Hi, I'm a lab tech at a local school and have been working on a big project that's pushed me through a lot of new software and techniques. At this point my model and site plan are all done and I want to add some final touches. I was think along the lines of a tree line type deal to fit realistically in but didn't know the best way to go about that.
Are there any programs that will tie into max that you might suggest? Or is there an easy solution for this built right into max?
A bit vague on your description and the answer will really depend on final purpose, is it to be used for a still or an animation?
If you want a treeline from a birdseye perspective then there are plenty of plug-ins available, these do generally come at cost and are generally very heavy on the render times and unless you have a lot of time to render really only suitable for stills. (vray scatter, itoosoft, etc..)
A less render intensive method for ground/person perspective or low flying camera then consider textured planes, I usually model a couple different variety of trees then use scatter/array with different rotations and scales to create a short section of treeline, take a snapshot/render from the rough height to which your camera will be, include an alpha channel, take it across to photoshop (I might add a little more detail and fill any gaps) and make a seemless edge so you can place many of them next to each other. You can then apply this image to planes or even the inside of cylinders to create a perimeter to your scene.
This is the scene im working with. I'm making a video of this scene so I need a good environment form all angles.. I made a relatively nice looking sky but ran into and issue with the shadows that i havent been able to get around..
You mentioned some plug-ins in your post, are there any plug-ins that you would recommend for a nice looking treeline in 3DS??