Rhizomorph: The Coordinated Function of Shoots and Roots

Bosheng Li, Jonathan Klein, Dominik L. Michels, Bedrich Benes, Sören Pirk, Wojtek Pałubicki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Computer graphics has dedicated a considerable amount of effort to generating realistic models of trees and plants. Many existing methods leverage procedural modeling algorithms - that often consider biological findings - to generate branching structures of individual trees. While the realism of tree models generated by these algorithms steadily increases, most approaches neglect to model the root system of trees. However, the root system not only adds to the visual realism of tree models but also plays an important role in the development of trees. In this paper, we advance tree modeling in the following ways: First, we define a physically-plausible soil model to simulate resource gradients, such as water and nutrients. Second, we propose a novel developmental procedural model for tree roots that enables us to emergently develop root systems that adapt to various soil types. Third, we define long-distance signaling to coordinate the development of shoots and roots. We show that our advanced procedural model of tree development enables - for the first time - the generation of trees with their root systems.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalACM transactions on graphics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 26 2023

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2023-07-31
Acknowledgements: This research was supported by the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, United States Grant ID: 602757 to Benes. The content of this publication is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research. This project was also sponsored by USDA NIFA, Award #2023-68012-38992 grant “Promoting Economic Resilience and Sustainability of the Eastern U.S. Forests” to Benes. This work has also been partially supported by KAUST individual baseline funding. We thank the reviewers for their suggestions to improve our work.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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