As I attended my first Animex ever this week and I wanted to see everything, this was a bad week as far as productivity is concerned. On Wednesday however, I attended a workshop with Pete Draper, the author of the Deconstructing the Elements books for 3ds max, and asked him his opinion on how to best implement realistic-looking foliage into my scene.
He recommended going to http://seek.autodesk.com/, find some foliage I like and then put it into my scene, either by hand or by using particles.
I’ve had a quick look at the Autodesk site and found some models I like so if they work well when I import them to 3ds max, this will probably be my approach for creating that part of the environment. If they don’t, I’ll look into Vue and some other foliage generators out there, or as a last resort, simply create the geometry myself.