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Artificial Life

Winter 2012, Vol. 18, No. 1, Pages 91-105
(doi: 10.1162/artl_a_00050)
© 2011 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Animation of Flocks Flying in Line Formations
Article PDF (389.77 KB)

We provide a biologically motivated technique for modeling and animating bird flocks in flight, which produces plausible and realistic-looking flock animations. While most previous approaches have focused on animating cluster formations, this article introduces a technique for animating flocks that fly in certain patterns, so-called line formations. We distinguish between the behavior of such flocks during initiation and their behavior during steady flight. Our simulation of the initiation stage is rule-based and incorporates an artificial bird model. Our simulation of the steady-flight stage combines a data-driven approach and an energy-savings model.