Posts Tagged ‘graphics’

Rig Animation with a Tangible and Modular Input Device preprint + video

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

We’ve put up a project page and a preprint of our new SIGGRAPH 2016 paper “Rig Animation with a Tangible and Modular Input Device”, joint work with Glauser Oliver, Wan-Chun Ma, Daniele Panozzo, O. Hilliges, O. Sorkine-Hornung.

This is not just version 2.0 of our tangible and modular input device from 2014 (although the new hardware is totally awesome). In this paper we also present a new optimization for mapping joints and splitters to any industry-grade character rig. The optimization will output instructions for a device to construct out of parts and then map those degrees of freedom to all parameters of the rig.

We propose a novel approach to digital character animation, combining the benefits of tangible input devices and sophisticated rig animation algorithms. A symbiotic software and hardware approach facilitates the animation process for novice and expert users alike. We overcome limitations inherent to all previous tangible devices by allowing users to directly control complex rigs using only a small set (5-10) of physical controls. This avoids oversimplification of the pose space and excessively bulky device configurations. Our algorithm derives a small device configuration from complex character rigs, often containing hundreds of degrees of freedom, and a set of sparse sample poses. Importantly, only the most influential degrees of freedom are controlled directly, yet detailed motion is preserved based on a pose interpolation technique. We designed a modular collection of joints and splitters, which can be assembled to represent a wide variety of skeletons. Each joint piece combines a universal joint and two twisting elements, allowing to accurately sense its configuration. The mechanical design provides a smooth inverse kinematics-like user experience and is not prone to gimbal locking. We integrate our method with the professional 3D software Autodesk Maya® and discuss a variety of results created with characters available online. Comparative user experiments show significant improvements over the closest state-of-the-art in terms of accuracy and time in a keyframe posing task.

Preprint for “Linear Subspace Design for Real-Time Shape Deformation”

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

linear subspace design thumbnail

Our upcoming SIGGRAPH 2015 paper “Linear Subspace Design for Real-Time Shape Deformation” is online now. This is joint work with Yu Wang, jernej Barbič and Ladislav Kavan. One way to interpret our contribution is a method for computing shape-aware (rather than cage-aware) generalized barycentric coordinates without a cage. Another way to interpret it is as a generalization of linear blend skinning to incorporate transformations of region regions/bones and translations at point handles. The distinguishing characteristic of our weight computation is its speed. The choice of handles (the choice of linear subspace) is now interactive and becomes part of the design process. It absorbs user-creativity just as manipulating the handles does.

Tangible and Modular Input Device for Character Articulation at Emerging Technologies, SIGGRAPH 2014

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

input device animation strauss

My colleagues, Daniele Panozzo, Oliver Glauser, Cedric Pradalier, Otmar Hilliges, Olga Sorkine-Hornung and I will be presenting our new input device at the Emerging Technologies demo hall at SIGGRAPH 2014. We put our extended abstract on our project page. See you at e-tech!

Ambient occlusion proof of concept demo in libigl

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

The libigl “extra” for the Embree ray tracing library made it super easy to whip up an ambient occlusion demo. Check out the example in the libigl source under libigl/examples/ambient-occlusion (version ≥0.3.3).

beast ambient occlusion in libigl

The demo just shoots rays in random directions in the hemisphere of each mesh vertex and aggregates a hit ratio. Then it colors the mesh with these values per-vertex using GL_COLOR_MATERIAL. The program shoots a few more rays per point every draw frame (except when the users dragging the camera around).

There are plenty of ways to be fancier about ambient occlusion, but this demonstrates the basic idea.

Determine boundary faces from tetrahedral mesh

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Here’s a matlab function that takes a list of tetrahedron indices (4 indices to a row) and finds the triangles that are on the surface of the volume. It does this simply by finding all of the faces that only occur once.

function F = boundary_faces(T)
  % F = boundary_faces(T)
  % Determine boundary faces of tetrahedra stored in T
  % Input:
  %  T  tetrahedron index list, m by 4, where m is the number of tetrahedra
  % Output:
  %  F  list of boundary faces, n by 3, where n is the number of boundary faces

  % get all faces
  allF = [ ...
    T(:,1) T(:,2) T(:,3); ...
    T(:,1) T(:,3) T(:,4); ...
    T(:,1) T(:,4) T(:,2); ...
    T(:,2) T(:,4) T(:,3)];
  % sort rows so that faces are reorder in ascending order of indices
  sortedF = sort(allF,2);
  % determine uniqueness of faces
  [u,m,n] = unique(sortedF,'rows');
  % determine counts for each unique face
  counts = accumarray(n(:), 1);
  % extract faces that only occurred once
  sorted_exteriorF = u(counts == 1,:);
  % find in original faces so that ordering of indices is correct
  F = allF(ismember(sortedF,sorted_exteriorF,'rows'),:);

With this you can easily determine the vertices of a tetmesh that are on the boundary:

% V are your vertex positions, T are your tet indices
% get boundary faces
F = boundary_faces(T);
% get boundary vertices
b = unique(F(:));
% plot boundary positions
% plot just  boundary faces

Rotate a point around another point

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Composing rotations and translations is one of the most important operations in computer graphics. One useful application is the ability to compose rotations and translations to rotate a point around another point.

rotate around other point

Here’s how I learned to do this. I find this method the most intuitive.

