Digital embryos begin life as zygotes; or, computer graphically speaking, as regular polyhedrons. Each vertex of the polyhedron represents a zygote's cell. Growth is simulated by cell division and a modeling of physical force interactions between cells. Cell division is controlled by hormone concentrations. Hormones are secreted by individual cells in the embryo and then diffuse along a gradient to other cells. In the movies, hormone concentrations are indicated by red and green coloration. This all sounds rather simple. However, things get interesting as one adds new vertices while attempting to maintain reasonable geometry within the increasingly irregular polyhedron.
This movie is also available in downloadable versions.
© 1998 Computational Vision Lab, University of Minnesota, Department of Psychology.