ACM Transactions on Graphics (Proceedings of Siggraph Asia), 2012

Capturing and Animating the Morphogenesis of Polygonal Tree Models

Sören Pirk1       Till Niese1       Oliver Deussen1       Boris Neubert2

1University of Konstanz, Germany
2École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland


Given a static tree model we present a method to compute deveopmental stages that approximate the tree's natural growth. The tree model is analyzed and a graph-based description of the tree skeleton is determined. Based on structural similarity, branches are added where pruning has been applied or branches have died off over time. Botanic growth models and allometric rules enable us to produce convincing animations from a young tree that converge to the given model. Furthermore, the user can explore all intermediate stages, by selectively applying the process to parts of the tree even complex models can easily be edited. This form of reverse engineering enables users to create rich natural scenes from a small number of static tree models.



PDF (15.8 MB)

Additional Material

Tree Regions
Growth Speed
Growth Space
Various Results
Seasonal Growth


  author     = {Pirk, S\"{o}ren and Niese, Till and Deussen, Oliver and Neubert, Boris},
  title      = {Capturing and animating the morphogenesis of polygonal tree models},
  journal    = {ACM Trans. Graph.},
  issue_date = {November 2012},
  volume     = {31},
  number     = {6},
  month      = nov,
  year       = {2012},
  issn       = {0730-0301},
  pages      = {169:1--169:10},
  articleno  = {169},
  numpages   = {10},
  url        = {},
  doi        = {10.1145/2366145.2366188},
  acmid      = {2366188},
  publisher  = {ACM},
  address    = {New York, NY, USA},
  keywords   = {animation, generative tree modeling, interactive procedural modeling, 
                plant growth, visual models of trees},