  1. Translate so that the other point is at the origin
  2. Rotate about the origin by however much you want
  3. Translate back so that the other point is back to its original position

rotate around other point

This works out nicely with matrix math since rotations around the origin are easily stored as 2×2 matrices:

                               / cos θ  -sin θ\
Rotation around origin by θ:  |                |
                               \ sin θ   cos θ/

If we call that matrix, R, then we can write the whole operation that rotates a point, a, around another point, b,, as:
R*(a-b) + b. Be careful to note the order of operations: (a-b) corresponds to step 1, then left multiply with R to step 2, and finally adding back b is step 3.

One convenient fact is that when we look at the transformation as a whole where T(a): a → R*(a-b) + b. Because T is just the composition of rotations and translations it can be decomposed into a single rotation followed by a single translation. Namely, T(a): a → R*(a-b) + b may be re-written as T(a): a → S(a) + t, for some rotation matrix S and some translation vector t. To see this just use the distributive law: R*(a-b) + b = R*a – R*b + b, then S = R and t = R*b + b.

So that gives a new derivation of the transformation that rotates a point, a, around another point, b,: R*a – R*b + b. Building an intuition as to why this works is a little tricky. We have just seen how it can be derived using linear algebra but actually seeing this version as each step is elusive. Turns out it helps to make a subtle change. Reverse the last two terms, so that you have: R*a + (b – R*b). Now intuitively we can follow the order of operations and build an intuition:

  1. Rotate first the point about the origin (since the other point is not the origin we’ve “missed” where we should have been rotated by a certain error amount)
  2. Rotate the other point about the origin by the same amout
  3. Translate by the difference between the original other point and the rotated other point (this is the error amount, because we know that rotating other pointabout itself shouldn’t change its position)

rotate around other point

Update: Here’s an image comparing these two compositions:

rotate around other point

Barycentric coordinates and point-triangle queries

Friday, February 4th, 2011

Recently I needed to test whether a bunch of points where on a given triangle in 3D. There are many ways of querying for this, but I found one that was for me both intuitive and convenient. The method uses barycentric coordinates.

Given a triangle made up of points A, B, and C you can describe any point, p, inside the triangle as a linear combination of A, B, and C: p = λa*A + λb*B + λc*C. That is to say, p can be reproduced as a weighted average of A, B and C. Where the λs are the weights.

One way to realize this is true is to notice that a triangle can be defined by two vectors, say A→B and A→C, and as long as these two vectors are not parallel we know from Linear Algebra that we can span the whole plane that they define (including the triangle A, B,C which lies on that plane).

abc) are called the “barycentric coordinates” of p. Another (more or less unused) name for these are the “area coordinates” of p. This is because λa, λb, and λc are very conveniently defined as:
λa = area(B,C,P)/area(A,B,C)
λb = area(C,A,P)/area(A,B,C)
λc = area(A,B,P)/area(A,B,C)

An important quality of barycentric coordinates is that they partition unity, that is: λabc = 1. To see this is true, notice that these sub triangles exactly cover the area of the whole triangle and since we divide be that whole triangle’s area we are normalizing the sub triangle areas such that they must sum to one: the barycentric coordinates are the percentages of the area covered by the sub triangles and the whole triangle area. Each sub triangle corresponds to the original triangle corner that is not a corner of the sub triangle. Thus, A corresponds to the sub triangle B, C, p and so forth.

As we move p inside the triangle, ABC, the barycentric coordinates shift. Notice that all coordinates are positive as long as p is inside the triangle.

If we move p onto an edge of the triangle then the area of the sub triangle corresponding to the corner opposite that edge becomes zero, thus the barycentric coordinate for p corresponding to that corner is zero.

If we move p onto a corner of the triangle then the sub triangle corresponding to that corner is the same (and thus has the as area) as the original triangle, so its corresponding barycentric coordinate to p is 1, the other areas and coordinates being 0.

If we move p outside of the triangle the total area covered by the sub triangles will be greater than the original triangle. This is easy to see as the sub triangles always cover the original triangle. We could use this to test whether p is inside the triangle ABC, but there actually a more elegant way that will be handy later.

If instead of computing regular (non-negative) area, we compute signed area then even when we move p outside of ABC the areas will sum to the original area of the triangle ABC. One way to think of signed area is by looking at the orientation of the triangles. Start with p inside ABC.

Imagine coloring the side of each triangle facing you green and the back side red. When we move p the triangles change shape, but as long as p stays inside the triangle we still see the same, green side.

When we pull p outside the triangle the triangle on the edge we crossed gets flipped, and now we see the back, red, side. Now we declare that if we can see the green side of the triangle, its area is positive and if we see the red side of the triangle its area is negative. Now, finally notice that the red side of the flipped triangle when p is outside ABC is always covered exactly by the other two, green triangles. Thus the negative area is cancelled out and we are only left with exactly the original ABC area.

