Detecting, modeling and rendering complex configurations of curvilinear features
Candidate: Evgueni Parilov
Advisor: Denis Zorin

Abstract

Curvilinear features allow one to represent a variety of real world regular patterns like honeycomb tiling as well as very complicated random patterns like networks of furrows on the surface of the human skin. We have developed a set of methods and new data representations for solving key problems related to curvilinear features, which include robust detection of intricate networks of curvilinear features from digital images, GPU-based sharp rendering of fields with curvilinear features, and a parametric synthesis approach to generate systems of curvilinear features with desirable local configurations and global control.
The existing edge-detection techniques may underperform in the presence of noise, usually do not link the detected edge points into chains, often fail on complex structures, heavily depend on initial guess, and assume significant manual phase. We have developed a technique based on active contours, or snakes, which avoids manual initial positioning of the snakes and can detect large networks of curves with complex junctions without user guidance.
The standard bilinear interpolation of piecewise continuous fields results in unwanted smoothing along the curvilinear discontinuities. Spatially varying features can be best represented as a function of the distance to the discontinuity curves and its gradient. We have developed a real-time, GPU-based method for unsigned distance function field and its gradient field interpolation which preserves discontinuity feature curves, represented by quadratic Bezier curves, with minimal restriction on their topology.
Detail features are very important visual clues which make computer-generated imagery look less artificial. Instead of using sample-based synthesis technique which lacks user control on features usually producing gaps in features or breaking feature coherency, we have explored an alternative approach of generating features using random fibre processes. We have developed a Gibbs-type random process of linear fibres based on local fibre interactions. It allows generating non-stationary curvilinear networks with some degree of regularity, and provides an intuitive set of parameters which directly defines fibre local configurations and global pattern of fibres.
For random systems of linear fibres which approximately form two orthogonal dominant orientation fields, we have adapted a streamline placement algorithm which converts such systems into overlapping random sets of coherent smooth curves.