For one of my university projects, I had to prepare a book from a scratch. I had to choose a main visual motive, something that would represent me and my work. I was looking for a symbol that would join my education in physics and graphics and tendency for geometry. The first idea was fractals. I've chosen a simple fractal tree, a clean and a bit organic shape to soften the overall feeling.

However, later in the book, I wanted to use more and more complex renders of this fractal. Quickly it became impossible to draw them by hand, I needed a tool that would generate trees editable in the Illustrator. After quick skim through the Internet I didn't find anything small and convenient enough to use, so I've decided to make it on my own.

simple fractal tree
application screenshot

The program

The obvious format was SVG - an open format based on the XML structure. You can prepare SVG image on your own, just by typing in a text editor, so it is really simple to generate it by a code. Application is made in the Flash Builder, because ActionScript is language I know the best and I finished big project in it few days before, so I didn't have to recall any syntax etc.

It generates the tree fractals, where you can specify the main tree trunk height, the branches relative size, the branch angle devation and the number of next branches (iterations of the algorythm). The greatest tree I managed to open in the Illustrator was made during 18 iterations of algorythm, but it took a loooong time.

Examples of the generated trees:

The book

Overall result was really awesome. It was some kind of printed portfolio, showing my résumé and works focused on a stereoscopy, geometry and me myself. If you have this fancy cyan-red glasses, you can see some illustrations in 3D!

Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures of the printed book, so you can only see example pages in a digital format:

Download and links

Feel free to use my little program in any way you want: for home or commercial purposes. I would be happy when you will send me an email with the result.

Program should work on the Windows with the AIR Runtime. Don't be scared with the warning that publisher is unknown and access is not restricted. I don't have proffesional certificate, so this warning has to show up.

During the research i found some useful pages and tools: