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Creating Conway’s Game of Life using Blender 3.6 Simulation Nodes


As a Kid, I had a fascination with the Game of Life - a super simple 2D cell simulator that gives surprisingly complex results. Glen Larsen re-created it in Blender!

For each discrete step in the simulation, the Game of Life applies the following rules to each cell on a 2D grid:

  1. Any live cell with two or three live neighbours survives.
  2. Any dead cell with three live neighbours becomes a live cell.
  3. All other live cells die in the next generation. Similarly, all other dead cells stay dead.

(Source: Wikipedia)

This results in complex and mesmerizing results, like gliders (structures that move their way across the board), factories and more!

Glen writes on Blender Artists:

I’ve done this before in Blender but always wanted to use the simulation zone to model the cellular automata. Once the initial pattern is created each subsequent pattern is generated based on the previous pattern. It’s way easier to understand if you read the Wikipedia article first.

The output pattern of each generation is rendered as small spheres for dead cells, larger ones for the living.

The Blend file is available on Gumroad for free.

About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.

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