Term: RENDERIST - This is my own amalgamated term for someone that may not truly be an artist, or even a modeler, but intends to produce a final rendering.
The key topic here is the creation of a Base Mesh.
Blender Couse (above link)
A word in advance to anyone using Blender or any other software, especially graphics, for that matter. PLANNING is your best asset. Once you get the feel of how the software is manipulated, this important step is a good one to make standard. Blender has been reputed to be able to access in excess of 32Gb RAM, still most learners don't have machines with that much memory. A single vertex uses, as a basic quantity, 1Kb RAM. The more often one subdivides the mesh, the more vertices the model will have. Sometimes tricks, like instances or background images and billboards, can be used to give the final rendering the ILLUSION of more data, but not always.
One of the cases where I personally find illusion is unsatisfactory is trees. Moreover than with a simple plant, a tree can contain a lot of the dramatic essence for a rendering. If, in our final rendering, we have trees that are just as much a character in the scene as an animate figure, we must model it to a more intricate and complex degree. We must plan it ahead of time keeping our computer's limitations in the back of our mind.
Dirty Harry might be paraphrased to say something like, "A good renderist always knows his machine's limitations."
To start with I've attached the PDF from http://www.blendercourse.com which we are told, within it's copyright outlay, is okay to distribute, still it is recommended to get the latest from the site at the link. If you are new to Blender 2.6+, this can bring you up to speed in about 6 hours of learning.
The first image attachment shows the first step I have learned to incorporate into my models. It is to first press the "A" key twice to first deselect the cube, then pressing it again to select the cube, camera and light. Next press "M" to Move everything selected to the last, bottom row layer by Left clicking (LMB) on that space.
Above is a shot of the base mesh for just about any tree. It is symmetrical, but one needs to keep in mind that trees, even seeds, are not perfectly symmetrical. The first steps in this tutorial will be to create that seed.
It looks, at first glance, that this could be a generic shape from which many objects could be formed, such as a spaceship or such, but, as I'll show in the progressive posts, this base mesh is conducive of tree bark, not perfect symmetry. It can be seen in this view that the seed has a tap root, nodules for adventitious roots, the trunk and, unseen in this view, the top of the seed offers a circular array of vertices from which up to 32 limbs can be extruded, subdivided and further extruded/subdivided till the model has as many twigs as the renderist desires, restricted only by the computer's memory capability.
BlenderCourse_Basics_V2_-_EN.pdf (4.04 MB, 8 views)
The universe is a hairball. It was created by Fritz the Cat. Einstein said the universe was like a plate of spaghetti. Still, you don't want to know what transpired between him and Elsa to bring about that idea.