Generating Spatial Distributions for Multilevel Models of Plant Communities

Brendan Lane and Przemyslaw Prusinkiewicz
Department of Computer Science
University of Calgary
Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 1N4
e-mail: laneb|


The simulation and visualization of large groups of plants has many applications. The extreme visual complexity of the resulting scenes can be captured using multilevel models. For example, in two-level models, plant distributions may be determined using coarse plant representations, and realistic visualizations may be obtained by substituting detailed plant models for the coarse ones. In this paper, we focus on the coarse aspect of modeling, the specification of plant distribution. We consider two classes of models: local-to-global models, rooted in the individual-based ecosystem simulations, and inverse, global-to-local models, in which positions of individual plants are inferred from a given distribution of plant densities. We extend previous results obtained using both classes of models with additional phenomena, including clustering and succession of plants. We also introduce the formalism of multiset L-systems to formalize the individual-based simulation models.

Keywords: realistic image synthesis, multilevel modeling, plant ecosystem, spatial distribution, clustering, succession, multiset L-system.


Brendan Lane and Przemyslaw Prusinkiewicz. Generating spatial distributions for multilevel models of plant communities. Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2002 (Calgary, Alberta, May 27-29, 2002), pp. 69-80.

Download PDF (~10 MB)
Back to Publications