The Meadow Logo

Welcome to the project homepage of the meadow. This is Dale Mellor's pet project to create an interactive image of a meadow. Why? Because I can and I feel like typing some code. I see it as a cross between digital gardening, sculpture, and just plain art. The computer science is just consequential. Only time will tell whether it finishes up being photo-realistic (or should I say motion-picture realistic?), impressionistic, or even alternative reality.

The project is being written in pure C++, with only GTK+-2 as a graphics backend (and then using only the most primitive pixel-sticking routines). As it is a pet project, I want it to be all mine, so as far as possible I'm working from first principles. No raytracer. No hardware-accelerated texture mapper. Not even a z-buffer. So there. Besides, I want to try to do better than this - imagine a scene constructed with a ray-tracer with infinite pixel sub-sampling, full re-scatter of light from all surfaces, and which works in real-time! Ambitious, I know...

It is my intention to spend a couple of hours most Sunday evenings working on it, and to make announced public releases (just on the off-chance somebody is interested) about once every two months (though unannounced releases may happen more frequently, like weekly). The project as a whole had no planned beginning and definitely has no planned ending. At the outset, it will be admittedly minimally crude, but for what it's worth will be solid, production quality coding that never crashes. Each week, I'll add a little something more to it. Perhaps more flowers, perhaps better logic to render more realistic images, perhaps better physical modelling, or maybe just increase the interactivity aspect a notch.

Where will it go? I dunno. Maybe it will become a screensaver. Maybe the core code will be released as a generic virtual reality engine. Whatever, I've GNU licensed it at the outset so if you think you can use anything I've done, go right on ahead.

Think you can do a better job of rendering a wild field? I'm sure I'd relish the competition! Think I'm cheating? Look for yourself - the code's available from the SourceForge developers page.

Revision history


3658 lines
  • simple sun, but with hand-coded circumference pixel interpolation (anti-aliasing),
  • pixel granularity for faster, less accurate rendering (including a new control on the control panel).
  • graphic with key indications.


3031 lines
  • branch diameter computation into tree growth model (thick branches are not being rendered yet, though),
  • support for colour selection to control panel,
  • sophisticated (albeit cloudless and sunless) atmosphere.
  • interface with icons and indicators for key-direction mapping.


1952 lines
  • a control panel for adjustment of tree and perspective parameters,
  • rudimentary tree lifetime model.


1265 lines
This has
  • perspective calculations,
  • simple keyboard response for movement,
  • simple fractal wire-frame tree.

This page:

Copyright (C) 2003 Dale Mellor
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