When we saw Andy Lomas’ “Aggregation” series a few years back we were struck. How could you generate those intricate particle sculptures? The series’ title hinted at one possible solution: Diffusion limited aggregation or DLA. In this tutorial we’ll build a basic DLA setup using VEX and volumes. Also we’ll talk a bit about rendering our result in Mantra and Redshift.
DLA simulated particles wandering freely in a solution until they stick to a seed and grow into bigger branching structures. One real life example can be seen in this image from Wikipedia:
While the algorithm’s speed is reasonable in 2D, it can get quite slow in 3D. If anyone has hints on how to speed up the whole simulation – please let us know!
Paul Bourke has a more detailed introduction to the principles behind DLA and the actual algorithm.
Have fun with it!