Inkscape tutorial: Bouquet
Today's submission got me to think about plants, and fiddling around with Inkscape I got the idea to use the L-systems extension, a nifty tool for procedural drawing.
When I settled on using L-systems to generate plants, I first wanted to draw some kind of dry flower bouquet with lots of grassy plants. However, I got too clustered results and no really nice volumes. And the file was getting bigger, owing to lots and lots of nodes...
That's when I got the idea of drawing a herbarium, with only a few selected plants. Additionally, this fitted well with L-systems: a way of generating plant-like figures developed by the 20th-century hungarian biologist and botanist Aristid Lindenmayer.
After looking for old herbarium photos, I remembered the work of Anna Atkins, a 19th-century English botanist who was the first person to publish a photographic herbarium, Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions using the cyanotype technique (a photography technique that involves a deep prussian blue tint).
L-systems, or Lindenmayer systems denote a syntax to generate a sequence of instruction that can be used to derive drawings that share many resemblance to plants.
In Inkscape, they are accessible by
Extensions -> Render -> Lindenmayer System. A popup appears, and you have to select:
- an axiom: an initial instruction from which the plant will grow (a seed),
- some rules: this is the meat of the system. Here, you define how the plant will grow generation after generation,
- some parameters: the number of generations, angles, length etc.
L-systems are very easy to set and produce really nice results! As I wanted to add some kind of scientific description of the plants, I have plainly written my parameters under each plant. This couldn't be easier!
Some additional resources:
- Wikipedia of course.
- A French site that explains it very clearly (if French is clear to you...).
- Plenty of examples online, just look for images under "l system plant examples"...
Link to the
svg file is here