So if we use signed area to compute barycentric coordinates of p, we can determine if p is inside, on, or outside a triangle by looking to see if all coordinates are positive, if any are 0 or if any are negative.

If our triangle is on the 2D plane then this sums up everything we might want to know about p and a given triangle ABC. But if ABC is an arbitrary triangle in 3D and p is also an arbitrary point, then we may also want to know if p whether p is on the plane of the triangle ABC, or if it is above or below the triangle.

We showed above that if p is on the plane of the triangle then the total un-signed area of the sub triangles is greater than the original triangle area and the total signed area of the sub triangles is always exactly equal to the area of the original triangle.

However, if we pull p off the plane of the sum of the total un-signed area of the sub triangles will necessarily be greater than the area of the original triangle. To see this notice that by pulling p off the triangle we are making a tetrahedron pABC with a certain amount of volume, where before pABC was flattened onto the base triangle ABC with no volume. Where ever p is in space it makes such a tetrahedron with ABC and we can always flatten (project) it to the plane of the triangle where we know the total area of the flattened triangles must cover (be greater than) the original triangle ABC. Now finally notice that “flattening” a triangle can never increase the triangle’s area (imagine holding a paper triangle in front of your face, your eyes project it onto the plane which you see. There’s no way of rotating the triangle so that the projected area (the area you see) is bigger than the actual area of the triangle)).

Finally, we just showed that pulling p away from the plane of the triangle increases the magnitude of each of the sub triangles’ area. We may also use this fact to see that the total signed area of these sub triangles is only ever equal to the area of the original triangle if we keep p on the triangle’s plane. If we pull p above the triangle (off its front side) then the total signed area is always greater than the original area, and if we pull p below the triangle (off its back side) then the total signed area is always less than the original area. This is harder to see and hopefully I will find a nice way of explaining it.

It’s important to note that the areas we get when we pull p off of the plane of the triangle ABC can no longer partition unity, in the sense that if we use these areas as above to define λa, λb, and λc, p will still equal λa*A + λb*B + λc*C, but λa + λb + λc will not equal 1.

Triangle mesh filled contour in MATLAB

Monday, December 6th, 2010

Here is matlab snippet that takes a 2D triangle mesh and a function and produces a pretty, filled contour plot in MATLAB. If your mesh vertices are stored in V, and your triangles in F, then use my previously posted code to get the boundary/outline edges of your mesh in O. Then you can create a contour plot of some function W defined over V using:

% resample W with a grid, THIS IS VERY SLOW if V is large
[Xr,Yr,Wr] = griddata(V(:,1),V(:,2),W,unique(V(:,1)),unique(V(:,2))');
% find all points inside the mesh, THIS IS VERY SLOW if V is large
IN = inpolygon(Xr,Yr,V(O,1),V(O,2));
% don't draw points outside the mesh
Wr(~IN) = NaN;

And for a mesh like this one:
gingerbread man mesh plot

You get something like this:
gingerbread man contour 10 level sets

You can also approach a continuous contour with this:

shading flat

gingerbread man contour 200 level sets

Compare this to what you can get from the much faster:


which produces:
gingerbread man colored plot

The only problem with this method is that the boundary looks a little nasty because of the resampling. Nothing that can’t be fixed quickly in photoshop… Or even in MATLAB with something like:


Which puts an ugly thick outline around the contour, but makes it look a little better…
gingerbread man contour 10 level sets with outline


Find outline of triangle mesh and plot in MATLAB

Monday, December 6th, 2010

Here’s a little snippet to determine the edges along the boundary of a triangle mesh in matlab. Given that your vertex values are in V and your triangle indices are in F, this will fill O with a list of edges make up the outline of your mesh:

% Find all edges in mesh, note internal edges are repeated
E = sort([F(:,1) F(:,2); F(:,2) F(:,3); F(:,3) F(:,1)]')';
% determine uniqueness of edges
[u,m,n] = unique(E,'rows');
% determine counts for each unique edge
counts = accumarray(n(:), 1);
% extract edges that only occurred once
O = u(counts==1,:);

Then you can view the outline with, in 2D:

plot([V(O(:,1),1) V(O(:,2),1)]',[V(O(:,1),2) V(O(:,2),2)]','-')

and in 3D:

plot3([V(O(:,1),1) V(O(:,2),1)]',[V(O(:,1),2) V(O(:,2),2)]',[V(O(:,1),3) V(O(:,2),3)]','-')

See also: Display wireframe mesh in matlab and save as vector graphics

“Mixed Finite Elements for Variational Surface Modeling” project page

Monday, October 25th, 2010

point boundary conditions used to make bumps in flat domain

I’ve finally put a project page for the paper we presented this summer at SGP: “Mixed Finite Elements for Variational Surface Modeling” by Alec Jacobson, Elif Tosun, Olga Sorkine and Denis Zorin. So far I have the paper, slides from SGP, slides from my recent Disney Tech Talk at ETH and some videos and images. Hopefully some I will post some of the working MATLAB code base.