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Computer Mimics Nature By ­sing Tv

By BBC News

January 27, 2010

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University of Bath researchers led by professor Peter Hall and Ph.D. candidate Chris Li have developed software that enables a computer to process video of a tree and then generate lifelike computer animations of trees and the movement of branches and leaves in the wind. The program allows users to draw around the tree outline in the first frame of the video, and then make a model of the tree and track the movement of branches and leaves in the video. Algorithms copy this movement, enabling the software to generate trees that are slightly different from each other.

Li says the program would be a helpful tool for animators and computer game designers. "Our system will make it faster and cheaper for animators to create animated backgrounds," he says. "In the future, we want to use this same technique to animate other objects like clouds, water, fire, and smoke."

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