Computer-generated Plant Animation

A former University of Regina computer science professor, Przemyslaw Prusinkiewicz, received international acclaim for a model, called L-system, which he developed with several of his graduate students at the University of Regina. It incorporates the biological principles of plant growth to achieve a realistic simulation of plants and flowers, and their growth patterns, for computer animations. A practical application of the computer model was used in the movie Toy Story. The Association for Computing Machinery bestowed the 1997 SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics Achievement Award upon Prusinkiewicz for his cutting-edge work “pertaining to modeling and visualizing biological structures,” and recognized him for making complex natural environments a visible part of computer graphics. As a result of his research, plants can be modeled with unprecedented visual and behavioural fidelity to nature. Przemyslaw Prusinkiewicz now teaches computer science at the University of Calgary. He began his work on plant modeling at the University of Regina, and held visiting professorships at Yale University and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. He was also a visiting researcher at the University of Bremen and the Centre for Tropical Pest Management in Brisbane.

Joe Ralko