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International Journal of Computer Games Technology
Volume 2013, Article ID 363160, 11 pages
Research Article

Reconstructing 3D Tree Models Using Motion Capture and Particle Flow

Department of Computer Science, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84604, USA

Received 8 May 2013; Revised 27 August 2013; Accepted 18 September 2013

Academic Editor: Alexander Pasko

Copyright © 2013 Jie Long and Michael D. Jones. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Recovering tree shape from motion capture data is a first step toward efficient and accurate animation of trees in wind using motion capture data. Existing algorithms for generating models of tree branching structures for image synthesis in computer graphics are not adapted to the unique data set provided by motion capture. We present a method for tree shape reconstruction using particle flow on input data obtained from a passive optical motion capture system. Initial branch tip positions are estimated from averaged and smoothed motion capture data. Branch tips, as particles, are also generated within a bounding space defined by a stack of bounding boxes or a convex hull. The particle flow, starting at branch tips within the bounding volume under forces, creates tree branches. The forces are composed of gravity, internal force, and external force. The resulting shapes are realistic and similar to the original tree crown shape. Several tunable parameters provide control over branch shape and arrangement.