of ways to do them but it’s all based on the style you’re going for.

I would suggest a couple of things:

  1. Create different sizes and shapes of trees and randomly place them in a creative manner. Nature is generally meant to look “untamed”.
  2. Color variation goes a long way, a slight difference in color on the trunks, leaves, or both will add variety to your forests.
  3. In general, the trunk should be much smaller than the leaves on the tree, think of a roofed forest sort of feel. The leaves provide shade while the trunk is there to support them.

Anything else comes down to personal taste, maybe make a few with some horizontal branches, maybe throw some little baby trees in among some fallen trunks across the forest floor. It’s all up to you, good luck!


The changes you’ve made so far have been huge, another thing I’d say is making the trunk look more vertically consistent, right now it’s kind pyramid shaped. I think just removing the lowest part and then having the other three extend to the ground would help with that

Another thing you may want to consider is having some trees with split branches or roots. Here’s a tree I modeled recently, and while it’s not the best it might give you some inspiration on tree composition

Here’s an older example of a tree I made with roots, in this one the roots are definitely over-done but when I was worse at building, adding roots was something I liked to do to spice trees up a little

Something else you may want to consider that might be more fun for you as a scripter is making your own tree generating plugin. I used to do this in the past when I was still using part-trees, though both of my cases are not particularly performance friendly

really old:

Just some things to digest!


Your first recommendation is great, just hate the fact you gotta use a outside program to get that same design.


One way to improve your trees is to first identify how trees work, so I’ll give you a short essay on trees.

Click for mini essay on trees

Trees try to absorb as much light as they can so they can use the energy to grow and produce seeds and succeed as a specie. They do this by efficiently covering as much area with their leaves where sunlight reaches. A simple example is a maple tree, which grows its branches in a spherical way since spheres are optimal shapes:


However, this only works if there is a lot of room for the trees to grow. In other areas such as jungles with a lot of flora packed in one place, trees will try to grow really tall to ‘steal’ light from their peers. This often leads to trees with most of their leaves at the top:

Unfortunately, a tree’s leaves are rather fragile, so in cold climates they can easily get damaged. That’s why there are certain types of trees such as pine trees that ‘roll up’ their leaves for extra thickness and stability:


Sunlight is not the only resource a tree can live off of though; They also need water, which they absorb through their roots. To reach maximum efficiency, a tree’s roots branch out through the soil in all sorts of directions. This also makes it harder for a tree to fall over during storms. Usually you don’t see much of a tree’s roots (depending on the type) but when the ground around a tree erodes for whatever reason, roots near the surface might be revealed. This often happens near rivers where water continuously causes erosion on the sides:

It should also be noted that as trees grow taller, they also grow in width, so branches and roots that are far away from the tree’s base are much more thin than the ones near the origin (as can be seen in the picture above).

With this essay in mind, we can now identify some areas that can be improved.

In your original post your trees only had few leaves compared to its size. On top of that the leaves weren’t distributed in a logical manner. Only the top part of the tree contains leaves. However what if sunlight hits the side of the tree during sunrise? That’s some lost efficiency! You should totally add some branches with leaves on the sides.

Additionally, as the trunk of a tree branches out, so should the thickness. This way the thickness of branches shrinks in a somewhat linear manner. However looking at your original trees, this doesn’t happen. There aren’t any branches and your trunk doesn’t shrink fast enough, resulting in an odd looking top part:


Here are some trees I made a little while ago to analyze:


These aren’t perfect in any way and are somewhat abstractified so they do not look super realistic, but you can still see some core aspects in them. The maple tree on the left branches out at the top with branches shrinking in size. Both trees also have extra thickness at the bottom indicating that there are roots below them. And the pine tree on the right on has a cone shape which allows for more sunlight to be absorbed in areas packed with pine trees.

Hope this helped!


Hmm, interesting, thank you :slight_smile: I’ve been trying to figure out how I should handle my forest area so I think the part in your mini-essay should help with that. I’ve been meaning to look into how I can fit branches into my no-rotation-allowed style. Not sure if I will figure it out but we’ll see.

@ColdSmoke I’ll try doing what you suggested at the start about removing the big bottom. During this project I’ve been forcing myself to not get distracted by making plugins for everything so I think I’ll take a pass on the tree generator (for now… :evil:).

Hope it helps!


Honestly they look really cool, I’d just suggest either adding more blocks on, or expanding them like suggested.

It wouldn’t hurt to try different materials for the leaves either

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Hey, the easiest way of building trees, literally, is to, firstly, make a trunk that should triangulary ascends from a bigger length to a smaller one and then you can totally use newer hair meshes (Chestnut Style, Brown Scene Hair, Dreamy Hair, etc.) as the leaves, just scale it proportionally and remove it’s texture. Take a screenshot when you tried this. :blush:

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