@Tristan: I studied computergrafics for 5 years. I'm making 3D art now since about half a year fulltime, but I had some experience before that. Its hard to focus on one thing, it took me half a year to understand most of the vegetation creation pipelines. For speeding up your workflow maybe spend a bit time with the megascans library. Making 3D vegetation starts from going outside for photoscanns to profiling your assets. Start with one thing and master this. @Maxime: The difference between my technique and Z-passing on distant objects is quiet the same. (- the higher vertex count) I would start using this at about 10-15m+. In this inner radius you are using (mostly high) cascaded shadows, the less the shader complexety in this areas, the less the shader instructions. When I started this project, the polycount was a bit to high. Now I found the best balance between a "lowpoly" mesh and the less possible overdraw. The conclusion of this technique is easily using a slightly higher vertex count on the mesh for reducing the quad overdraw and shader complexity. In matters visual quality a "high poly" plant will allways look better than a blade of grass on a plane.
Is this not like gear VR or anything else
EISKO released their 2017 head data package, a product for both VFX/offline and real-time environments. The pack features a full female head model (both low and high poly versions) and some high-quality physically-based 4K textures for face and head props from the studio’s capture system. The best thing is that it’s all free. Go on their website or download a version here, download a version of the datapack and start building up your render scene, be it in Arnold, V-Ray, Unreal, Unity, etc.
A closer look at the project:
On the left, a ref photo under flash+daylight conditions, and on the right, a render with no comp but a slim hair mask and background. This was done in Arnold and Maya with a home made skin shader, and using the VFX data.
Make sure to find more details on the project here.