A 24-hour generative clock in the shape of a tree.
This clock project was for an assignment to create a way to tell time without using numbers. By using the growth of the branches and pedals I was able to visually display the hours, minutes and even seconds within a day.
Planning and Influences
In order to create realistic randomly drawn trees, I implemented several rules ranging from thickness of the branch's starting point relative to ending point, and the angles at which new branches were allowed to be grown from.
24 Hour Clock
The tree clock grows every second of the day. To read the clock, this is what you need to look for:
- Daytime: The position of the sun, with top being noon
- Hours: number of branches
- Minutes: length of the shortest, currently growing branch (mid-way bend is half-hour mark)
- Seconds: number of bunches of blossoms
Every minute, all of the blossoms that have grown each second beautifully fall off, signalling a new minute.
Each time the clock is run, the tree grows in a unique way. No two trees are ever the same. You can see an example of this by clicking repeatedly on the live demo on the top of this page.
The hardest part of this project was actually debugging. As I added more tools to help me develop (such as the ability to speed up time or force a specific time of day), I realized more and more how many issues there were that I hadn't noticed in real-time, and figuring out what was wrong was quite an adventure.
One such tool is visible in the top left corner of this video.