Growing trees with code
Philip Sinclair

I find trees beautiful.

I am fascinated by the complexity of their shape and structure.

By the apparent chaos that emerges over years from simple interactions.

I decided to explore how simple rules could create such unique complex shapes and patterns.

Most trees have a fractal like structure, where the relationship between branches is repeated between branches at different scales.

This principle can be used to generate the digital trees.

I identified 3 key variables which have a large affect on the shape and form of the trees.

A = New branch angle

x = Branch growth per year

Y = Max age

Another key factor in tree shape and form is its reaction to a light source, where the branches grow towards the light.

By adding this factor to the model the trees have a much more natural organic shape.

Introducing light sensors also meant that the trees have an influence on each other, where the larger trees will shade adjacent trees reducing their growth.

Over time a natural spacing or pattern emerges.