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I seem to have missed out on something. What is a billboard?

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ are you talking about the BI material settings? $\endgroup$
    – David
    May 14, 2017 at 17:06
  • $\begingroup$ That's the thing, I have no idea what I'm talking about while everyone around me is talking about billboards. $\endgroup$
    – AzulShiva
    May 14, 2017 at 17:17
  • $\begingroup$ from that picture it does look like you are talking about material setting. Is that right? $\endgroup$
    – David
    May 14, 2017 at 17:28
  • $\begingroup$ Probably Yes. The people in that forum were discussing how crappy Billboard Grass looks like. $\endgroup$
    – AzulShiva
    May 14, 2017 at 17:34
  • $\begingroup$ A billboard is a plane with a texture. It is a way to add apparent detail to scene without bringing up the polygon count. In this case instead of creating every strand of grass, a plane with an image of the grass is repeated, making the scene more efficient at the expense of real detail. $\endgroup$
    – user1853
    May 14, 2017 at 17:43

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In CGI, billboards are images/textures mapped onto a flat plane to approximate 3d object. They are usually used for particles or distant objects in games. They are also typically setup to always face the camera, so the flat side is never visible.

So basically a billboard is a plane used in a specific way, but not all planes are billboards.

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In general terms a billboard is simply a plane with an image on it, usually setup to always face the camera.

In blender a billboard is a type of particle, which is a plane that by default faces the camera. Note that billboard particles are not supported in cycles.

Besides foliage, a large crowd could also be created using billboards.

The main thing that makes billboards look bad is the lighting, as they are flat planes you get flat lighting over the entire image, which just emphasises the lack of detail. Recently there was a tutorial that shows a process of creating the tree images with a matching normal map that makes them look much more realistic.

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the billboard is a plane that rotates on the z axis (automatically) always offering the face to the observer (the camera) and never the edge excellent as support for png images.

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