Virtual Coral Reef: A Framework for the Procedural Growth of Corals based on L-Systems, Metaballs and Marching Cubes Algorithm

In cooperation with the Leibniz Center of Tropical Marine Ecology this master thesis aimed to represent the growth of a coral reef in which every coral is an individuum.


To create a virtual underwater environment an expandable framework with multi-threading architecture using the game engine Ogre3D was designed and implemented. For the space distribution and the size of the corals this project is linked via interprocess communication to the coral reef model of Andreas Kubicek et al. (2012). The morphologic skeleton of every coral is based on L-Systems and spline interpolation. The final polygon mesh is generated using the marching cubes and metaball ansatz.


Using the given algorithms it was possible to create an immersive environment with up to 1000 corals. The simulation runs in time lapse and can support a speed up to 1 virtual month every 2 seconds. Here is a movie that demonstrates the final prototype:


Full version of the master thesis


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