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Panspermia (1990)

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Published on Jan 12, 2008

Panspermia is the name for the theory that life exists and is distributed throughout the universe in the form of germs or spores. This short computer animation places the viewer in the middle of a virtual world of an aggressively reproducing inter-galactic life form, and depicts a single life cycle of this unusual self propagating system.

Original software was used to create and animate forests of 3D plant structures. "Artificial evolution" techniques were used to interactively select from random mutations of plant shapes until a variety of interesting structures emerged. The subject matter of the piece suggests the underlying biological methods that were used to efficiently create an unusual level of complexity. Dynamic simulations and particle systems were also employed to achieve motions that are calculated automatically.

Attempts were made to bring together several concepts: chaos, complexity, evolution, self propagating entities, and the nature of life itself.

This item is part of the collection: SIGGRAPH at www.archive.org

Director: Karl Sims
Audio/Visual: sound, color
Keywords: animation; computer graphics; evolution; plant simulation; galaxy; planet
Contact Information: For further technical information see: "Artificial Evolution for Computer Graphics" K.Sims, Computer Graphics (Siggraph '91 proceedings), July 1991, pp.319-328. and "Particle Animation and Rendering Using Data Parallel Computation" K.Sims, Computer Graphics (Siggraph '90 proceedings), Aug. 1990, pp.405-413. For information on other works by Karl Sims visit: http://www.genarts.com/karl/

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