Thursday, January 19, 2012

Final Project Progress

We're heading down the home stretch as we work on our final projects. These (along with a printed 2D piece we create) will be displayed at our art fair on Tuesday, January 24 in the Ewen Room in Centre's Campus Center. If you're free, come on over! The work displayed will be the best we've made, so it will be pretty awesome.

The idea I have for my project is a 3D video of a growing (and dying) garden complete with flowers, vines, flying insects and lighting effects. All of this would be rendered on NetLogo and I'd use the POV-Ray tool to render the 3D graphics. If there is time, I'd also like to add algorithmically derived music using the Midi extension on NetLogo.

So far, I've made adequate progress. First, I produced a flower with a natural-looking, bending stem. The stem was produced using circle-shaped turtles and the flower petals are fractals which are spaced evenly around the stem. I then added a middle piece of the flower that the petals "sprout" from. A more difficult aspect was adding leaves. I originally wanted to make these from fractals but Dr. Stonedahl and I decided that there were better and more natural shapes attainable. We ultimately settled on leaves that began as five turtles and followed differing curves, hatching other turtles along the way and meeting at the end to produce a convincing leaf shape. Overall, I like the appearance of the whole flower. It doesn't look completely natural, but I think this will be part of the aesthetic appeal. I'm going to reserve further judgment until more of my project is complete.

Another part I've worked on are the flying insects. Because most of the turtle shapes offered by NetLogo do not render on the POV-Ray tool, Dr. Stonedahl and I have had to modify the few shapes that do. We found a POV-Ray butterfly object and used its code to replace the code for the car object, which does render in POV-Ray. After some resizing, the butterfly looks the part. However, I think the realistic wings supplied with the object are actually too real for my more abstract garden. Therefore, I plan on modifying the wings to more simple colors.

Below is a picture of my progress so far. Not a lot, but it represents much of the work that will consist of the final product.


  1. This sounds like a cool idea. I also like the butterfly shape. It's definitely more interesting than just plain old circles and boxes.

  2. I like this view that you chose to render. I know we saw somehting like this in class last week but i really like how the shows are cast on the grass.