I'm currently working on a project for my uni course and have been trying to get trees and bushes with a certain effect. It's pretty much the same as can be seen in this game:https://www.insidedecay.com/maquette
I am familiar with softening normals, or transferring them from a sphere on to a tree, but it doesn't quite get the exact effect. In these examples the normals of the leafs/alpha cards blend perfectly with the base of the tree, and the silhouette is perfectly coloured and softly shaded. I have experimented in engine and can't seem to get the same effect as the back of the alpha cards will have different normals, the foliage with cast shadows on each other, or the mesh won't cast a shadow on the ground. I'm working in unreal so not sure if there is a certain way to do it here.
This is the closet I've managed to get to the effect:
As you can see it seems to work on the right bush, but as soon as I apply the opacity maps the normals become black on one side, even with a two sided material or two sided foliage setting. I can't seem to figure this out so thought I'd ask and see