Aggregated Teapot

This teapot, originally created for a SIGGRAPH 2005 Sketch, is part of the Aggregation series: a set of digitally generated sculptural forms that study the incredible intricacy of organic natural forms.

The Aggregated Teapot demonstrates how the rules used to generate an aggregated structure can be directed toward a targeted goal.

Influenced by the work of D'Arcy Thompson, Alan Turing, and Ernst Haeckel, the images in the series examine how the forms of plant and coral-like structures can be created by digital simulation of flow and deposition. Sculptural shapes are created by a process of accretion over time, gradually grown by simulating the paths of millions of particles randomly flowing in a fluid field. Over time, they build on top of an initial simple seed surface to produce structures of immense complexity.

Technical Overview
The base algorithms used to generate images from the Aggregation series are variations on diffusion limited aggregation. Different structures are produced by introducing biases and changes to the rules for particle emission, motion, and deposition. The growth-like nature of the process, repeatedly aggregating on top of the currently deposited system, produces reinforcement of deviations caused by small forces applied to the undeposited particles as they randomly move. This means that small biases to the rules and conditions for growth can produce great changes to the final form.

The rendered structures are implicit surfaces composed of many millions of particles. Simulations can run for many days or even weeks. The Aggregated Teapot is composed of nearly 58,000,000 particle primitives. All the software used to simulate the structures and render the final images was written by the artist in Visual C++.

Andy Lomas
Framestore CFC