So basically I have this game that I've been developing for a while, and it's been making use of heavy alpha cutout in Unity. I've been told over the course of the development about tile based gpu architecture, and that I will keep having a very hard time optimizing for mobile if I continue with having forests upon forests in where I can't take advantage of a mobile gpus optimization techniques.

Here's what my game ends up looking like in Unity:


The trees look great with the alpha I think...but the problem with optimization has been really holding me back here...

I'm honestly wondering if there's a way in where I could create that same high quality look but just convert my 2d images somehow to 3d models?

The good news is, since it's all pixel art, the edges are semi-predictable I suppose? Here's a sample image that I'd like to convert to a flat 3D model:


Is there a way to do this or am I going to have a very hard time per image that I convert to 3d?

Thanks for any help ahead of time that you can provide!

  • $\begingroup$ This seems more about mobile game dev than blender. You would probably be better off asking about appropriate asset optimisation in gamedev.stackexchange.com. $\endgroup$
    – Sazerac
    Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 2:47

1 Answer 1


It's absolutely possible, look up billboard sprites. For generating them in Blender, get a render with transparency enabled (more googling) of one tree and then you can duplicate it around to fake a forest. It's also potentially a good idea to render some far off trees to make a distant background rather than rendering potentially hundreds of those billboard sprites. It might be fun to experiment with more roomy tree renderings given you don't have to have unity do that part anymore...

Edit: totally opposite approach is what's being asked for here!

Instead, you can also start from the geometry which was alpha masked, and subdivide it (use simple instead of catmul-clark) then select verts that are outside the texture map and delete them. Probably don't want to subdivide too far before doing this because deleting verts can get boring...

  • $\begingroup$ The problem I'm having though is that a lot of people have been telling me that for mobile gpus they're designed in a way in where more geometry is going to be less cpu intensive than alpha pixels on screen, so I'm wondering how hard it would be to make almost like a ....flat voxel bush out of that image so to speak? I'm thinking subdivide. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 1:53

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