Procedural generation of biological models

Computer Graphics Asked by Daniel Cooke on November 13, 2021

I was wondering if anyone can point me in the direction of some research papers, or articles that describe a method for generating biological 3D models.

I am drafting a prototype for a new game that would feature a near infinite number of creatures.

I have laid out 2 possible types of procedural generation, the first is more complicated but more desirable.

1st idea
Each of these creatures should be entirely generated from a set of rules, for example:

  • Locomotion type = legged, limbless, rolling
  • Number of legs
  • Number of arms

2nd idea
A base template is used with parameters that modify the overal appearance of the final creature

I realise its an incredibly complicated topic, I’ve also realised theres a severe lack of resources on the subject – it seems to be extremely cutting edge.

For reference, they achieve something similar in this demo of No Man’s Sky (thats if its not just staged)

I found the following paper: but am yet to pay the subscription fee in order to access it – if anyone has read it, I would love to hear if you think it would help me out.

And this also seems like a valuable resource

If anyone has any experience with this subject , I would love to pick your brain.


One Answer

I am playing with L-Systems and with some thorough understanding of how they work I think you could manage to get something useful out of them. You can see Paul Bourke's site for a sneak peek of what they do and you can read the book The Algorithmic Beauty of Plants by Przemyslaw Prusinkiewicz and Aristid Lindenmayer. I am going to try and explain what L-Systems do in case the links die, L-Systems are a way of creating simple rules that define the topology of plants/organisms/fractals by simple axioms, this axioms can be rewritten in terms of other rules that can create incredibly organic behaviours, originally this systems were abstract in the sense that they lacked geometric meaning, but over the years people have figured out how to transform this topologies into geometry through interpreting the rules as "directions" much like turtle graphics. I have seen this systems replace basic geometric rules such as "draw a line between two points" into create a complex building with "A or C characteristics" so I think you could define your interpreter in terms of biologically accurate creatures.

Answered by Felipe Gutierrez on November 13, 2021

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