Monday, 2 March 2009

Ant Trails

Image - close up take from

Ants use pheromones to mark their trail and guide following ants. They mark the path as they go along ant leave tiny little messages. If the trail is successful and more and more ants follow up the guidance becomes more intense and denser, whereas other trails fade out.
Exactly this was visualized by Sean Dockray in his animation Ameising 1.

Ameising 2 from urbanTick on Vimeo.

Image - Animation still by Sean Dockray

The ants movement was recorded in a 45 minutes shot and then retraced with software support each ant, frame by frame (would probably be quite simple nowadays with the new After Effects functions).
The emerging output might not be the collective memory, as it is called by the author, but some kind of selective evolution of spatial organization.
To read more about ants, the new ant bible has only recently been published: The Super-organism: The Beauty, Elegance, and Strangeness of Insect Societies, by B Holldobler , Edward O. Wilson, on Amazon for some £30.00.

Ants from Kristofer Hagbard on Vimeo.


Ramiro said...

I really love ants too. Maybe you would be interested in reading Emergence by Stephen Johnson and The Ants by B.Holldobler and E.O.Wilson.

fan said...

Thanks, great books. I have read them, I am especially fond of the to enthusiasts Holldobler and Wilson, also the Superorganism.
My favourite section is where they communicate with ants using a hear to tap their little heads, awesome. Tried it myself but with little success.