Cellular Automata

Cellular Automata

Grasshopper Course

Watch the course tutorials here:

What is the course about?

In this course we will examine Cellular Automata mathematical systems.

Cellular automata systems are discrete computational systems that rely on a series of rules defined by a neighbourhood of cells.

The game constantly updates based on the rules dictating each cell, and cells can have a variety of states that change over time. Cellular automata can simulate a variety of real-world systems, including biological and chemical ones.

We can translate these rules directly into Grasshopper and simulate this system using the Anemone plugin. If you don’t have the Anemone plugin installed, download it from Food4Rhino.com before you start this tutorial.

What will you learn in each video?

In this tutorial, we’re going to look specifically at Conway’s Game of Life, developed by British mathematician John Horton Conway. It’s a zero player game, meaning the evolution of the patterns are determined by the initial input. Conway’s Game of Life is built on a series of rules that dictate the current state (alive or dead) of each cell in the system. We can translate these rules directly into Grasshopper and simulate this system using the Anemone plugin. 

In this tutorial we’re going to examine a few ways to affect the starting points of our Game of Life algorithm, and then tweak our anemone loop to translate the process into 3D. We will examine how starting points using a curve attractor, an attractor with randomness embedded in the system, and an image sampler can affect the final output of the cellular automata algorithm. We will then look at integrating a simple stacking method to create cellular automata towers and translate this algorithm into something more 3 dimensional.

In this tutorial we’re going to examine a different type of Cellular Automata that attempts to mimic the types of patterns you might see on animals like zebras, tigers or giraffes. The logic is quite similar to the Game of Life, however it works as a two system approach that creates a somewhat blurred effect of the CA patterns we have been exploring previously.

In previous tutorials we’ve been examining how to translate Conway’s Game of Life into 3D using a stepping Z vector, however it’s not too difficult for us to imagine how we could create a pure 3D cellular automata algorithm with similar concepts. To translate this logic to 3D, we will explore neighbourhood systems of up to 26 neighbours in 3D to generate our rulesets. Recursive Cellular Automata algorithms are dependent on finely tuned rules, and in this tutorial we’re going to explore two different rules described in the Softology blog on WordPress.

What are the learning objectives for the course?

Course image gallery:

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