Computer Animation Film VFX

Anerkennung - Honorary Mentions

Cellular Forms

Andy Lomas (GB)


Cellular Forms uses a simplified biological model of morphogenesis, with three-dimensional structures generated out of interconnected particles to represent cells.

Each form starts with a small initial ball of cells which is incrementally developed over time by adding iterative layers of complexity to the structure. The aim is to create forms emergently: exploring generic similarities between many different shapes in nature rather than emulating any particular organism, revealing universal archetypal forms that can come from growth-like processes rather than top-down externally engineered design.

Cell division is controlled by accumulated nutrient levels. When the level in a cell exceeds a given threshold the cell divides, and various parameters control how both the parent and daughter cells re-connect to their immediate neighbors. Rules can also be adjusted for how nutrient is created, such as by being randomly uniformly created by each cell, or by incident light rays creating nutrient in cells hit by photons. Nutrient can also be allowed to flow to adjacent cells. The simulation process is repeated over thousands of iterations and millions of particles, with typical final structures having over fifty million cells.

A number of internal forces affect the structures, including linear and torsion spring forces between connected cells. Additional forces repel cells that are in close proximity but are not directly connected. Many different complex organic structures are seen to arise from subtle variations to the rules governing the systems, with selection of forms based on aesthetic considerations rather than optimizing a conventional fitness function. All the software used to run the simulations and render the resulting images was written and designed by the artist and implemented using C++ and CUDA.


Andy Lomas

Andy Lomas (UK) is a mathematician, digital artist and Emmy award winning supervisor of computer generated effects. Cellular Forms is the latest part of Morphogenetic Creations: a series of work which explores how complex organic structures, such as those seen in nature, can be the emergent generative products of growth processes. He has had artworks exhibited in over 40 joint and solo exhibitions, including Siggraph, the Japan Media Arts Festival, the Ars Electronica Festival and the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporaneo, and was selected by Saatchi Online to contribute to a special exhibition in the Zoo Art Fair at the Royal Academy of Arts. His production credits include Walking With Dinosaurs, Matrix: Revolutions, Matrix: Reloaded, Over the Hedge, The Tale of Despereaux and Avatar.

Software and Visuals: Andy Lomas, (UK)

Music: Max Cooper, (UK)