Digital 3D content creation and modeling has become an indispensable part of our technology-driven society. Any modern design and manufacturing process involves manipulation of digital 3D shapes. Many industries have been long expecting ubiquitous 3D as the next revolution in multimedia. Yet, contrary to “traditional” media such as digital music and video, 3D content creation and editing is not accessible to the general public, and 3D geometric data is not nearly as wide-spread as it has been anticipated. Despite extensive geometric modeling research in the past two decades, 3D modeling is still a restricted domain and demands tedious, time consuming and expensive work effort even from trained professionals, namely engineers, designers, and digital artists. Geometric modeling is reported to constitute one of the lowest-productivity components of product life cycle.
The major reason for 3D shape modeling remaining inaccessible and tedious is that our current geometry representation and modeling algorithms focus on low-level mathematical properties of the shapes, entirely missing structural, contextual or semantic information. As a consequence, current modeling systems are unintuitive, inefficient and difficult for humans to work with. We believe that instead of continuing on the current incremental research path, a concentrated effort is required to fundamentally rethink the shape modeling process and re-align research agendas, putting high-level shape structure and function at the core. We propose a research plan that will lead to intelligent digital 3D modeling tools that integrate semantic knowledge about the objects being modeled and provide the user an intuitive and logical response, fostering creativity and eliminating unnecessary low-level manual modeling tasks. Achieving these goals will represent a fundamental change to our current notion of 3D modeling, and will finally enable us to leverage the true potential of digital 3D content for society.
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