Modelling Natural Phenomenon with Reaction-Diffusion

Lee Ringham


Procedural methods provide an algorithmic way to produce textures for use in computer graphics. One such method, reaction-diffusion, is a powerful mathematical approach that describes natural pattern formation in terms of chemicals known as morphogens. This thesis describes LRDS, an environment for authoring reaction-diffusion models directly on arbitrary surfaces. Morphogens, their behaviours, and the domain in which they reside can be quickly and easily defined. By performing computation on the GPU, the pattern forming simulation can be interacted with in real-time, facilitating productivity and experimentation. Four case studies are presented. The first is a simulation of ladybug pigmentation patterns. The second is a simulation of pigmentation patterns seen on the body of snakes. The third study looks at flower petal pattern modelling. Lastly, a biologically-motivated model of the autoimmune disease psoriasis is presented.


Lee Ringham. "Modelling Natural Phenomenon with Reaction-Diffusion". M.Sc. thesis, University of Calgary, January, 2020.

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