Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Computer mimics nature by watching TV

Date:
January 27, 2010
Source:
University of Bath
Summary:
Computer scientists in the UK have developed a new way of making life-like animations of trees using video footage of the real thing.

Chris Li (left) and Peter Hall have developed a program that automatically generates trees that move in the wind, using video footage.
Credit: Nic Delves-Broughton

Computer scientists at the University of Bath have developed a new way of making life-like animations of trees using video footage of the real thing.

Related Articles


This technique could be used by animators and computer games designers to automatically generate realistic trees that move in a natural way.

Most computer games and animations have a static background, or use a large team of animators to painstakingly draw each tree individually.

Dr Peter Hall and Chris Li, of the University's Department of Computer Science, have developed a program that will let the computer "watch" video footage of a tree to enable it to make computer-animations that mimic the way branches and leaves move in the wind.

The user simply has to draw around the tree outline in the first frame of the video. The program then makes a model of the tree and tracks how the leaves and branches move in the video.

It then uses algorithms to copy this movement and can use this information to "grow" lots more trees that are all slightly different.

Dr Hall explained: "Rendering trees has always been a headache for animators. Trees move in irregular ways, and it's very hard to achieve natural-looking movement.

"It is so expensive that traditional animation often uses static trees -- except in big-budget films. In computer graphics, tree models are just as hard to produce.

"With our system, the user can produce new trees of the same variety, with each one an individual. We can also very finely control the movement of the tree for different weather conditions, different seasons, and can even make it dance to music!"

Chris Li, who is developing this software as part of his PhD at Bath, said: "Our system will make it faster and cheaper for animators to create animated backgrounds.

"In the future we want to use this same technique to animate other objects like clouds, water, fire and smoke."

Several major players of the animation industry, including Bristol-based creators of Wallace and Grommit, Aardman, have already expressed an interest in the project, which was funded by the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

A video that demonstrates the animations can be viewed on the University's website at http://www.bath.ac.uk/news/2010/01/25/cgi-trees/.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Bath. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Bath. "Computer mimics nature by watching TV." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100125150459.htm>.
University of Bath. (2010, January 27). Computer mimics nature by watching TV. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100125150459.htm
University of Bath. "Computer mimics nature by watching TV." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100125150459.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

EU Pushes Google For Worldwide Right To Be Forgotten

EU Pushes Google For Worldwide Right To Be Forgotten

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) Privacy regulators recommend Google expand its requested removals to apply to all its web domains. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Predictions Of Tablets' Demise Sound Familiar

Predictions Of Tablets' Demise Sound Familiar

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) The tablet's days are numbered, at least according to a recent IDC report. The market-research firm paints a grim outlook for tablets. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FCC Forces T-Mobile To Alert Customers Of Data Throttling

FCC Forces T-Mobile To Alert Customers Of Data Throttling

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) T-Mobile and the FCC have reached an agreement requiring the company to alert customers when it throttles their data speeds. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins