Real-time Simulation of Herds Moving Over Terrain

Joel Gompert

We present a method for animating herds of animals to follow terrain surfaces in real time. This method involves making modifications to Reynold’s boids algorithm. The modifications use local properties of the terrain and thus have low complexity. They produce naturally behaving herds that follow the terrain, swerving around hills and attempting to reduce energy expenditure. The terrain-following rule has a parameter that can be adjusted to produce different behaviors. Empirical analysis shows how this parameter affects energy expenditure of the animals while traveling over the terrain. See demo: work/herds.html

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