Chapter 4: Proposal for Automatic Tree Trunk Generator

This Chapter outlines a proposal for an automatic tree trunk generator. The first section focuses on the shape of a tree trunk and outlines six steps involved in the process of trunk generation. What follows describes the biological origins of a hole in a tree trunk as well as a proposal for automatic hole generation and possible tools for this approach as part of a trunk generator.

4.1 Overview of Trunk Shape

There are many solutions for increasing a 3 dimensional tree’s complexity so that it reflects the natural complexities we see in nature. For example recently there has been a great deal of research done in bark generation in order to achieve photo realistic results in tree simulation. Yet there is a lack of solutions regarding overall trunk shape. Trees in reality tend to have not only complex bark shapes, but also complex trunk structures and in older trees trunks these structures are much more complex, and harder to describe. Most tree generators create quite simple tree trunk shapes. This can be observed in Figure 26 which is screenshots generated by the application Vue6.

Fig 26. Generated using Vue6 personal learning edition.

Fig 26. Generated using Vue6 personal learning edition.

As we can see from Figure 27 a natural tree’s trunk shape can be much more complex .

Fig 27.  Pictures taken in Berlin 2007.

Fig 27. Pictures taken in Berlin 2007.

In order to achieve a more complex tree trunk surface and shape I propose a new trunk surface simulation strategy. This strategy would increase the speed of this process greatly as well as improve upon current tree generators. The idea follows and expands upon a traditional cylindrical extrusion approach. Tree trunks or branches in 3d tree simulators are usually treated as cylinders. Usually the cylinder begins wider and proceeds to become narrower.

My approach follows the same idea yet generates a more detailed result. The general concept is to combine many cylinders with different properties and shapes to generate one shape. In my proposal the cylinders are slightly off set from the center of the trunk, and the result is created by grouping shapes to create the tree trunk’s outer surface. The defining step is the removal of all inner parts of cylindrical shapes which intersect. The result of this unifies the surface thereby resulting in one trunk shape. The next sections will describe the overall steps in detail.

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