Virtual reality facilitates a level of immersion impossible with two-dimensional interfaces. Through it, users are able to interact with virtual environments while gaining many of the benefits of interacting within the physical world, most notable of which for my work is the improved perception of depth and the ease of three dimensional interactions. I investigate how virtual reality impacts the study and modeling of plant structures by introducing two applications: Virtual Network Explorer (ViNE) and Tree Wand. ViNE has been designed to aid in the study of complicated networks, such as the intricate vascular structure of flower heads. It allows the user to immerse themselves inside networks, and segment their various components. In Tree Wand a controller is used as a brush to guide the growth of a tree, combining the user's input with a biologically motivated algorithm to simulate a tree's development. In addition, it provides an interface for the user to manipulate the algorithm's parameters, allowing a wide variety of tree forms to be represented. Taken together, these applications demonstrate the usefulness of virtual reality in the visual analysis and modeling of plants.
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