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New software algorithm mimics human perception to turn sketches into 3D


August 13, 2014

A novel graphics system that can infer complex 3D shapes from single professional sketches will be unveiled by UBC computer scientists at SIGGRAPH 2014 in Vancouver this week.

The solution has the potential to dramatically simplify how designers and artists develop new product ideas.

Converting an idea into a 3D model using current commercial tools is a complicated and painstaking process. So UBC researchers developed True2Form, a software algorithm inspired by the work of professional designers, who effectively communicate ideas through simple drawings.

"In line-drawings, designers and artists use descriptive curves and informative viewpoints to help viewers infer the complete shape of an object," says UBC professor Alla Sheffer. "Our system mimics the results of human three-dimensional shape inference to turn a sketch curve network into 3D, while preserving fidelity to the original sketch."

True2Form uses powerful mathematics to interpret the strokes that artists use in these drawings, automatically lifting drawings off the page. It produces convincing, complex 3D shapes computed from individual sketches, automatically corrected to account for inherent drawing inaccuracy.

While previous sketch-based modeling frameworks are limited to a narrow set of geometries, True2Form is designed to achieve a greater range of geometric complexity in its 3D models.

Sheffer, her team from UBC, and colleagues from the University of Toronto and INRIA France will present a technical paper on True2Form on Wednesday, August 13 at the Vancouver Convention Centre as part of SIGGRAPH 2014. Computer graphics researchers from UBC are presenting seven papers at SIGGRAPH 2014 this year.

The SIGGRAPH conference and exhibition is a five-day interdisciplinary educational experience, including a three-day commercial exhibition that attracts hundreds of exhibitors from around the world. In addition to SIGGRAPH's leading-edge technical program, the conference's installations provide close-up views of the latest in digital art, emerging technologies, and hands-on opportunities for creative collaboration.

Video on True2Form

SIGGRAPH 2014 Presentation Abstract on True2Form

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