I've decided to have my next project (a short "cartoon style" animation) in a desert environment, and for this purpose I need some cactuses (or whatever the plural of cactus is hehe).
The stem (or whatever) of the cactuses isn't a problem, but I'm having a problem with the spikes/needles. They're easy enough to make, but to get a good effect I need positively hundreds of cones, which makes for a very heavy model to work with. I can live with it if I can't get a better solution, but I would prefer something else.
So how would you guys go about creating a cactus? It's for a pre-rendered project, which will probably have some pretty close-up shots since the main characters are small humanoids who use the cactuses for houses. The style of the cactuses doesn't matter really since if someone has a good technique for getting "real looking" cactuses it shouldn't be too hard to get it looking cartoonish.
Any help appreciated