SIGGRAPH 2016 Courses

Modeling Plant Life in Computer Graphics

Sören Pirk1       Bedrich Benes2       Takashi Ijiri3       Yangyan Li1,4
Oliver Deussen5       Baoquan Chen4       Radomír Měch6      

1Stanford University, USA       2Purdue University, USA       3Ritsumeikan University, Japan
4Shandong University, China       5University of Konstanz, Germany       6Adobe Systems Inc., USA      


Synthesizing natural scenes with realistic vegetation has always been an interesting research topic in computer graphics. As frequent objects in our daily life, vegetation is required in almost all virtual sceneries, ranging from single plants and trees to wide outdoor ecosystems. The human visual system is perfectly trained to see any imperfections and irregularities. Therefore, the appearance and the inhomogeneous structure of plants still pose many challenges to computer graphics researchers. Although rich and detailed virtual environments become popular in applications like games, movies or urban visualization, storing and transmitting as well as modeling or rendering such objects with full detail is beyond the capabilities even of modern graphics hardware. This course provides an overview of the latest advances in the field and helps developing a realistic understanding of what the current algorithms are capable of.

Course Content

This course covers the latest advances in modeling trees and plants, with a focus on advances in

  1. procedural and inverse-procedural modeling,
  2. biologically-based approaches,
  3. data-driven modeling and reconstruction, and
  4. user-assisted approaches for vegetation modeling.

What you will learn

  • Introduction to vegetation modeling in computer graphics.
  • Plant anatomy, plant growth, and environmental response as a means to model plant geometry.
  • Algorithms to model the environmental response of plants.
  • Algorithms and recent advances in reconstructing trees from various data sources such as point set and images.
  • An approach to Inverse Procedural Modeling of Trees.
  • Algorithms for user-assisted tree modeling from sketches.
  • Open problems and unresolved issues in vegetation modeling.

Course Notes

Introduction Overview Environmental Response
Reconstruction User-assisted Modeling Conclusions
All Notes


 author    = {Benes, Bedrich and Deussen, Oliver and Pirk, Soeren and Chen, Baoquan 
              and Mech, Radomir and Ijiri, Takashi},
 title     = {Modeling Plant Life in Computer Graphics},
 booktitle = {ACM SIGGRAPH 2016 Courses},
 series    = {SIGGRAPH '16},
 year      = {2016},
 isbn      = {978-1-4503-4289-6},
 location  = {Anaheim, California},
 pages     = {18:1--18:180},
 articleno = {18},
 numpages  = {180},
 url       = {},
 doi       = {10.1145/2897826.2927332},
 acmid     = {2927332},
 publisher = {ACM},
 address   = {New York, NY, USA},