Interactive Sculpting with Implicit Surfaces

Marie-Paule Cani

INP Grenoble, France


Providing the user with an intuitive sculpting system similar to real clay is one of the most challenging long term goals in interactive modelling. The user should ideally be able to deform, add and remove material, with no restriction on the geometry and topological genius of the solid being edited. Implicit surfaces, defined as iso-surfaces of scalar fields, are a very attractive model in such situations. This talk reviews two alternative implicit representations, the constructive approach versus sampled fields, and discusses their convenience for modelling virtual clay. An implicit sculpting system which incorporates force feedback and relies on multiresolution to accelerate editing is presented.


Marie-Paule Cani is a Professor of Computer Science at the Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble (INPG), France. A graduate from the Ecole Normale Supérieure, she received a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Paris Sud in 1990 and the ``habilitation'' degree from INPG in 1995. She has been nominated at the ``Institut Universitaire de France'' in 1999. Her main research interests cover physically-based simulation, implicit surfaces applied to interactive modelling and animation, and the design of layered models incorporating alternative representations and LODs. Recent applications include pattern-based texturing, the animation of natural phenomena such as lava-flows, vegetation and human hair, real-time virtual surgery and immersive virtual sculpting.

Marie-Paule Cani co-chaired the Eurographics workshops on Implicit Surfaces in 1995 and on Computer Animation and Simulation in 2001. She has been in the programm committees of Eurographics'96, Computer Animation'99, Shape Modelling International since 1999, NPAR, ACM SCA, Pacific Graphics and SIGGRAPH in 2002. She belongs to the editorial board of GMOD since 2001.

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