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EXPloring REsponsive Shapes for Seamless desIgn of Virtual Environments
be retained

Final Report Summary - EXPRESSIVE (EXPloring REsponsive Shapes for Seamless desIgn of Virtual Environments be retained.)

EXPRESSIVE (EXPloring REsponsive Shapes for Seamless desIgn of Virtual Environments) was aimed at developing a new generation of 3D modeling technologies, making the creation of 3D contents more accessible to engineers, scientists, and to the general public. Our methodology to achieve this was two-folds:
‒ Developing 3D models that embed knowledge, and thus respond in the expected way under creation and editing tasks - we called these augmented models ‘responsive shapes’;
‒ Combining them with creation and editing tools enabling gesture-based control, such as sketching or sculpting systems inspired from real-world interaction.
The originality of this project was to tackle these problems not only for the creation and editing of individual shapes, but also for assemblies and hierarchies of shape distributions of any dimension, and not only for static contents, but to also for animated shapes, which move and deform over time.

Our contributions included several advances on responsive shape representations, the extension of sketch-based modeling and of sculpting paradigms to complex shapes embedding constraints, and the first extensions of expressive modeling to animated contents. They constitute the premises of a novel media for seamless 3D content creation. Let us briefly summarize some of them:

We solved most long lasting flaws of implicit surfaces, making them an excellent representation for solid, responsive shapes, applicable to 3D creation from a sketch and to the animation of the skin of animated creatures. We also developed new representations and algorithms for developable surfaces, enabling to transfer garments with automatic adaptation to a new morphology, to create garments from a couple of design sketches, or to interactively crumple a virtual sheet of paper.

In addition to the improved modeling of isolated shapes from a sketch, we developed painting metaphors for creating distributions of static elements from examples. This was used to create and control distributions of plants over a terrain. We also proposed interactive sculpting metaphors for distributions of objects and shapes carrying details, enabling for instance to automatically duplicate details when a shape is stretched.

Lastly, in addition to improving physically-based animation methods, we extended expressive design methodologies to the case of animated contents. This included sculpting tools to create periodic crowd animations and painting tools for density control, using sketch-based interfaces for enabling the design and editing of individual character motion, and providing a sculpting metaphor to edit and combine results of pre-computed liquid animations.

A selected part of the methods we developed were integrated into the EXPRESSIVE development platform, a test-bed for our research and a basis for external collaboration and transfer.