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Dynamic Paint and Conways Life

I'm not sure what to make of this, but it has passed my "I've watched this video twice" rule ;-)

Thomas Eldredge writes:

This is an experiment applying Conways Life ruleset to a canvas painted with the Dynamic Paint feature. A brush object is used to paint 'alive' cells onto the canvas. Then the ruleset is applied at each frame and the cells create the structures and patterns that make Conways Life so interesting.

Setup and more information here.


  1. Lawrence D’Oliveiro on

    It’s quite simple, really. It’s applying Conway’s game-of-life rules to the trails and traces left by the brush object. I couldn’t seem to see any of the common dynamic patterns (e.g. traffic lights, gliders), but there were a lot of 2×2 stable blocks.

    More details here:

    It was a common exercise to write programs to run the game when I was doing undergrad Computer Science, back around 1980.

    • We had to program this in our java classes a few years ago ;) it's still one of the easiest way of showing emergent behaviour and it's a good exercise in object oriented programming

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