ACM Transactions on Graphics (Proceedings of SIGGRAPH), 2012

Plastic Trees: Interactive Self-Adapting Botanical Tree Models

Sören Pirk1       Ondrej Stava2       Julian Kratt1       Michel Abdul-Massih2      
Boris Neubert1       Radomír Měch3       Bedrich Benes2       Oliver Deussen1

1University of Konstanz, Germany
2Purdue University, USA
3Adobe Systems Incorporated, USA


We present a dynamic tree modeling and representation technique that allows complex tree models to interact with their environment interactively. Our method uses changes in the light distribution and proximity to solid obstacles and other trees to impose biologically motivated transformations on a skeletal representation of the tree's main branches and its procedurally generated foliage. Parts of the tree are transformed only when required, thus our approach is much faster than common algorithms such as Open L-Systems or space colonization methods. Input is a skeleton-based tree geometry that can be computed from common tree production systems or from reconstructed laser scanning models. Our approach enables content creators to directly interact with trees and to create biologically convincing ecosystems interactively. We present different interaction types and evaluate our method by comparing our transformations to biologically based growth simulation techniques.



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Additional Material

Two Trees
Special Species


 author     = {Pirk, S\"{o}ren and Stava, Ondrej and Kratt, Julian and Said, Michel Abdul Massih 
               and Neubert, Boris and M\v{e}ch, Radom\'{\i}r and Benes, Bedrich and Deussen, Oliver},
 title      = {Plastic trees: interactive self-adapting botanical tree models},
 journal    = {ACM Trans. Graph.},
 issue_date = {July 2012},
 volume     = {31},
 number     = {4},
 month      = jul,
 year       = {2012},
 issn       = {0730-0301},
 pages      = {50:1--50:10},
 articleno  = {50},
 numpages   = {10},
 url        = {},
 doi        = {10.1145/2185520.2185546},
 acmid      = {2185546},
 publisher  = {ACM},
 address    = {New York, NY, USA},
 keywords   = {generative tree modeling, interactive procedural modeling, visual models of trees},