Birds and simulated flocking - Boids historically from computer animation researchers
Herds of wildebeest, flocks of birds, schools of fish

June 11th, 2010 - OCDI 810:025 Computational Modeling and Simulation
Online Course Development Initiative



  1. One of the main topics of 810:025 Computational Modeling and Simulation involves simulating the behavior of flocking birds (aka Boids), especially useful not only for science but also for computer games and for TV and movie special effects.
  2. Review of many of the techniques taught from Lesson 12 - Final Project - After Effects Apprentice book used in 810:088 Visual Effects, Animation, and Motion Graphics class. Note: Creating a gradient, nested comps, the Grid effect, Block Dissolve effect, anchor points, collapse transformations, precomposing in order to create a reflection layer, Radar comp were all utilized.
  3. Video tutorial 1: Build a Boid: How to build and animate a bird in 3D is part one of a two part tutorial by Aharon Rabinowitz.
  4. Video tutorial 2: Creating a Flock of Birds is part two of the Creative Cow Rabinowitz fun tutorial. Create the flock from the original bird and then composite it and animate the flock as your AE skills take flight to new heights.
  5. There is no leader: Experiment with a model of flocking behavior using a NetLogo model published to the web.
  6. Three rules? Flocks, Herds, and Schools:A Distributed Behavioral Model - SIGGRAPH 1987 paper/presentation - from rarely seen to often seen.
  7. The aggregate motion of a flock of birds, a herd of land animals, or a school of fish is a beautiful and familiar part of the natural world. But this type of complex motion is rarely seen in computer animation. This paper explores an approach based on simulation as an alternative to scripting the paths of each bird individually. The simulated flock is an elaboration of a particle system, with the simulated birds being the particles.
  8. How to use Moxilla Firefox to download Quicktime movies to use as footage without having to buy or find access to Quicktime Pro. Used to get the two videos used in the above example. Discovered on May Day, 2010 or it would have been shown in class earlier!
  9. Flocks of Boids at www.runthemodel.com site.
  10. Agent-Based-Modeling at www.anylogic.com.

  11. Boids simulator...