L Systems with generativepy

Martin McBride, 2021-06-19
Tags l system
Categories generativepy generative art

An L System is primarily a way of manipulating strings of characters. It starts with an initial string, and applies a set of rules repeatedly to generate more complex strings.

L Systems were developed by Aristid Lindenmayer, a biologist, to model plant growth. But L Systems can also be used to describe fractals. And, not surprisingly given its origins, it is very good at creating natural looking fractals such as tree and fern like structures.

Although L Systems work on character strings, we can convert them into images by treating each character in the string as a drawing instruction.

The next few articles illustrate how this is done, including:

  • Using L Systems to draw simple fractals including the Koch curve.
  • Using L Systems to draw trees including the Barnsley fern.
If you found this article useful, you might be interested in the book Computer Graphics in Python or other books by the same author.


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