Robert can you be a little more specific as to your goal?
First priority is trees. I figure I can use the Hair function for grass of most any height. I saw, and bookmarked, the Zpider tutorial for trees, but the design-type that you get from that isn't what I need. At the moment I'm thinking about using the Hair function on a series of distorted spheres with short, flat hairs, and maybe, just maybe I can stack them to make a convincing tree. I'm using v.11 at the moment so the v.13 plug-in isn't possible until I upgrade, which probably wan't be far off.
I'm building a frontier garrison post, patterened after the mud-brick construction in Timbuktu and Mali. I'd like to add some trees between the buildings. Mostly only the upper part of the trees will be seen.
The HERO DUDE is just for scale, so steps and doors look reasonable
The best way to create trees is make them from patch panels.
You create a simple rectangle made from 2 patches and use a image targa image as a cookie cutter.
The panel can be constrained to aim at the camera or a better solution is to add a bone to the panel and have the aim roll handle, aim roll at a master null. This master null can be constrained to any camera in the scene, effectively giving you most of the benefits of hair without all the slowdown and other inherent issues with hair (look out for hair jitter).
If you can find an image of the tree you want, hopefully it comes with an alpha channel, otherwise you will need to create one.
We are building our library (I keep saying I'm going to sell it but.....) and have over 13 trees that are hard coded to automatically aim at a master null, as well as having a 2nd constraint for making the top of the tree move, In unison, like the wind.
You can use the MMOP plugin (multiple models on Path) from Stephen Gross to drop hundreds of auto constrained trees at a time.
You would need to create the same thing for V11 trees, as V13 models will not sork with V11.
Hope this helps