Visual Computing

University of Konstanz
ACM Transactions on Graphics

Windy Trees: Computing Stress Response for Developmental Tree Models

S. Pirk, T. Niese, T. Hädrich, B. Benes, O. Deussen
Teaser of Windy Trees: Computing Stress Response for Developmental Tree Models


Paper (.pdf, 20.5 MB)


We present a novel method for combining developmental tree models with turbulent wind fields. The tree geometry is created from internal growth functions of the developmental model and its response to external stress is induced by a physically-plausible wind field that is simulated by Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH). Our tree models are dynamically evolving complex systems that (1) react in real-time to high-frequent changes of the wind simulation; and (2) adapt to long-term wind stress. We extend this process by wind-related effects such as branch breaking as well as bud abrasion and drying. In our interactive system the user can adjust the parameters of the growth model, modify wind properties and resulting forces, and define the tree’s long-term response to wind. By using graphics hardware, our implementation runs at interactive rates for moderately large scenes composed of up to 20 tree models.


  acmid      = {2661252},
  address    = {New York, NY, USA},
  articleno  = {204},
  author     = {S. Pirk and T. Niese and T. Hädrich and B. Benes and O. Deussen},
  doi        = {10.1145/2661229.2661252},
  issn       = {0730-0301},
  issue_date = {November 2014},
  journal    = {ACM Transactions on Graphics},
  keywords   = {animation, generative tree modeling, interactive procedural modeling, plant growth, simulation, visual models of trees},
  month      = {nov},
  number     = {6},
  numpages   = {11},
  pages      = {204:1--204:11},
  publisher  = {ACM},
  title      = {Windy Trees: Computing Stress Response for Developmental Tree Models},
  volume     = {33},
  year       = {2014},
  url        = {},