In searching for research related to the structure and architecture of trees and canopies, I came upon the book The Algorithmic Beauty of Plants and the research of Dr. Przemyslaw Prusinkiewicz and his Algorithmic Botany lab in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Calgary. All I can say is, 'Wow!'
The image at left is from a 2009 paper on procedural, self-organizing reconstructions of tree and forest landscapes.
Dr. Prusinkiewicz's research spans over two decades and his website includes published algorithms for procedurally generating 3D, colored, and textured plants. Some of the figures in these papers look amazing.
I look forward to looking more into Dr. Prusinkiewicz's research for inspiration and insights in support of my own research with computer vision remote sensing based reconstruction of canopies. Some of Prusinkiewicz's work covers the use of point clouds to
represent tree structure, so I am definitly interested in learning more about that data model.
References & image credit:
Wojciech Palubicki, Kipp Horel, Steven Longay, Adam Runions, Brendan Lane, Radomir Mech, and Przemyslaw Prusinkiewicz. Self-organizing tree models for image synthesis. ACM Transactions on Graphics 28(3), 58:1-10, 2009.