tree.growth

Trees are uniquely suited to being simulated using computer graphics. Indeed, since the 1970s, methods to algorithmically render trees have been developed and refined to the point at which trees seen in high-quality scenes are very nearly photorealistic.

For this project, rather than concentrating on realistic renderings, I was instead interested in how simple forms could capture the inherent 'treeness' of the real thing. 

In pursuit of this goal, I developed a customized software engine which produced vector renderings of imaginary tree species. By adjusting parameters in the program, trees could be rendered with various leaf shapes and colours, with flowers or shedding leaves, and in virtually any shape from small shrubs to towering birches. 

The software uses a modified version of Lindenmayer Systems, a variant of formal grammar used to model growth. L-Systems were developed by the Hungarian theoretical biologist Aristid Lindenmayer.

This project was originally exhibited at the ArtPool Art Research Centre in Budapest as part of the fifth workshop of the EvoNET working group on Evolutionary Music and Art.

In 2006, tree.growth was featured as part of the "Into the Woods" collection at the Digital Well Being Labs in London.