Marcin Ignac

Crystal Infection

Crystal Infection is an iPad application visualizing growth of a virtual plant combined with cold aesthetics of crystals. It's a continuation of my series of explorations on non-photorealistic simulations of natural phenomena. Every time the algorithm starts a possible growth space is defined and during each iteration the plant tries to expand it's branches to fill the most space available within the reach. For me the most interesting aspect of this algorithm is the ability to control the unpredictable. Opposite to L-Systems that always look symmetrical and synthetic this algorithm creates much more natural forms.

Developed with Cinder C++ library the application uses OpenGL for smooth graphics despite quite heavy algorithm running in the background and consist of standalone and interactive modes. In the first one each generation of the plant eventually dies and frees space for the next run of the algorithm. At any given time the user input is also possible and tap on the screen becomes starting point for another plant.

I used Crystal Infection as a base for my projection mapping project at BYOB Copenhagen where visuals were adjusting to the surrounding architecture.

Visualization of available growth space

Lack of antialiasing on the iPad is annoying but also adds to the aesthetics of the whole piece

Check out more photos and screenshots on Flickr.

Crystal Infection is an offspring of my Space Colonization algorithm explorations.