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Tutorial Lesson 5: Breeding new varieties

In this lesson you will create some new plant varieties using the breeder. The breeder is a tool you can use to create new and interesting plants by "evolving" parent plants into successive generations of offspring. The breeder works by randomly changing plant parameters to "mutate" plants.

Open the file from any lesson

This tutorial lesson doesn't have to be done after the fourth lesson, so you can open any of the tutorial files you have saved. If you haven't done any tutorial lessons, open the file called Tutorial Lesson 1.pla in your PlantStudio directory.

Breed the first generation

  1. Before we start, let's speed things up by choosing the medium drawing speed. Choose Draw as Wire Frames from the main window Options menu.

  2. Select the plant called Black-eyed Susan.

1. Choose Breed from the Plant menu. The breeder will appear with your plant and a generation of new plants.

2. To see your breeder plants bigger, let's reduce the number of breeder rows. Click the Size button at the bottom of the breeder, then click on the drop-down list labeled generations showing and choose 3. The breeder will redraw with three rows and larger plants.

3. Click the Size button again to hide the size options. Now you can resize the breeder if you like to make the plants even bigger.

Breed a few more generations

  1. Before we breed any more generations, let's choose a level of variation. Choose Medium from the breeder Variation menu. This will produce plants that look a little like their parents, but not too much.

  2. Now looking at the generation of offspring you have produced, pick the one you like best and double-click on it. If you don't like any of them, double-click on the parent plant all by itself in the first row. [If the breeder wasn't empty when you started this lesson, there will already be some generations in the breeder. Just ignore them.]

  3. Move through the breeder double-clicking on a plant in each generation. If you don't like any of the plants in a generation, double-click on a plant in the previous generation to get different plants.

Keep a breeder plant

When you find a plant you like enough to keep, stop breeding. It's important to remember that none of the breeder plants are stored after you close PlantStudio, so you need to move a plant out of the breeder to make it permanent.

  1. Click on the plant and drag it to the main window. Or if you don't want to drag the plant, choose Copy from the breeder Edit menu, then choose Paste from the main window Edit menu. In either case the plant will appear in the main window.

  2. Now (if you like) you can rotate, resize and randomize the plant, change its parameters, and save it in your file.

Go to the Tutorial Index

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Using the breeder

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Updated: March 10, 1999. Questions/comments on site to
Copyright © 1998, 1999 Paul D. Fernhout & Cynthia F. Kurtz.