Generating Organic Trees in Processing

I used Processing to create an interactive canvas in which trees are generated where clicked. The blue, purple, and magenta colouring is reminiscent of the organic forms of veins and capillaries.


Alternative link: Vimeo

Process Images

I first began by generating a tree using lines and recursion. It is very mechanical in appearance due to no variations in the branches.
I experimented with randomizing the numbers and angles of the tree branches.
Here, I varied the colour of some branches between purple and magenta. The effect wasn’t as pronounced as I was hoping.
I adjusted the variation in colour and line thickness. For each tree, I attempted to have the branches closer to the trunks be drawn blue, and the branches furthest away from the trunk to be drawn magenta.
As a final step, I adjusted the code to generate branches from the trunk to the furthest branch using gradual decrease in thickness. The generated images have much more of an organic feel. I’m satisfied with the result.


// Organic Tree Generation
// Reference:

float angle;

color c1;
color c2;

void setup(){

void draw(){

void mouseReleased(){
  //stroke(100, 0, 100, 50);

  angle = random(0.1, 0.3);
  //randomized 'before' colour
  c1 = color(
    random(150, 255),
    random(0, 150)
  //randomized 'after' colour
  c2 = color(
    random(0, 50),
    random(200, 255)
  //move the pen into position
  translate(mouseX, height);
  //actual drawing on the canvas begins
  //the first line
  strokeWeight(abs(map((height-mouseY)/5.5, 12, 70, 0.2, 2)));
  line(0, 0, 0, -(height-mouseY)/5.5);
  translate(0, -(height-mouseY)/5.5);
  //branch out from the first line

void tree(float len){

  len *= random(0.8, 0.9);
  if (len > 12){
    //colour and stroke change
      map(len, 12, 70, 0, 1)),
    strokeWeight(abs(map(len, 12, 70, 0.2, 2)));
    //tree branch to the right
    push(); //save
    rotate(angle + random(-0.2, 0.2));
    line(0, 0, 0, -len);
    translate (0, -len);
    pop(); //restore
    // tree branch to the left
    push(); //save
    rotate(-angle + random(-0.2, 0.2));
    line(0, 0, 0, -len);
    translate(0, -len);    
    pop(); //restore