Kevin Chen

SpikeGen Blender add-on

Fall 2020

tags: computer graphics

“SpikeGen,” is a Blender add-on for procedural spike generation on a mesh. With controls for length, base size, divergence angle, spread distance, and jitter, SpikeGen can emulate phyllotactic spirals found in plant leaves and arrangements of spines and glochids on cacti.

SpikeGen was inspired by the SIGGRAPH 1992 paper A collision-based model of spiral phyllotaxis.

Shown are four close-up renders from a looping indoor animation that I modeled, textured, lit, and rendered in Blender. SpikeGen was used to add spines to my partner’s procedural cactus bodies, who also procedurally generated the clay pots. I also used procedural techniques to create the fire and snow particle systems.

Final project for CPSC 479 at Yale, Advanced Topics in Computer Graphics.

Link to writeup

Screenshot of a Blender menu for the SpikeGen add-on. The menu says 'SpikeGen Generator'.
SpikeGen menu
Computer generated image of a sphere dotted with spikes in a pattern similar to spiral patterns found in nature.
The default divergence angle is the golden ratio
Computer generated image of four Blender primitives, a cylinder, a cone, a sphere, and a cube. They are arranged in a 2 by 2 grid and are covered with white spikes.
SpikeGen applied to a variety of meshes

Additional close-up renders.

Computer generated image of three cactus plants on a windowsill. Computer generated image of the top half of a stone fireplace, a wooden mantel with three light blue cups, and a picture frame with a landscape painting. Computer generated image of a close-up of a stone fireplace. Three logs sit atop a holder and a bright orange frame fills the chamber. Computer generated image of a close=up of a window frame. Outside the ground is blanketed with snow and snowflakes are seen falling.