Assignment 1: New England Aster L-System Model

This model of a New England aster is based on the paradigm of modeling according to position. Because of the complexity of the flowers, the model is fairly slow to manipulate in real time. It is possible to turn on/off flower drawing by toggling the DRAW_FLOWERS definition (in the l-system-file) to 1 or 0. There are two axioms: one for drawing the entire plant and one for drawing just the flowerhead. Uncommenting the flowerhead axiom gives a nice closeup view of the flower, and makes it easy to view the results of adjusting random values in the "Panels" pane (see below).

The plant is fully customizable through a wide range of function curves that control the bend, pitch, twist, and branching angle of structures such as the stem, leaves, and petals. The width, length, and internode length of many structures may also be adjusted. This approach has both pros and cons. On the pro side, numerous aspects of the plant may be individually controlled. However, it also means that there is little relation between the parts; adjusting leaf length has no effect on the size of the petals, so in order to maintain proportionality of the parts, we would have to subsequently resize the petals manually.

The flower heads make use of random values to adjust the characteristics of the petals. The petals on a single aster flower have slightly different lengths, spacings, pitch, and branching angles, so random adjustment produces a more realistic effect. The degree of randomness may be adjusted under the "Panels" tab of L-studio.


L-studio model: available here.