Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fractal mountains

Driving home yesterday I found myself admiring the Olympic mountains and wondering about the simplest way to model them.  Here’s a start (click the image if you have Java installed).
1-Fullscreen capture 1172012 93724 AM

I used a sequence of coin flips and the rule “Heads, go up, tails, go down”.  So a string of coin flips HTHHT would be translated into UP-DOWN-UP-UP-DOWN, and look like this:
Print
To give the illusion of depth I increased the step length and darkness the farther down the screen you click.

Fractal mountain ranges and landscapes are used all the time in movies and video games, since they’re so easy to make and look just like the real thing. 

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