How to make realistic looking alpha leaves for realistic building

Hi! I’m Unbunn, I’m mainly a programmer, but I like to do 3D modeling on a side.
And I’ve noticed that people have been getting into realistic 3D modeling and I wanted to quickly whip up a tutorial to showcase how to make realistic trees using alpha texturing.
Now quick disclaimer. I am not a professional and I’m still learning and growing and I expect you to have the basics of blender known.
You do not need any fancy software, I’ll be using two free softwares called Blender and Medibang paint pro
I highly recommend for you to not use images for realistic texturing or at least images you find online, due to copyright and other issues so what you can do is take photos outside yourself or draw them like I do!
What you’re going to need first is an image of a leaf, I’ll be making something simple such as a palm tree, but you can expand on this and make any tree you want!

Medibang
I’ve used clipping on the highlighted folder and shaded everything inside it, so it only affects the layer below which is the base shape of the object.


Make sure that the first layer has a black background and the colored image
for this case which is a palm tree, it uses max opacity but for things like lots of leaves and stuff I recommend you to make a leaf brush and use 50-70% for the best results.
Export the colored image with a solid black background and now add a white layer to clip it, so it looks like this.

Export that and then remove both the white layer and black layer

export that and make sure it has a transparent background
in total, you should have 3 images, to clarify the last one will be used at the end.

Blender
Okay now insert a plane into blender and go to the shading tab

if there’s nothing there, click the plus arrow to add a new material
use this to search the follow things:

  • Image Texture x2 (Twice)
  • Mix shader
  • Transparent BSDF
    image

If you do not see an image output box or a Principled BSDF box add that in too. In one image insert your alpha texture (The one that’s black and white) and in the other insert the colored one (The one with color and a black background)
Connect these together:


Now Connect the Alpha one

Connect the Transparent BSDF to the first shader in the mix shader box and then connect the principled BSDF (which the one connected to the color image) to the second shader.

then connect the end of the mix shader to the material output

Now to actually make it work go to the material settings

and change this to an Alpha blend mode
image
in order to see this while editing just click z and go to material viewing mode
From there I go to modeling and use loop cut
Play around make it twisty and have fun

AND WHALLA

now I recommend you to use the solidify modifier to make the leafs look better in Roblox
also, when exported make sure to set the textureId to the last image!
And set the transparency to 0.011+

Here it is!
Make sure the TextureId is the image with the transparent background and make sure to have fun!
If you have any critiques or comments please let me know.
This is my first time making a tutorial in general lol, So I’m open to any questions about anything!

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Nice tutorial. Lots of information and makes it easy to understand.

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Just mentioning now, that this tutorial might change (or become useless) in the future due to Roblox finally supporting alpha texturing! :laughing::partying_face:
I’ll try to update it when that happens

do i export the texture as png? or something? im confused.

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Yes, the textures should be PNG and the last one should be with a transparent background

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@Unbunnz You did a good job at explaining this, even a nice job at replicating nature in a digital perspective. Keep at it! :smiley: :heart:

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