Programmer/Data Scientist/Instructor・Mostly write Python & R・Big fan of OpenCV & p5js

Published Oct 08, 2018

This post is part 2 of 2, and, as stated in part
1,
the end goal is to create an animated fractal tree with
`R6`

&
`gganimate`

. Today, we will be
animating the `fractal_tree`

`R6`

class from
part
1
with `gganimate`

.

The below code and plot show where we’re going to get by the end of this post.

```
# Create & animate R6 tree object
tree = fractal_tree_seq$new()
tree$animate()
```

**Note**: This post is meant to explore `R6`

functionality; it’s not claiming to be the best way to create our
fractal trees. Some design choices were solely to leverage varied
features. Additionally, this post is more example-based than explanation
based. For more in-depth explanations, I recomend going to this
page from `R6`

or check out this
chapter from Advanced
R

We already have a `fractal_tree`

object that can create a single tree
with branches positioned at a given angle. For simplicity, we will build
our animated tree as a sequence of our (already defined) `fractal_tree`

objects; each tree will be a frame in the animation. Disclaimer: if you
end up running this code, you’ll see that this approach might not be the
most efficient approach, but it works.

**Note:** This post’s code assumes that the objects from part
1
are loaded into your R session. The complete code from part
1
can be found
here

Sticking with the theme of the 2 part series, we’ll create a single
`R6`

class to house our animation process. The
“Design” section above might seem to be written at a very high level,
but it covers almost all of the implementation details that we’ll
discuss below.

The object doing the animation is given the name `fractal_tree_seq`

,
since it is simply a sequence of `fractal_tree`

s. In the `initialize`

method of the object, we loop the the user provided `angle_seq`

and
create a tree at each angle in the sequence. Additionally, when we
create each tree, we assign some meta data that shows which frame the
tree belongs to. Lastly, in our `initialize`

method we assign a color to
each angle, this info will be used in plotting to give our animation
some flare.

To wrap up our `fractal_tree_seq`

class we add a `public`

`animate`

method that looks a lot like the plot method from part
1.
The syntax of `gganimate`

is
very similiar to `ggplot2`

’s, so
experience with the later should make the `animate`

code feel familiar.
The only bit of `gganimate`

code we add to the `ggplot2`

expression is `+ transition_manual(frame)`

. This command will use the
frame data we assigned in `initialize`

to create a gif of our
`fractal_tree`

s.

And that’s it! We acheived the goal of to creating and animating a
fractal tree with `R6`

and
`gganimate`

.

```
fractal_tree_seq = R6Class('fractal_tree_seq',
public = list(
trees = data.frame(),
initialize = function(trunk_len = 10,
angle_seq = seq(0, 2 * pi - pi / 32, pi / 32),
len_decay = 0.7,
min_len = 0.25,
verbose = TRUE) {
total = length(angle_seq)
for (i in seq_along(angle_seq)) {
if (verbose) cat(sprintf('creating tree %s of %s\n', i, total))
angle = angle_seq[i]
tree_i = fractal_tree$new(trunk_len = trunk_len,
delta_angle = angle,
len_decay = len_decay,
min_len = min_len)
branches_i = tree_i$branches
branches_i$angle = angle
branches_i$frame = i
self$trees = rbind(self$trees, branches_i)
}
angle_colors = data.frame(angle = sort(unique(self$trees$angle)))
angle_colors$angle_color = rainbow(nrow(angle_colors))
self$trees = merge(self$trees, angle_colors, all.x = TRUE, by = 'angle')
}, # initialize
animate = function() {
ggplot(self$trees, aes(x, y, group = id)) +
geom_line(aes(color = branch_color)) +
geom_point(size = .2, aes(color = angle_color)) +
scale_color_identity() +
guides(color = FALSE, linetype = FALSE) +
theme_void() +
transition_manual(frame)
}
) # public
) #fractal_tree_seq
```

This last section will be a few examples of using the functionality of
our `fractal_tree`

class.

```
# Create & animate R6 tree object
tree = fractal_tree_seq$new()
tree$animate()
```

```
# Create & animate R6 tree object with new min_len
tree = fractal_tree_seq$new(min_len = 3)
tree$animate()
```

```
# Create & animate R6 tree object with new angle_seq
tree_seq = fractal_tree_seq$new(angle_seq = runif(4, min=pi / 16, max=pi / 4))
tree$animate()
```

**made smaller since it’s so distracting*