Hi all,
several times i'd need something to make billboarding easier. Now, you have to create a plane in modeler, UVmap it, apply texture (trees, shrubs, people, and so on), resize the obj so it match image's real-life dimensions and proportions. In Layout, you have to copy the texture from transparency channel, disable it, paste into Clip Map, then target obj's H angle to Camera. Then, clone the object, make it unseen by camera and target its H angle to the Sun.

I'd like a "billboard-tool" in Layout which does all in a single pass. An option panel would be needed, with:
- which image is color, which image is the Clip Map.
- Targeting ON/OFF.
- Add (or not) an invisible shadow object targeted to a specific light
- Height (width will be based on image's aspect ratio).

Options could be also hidden, so you would be able to select 2 images and have the billboard with previously selected options (like Ikeda's powertools).

A second option would be using HV's sprites, but they should have separated controls for H,P,B angles (to keep items vertical) and a "cast shadows from user-selectable light" option which virtually faces the sprite toward that light in order to get a correct-shape shadow.

Paolo Zambrini