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Rhizomorph: The Coordinated Function of Shoots and Roots

Bosheng. Li, Jonathan Klein, Dominik L. Michels, Sören Pirk, Bedrich Benes, and Wojtek Pałubicki


Computer graphics has dedicated a considerable amount of effort to generating realistic models of trees and plants. Many existing methods leverage procedural modeling algorithms - that often consider biological findings - to generate branching structures of individual trees. While the realism of tree models generated by these algorithms steadily increases, most approaches neglect to model the root system of trees. However, the root system not only adds to the visual realism of tree models but also plays an important role in the development of trees. In this paper, we advance tree modeling in the following ways: First, we define a physically-plausible soil model to simulate resource gradients, such as water and nutrients. Second, we propose a novel developmental procedural model for tree roots that enables us to emergently develop root systems that adapt to various soil types. Third, we define long-distance signaling to coordinate the development of shoots and roots. We show that our advanced procedural model of tree development enables - for the first time - the generation of trees with their root systems.


In: ACM Transaction on Graphics (SIGGRAPH), 2023