Illustration of Complex Real-World Objects using Images with Normals

Illustration of Complex Real-World Objects using Images with Normals

Corey Toler-Franklin, Adam Finkelstein, and Szymon Rusinkiewicz.

International Symposium on Non-Photorealistic Animation and Rendering (NPAR) San Diego, CA, August 2007


This paper investigates the creation of non-photorealistic illustrations from a type of data lying between simple 2D images and full 3D models: images with both a color (albedo) and a surface normal stored at each pixel. Images with normals combine an acquisition process only mildly more complex than that for digital photographs (and significantly easier than 3D scanning) with the power and flexibility of tools similar to those originally developed for full 3D models. We investigate methods for signal processing on images with normals, developing algorithms for scale-space analysis, derivative (i.e., curvature) estimation, and segmentation. These are used to implement analogues of stylized rendering techniques such as toon shading, line drawing, curvature shading, and exaggerated shading. We also introduce new stylization effects based on multiscale mean curvature shading, as well as fast discontinuity shadows. We show that our rendering pipeline can produce detailed yet understandable illustrations in medical, technical, and archaeological domains.

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