Extraction Information for Editing & By-Example Synthesis in Expressive RenderingFor the presentation to run smoothly, open the SVG file with a Web browser such as Firefox, or Opera.
Processing graphical data, either for its editing or the synthesis of new content, demands a good balance between the different sources of information one may exploit. Unlike "procedural" techniques, synthesis by example stands out thanks to its extreme ease-of-use : indeed, tasks such as identification, analysis and reproduction of the distinguishing features of the user-provided examples are left to the method itself. Such approaches, along with today's intricate editing methods have greatly favored the production of compelling graphical content at a wide scale, and henceforth facilitated the adoption of computer-assisted tools by artists.But in order to meet with success, they also have to be highly controllable without being a mere extension of the artist's hand.
We explore here such concerns in the context of expressive rendering and study the interactions, may they be collaborative or competitive, between the different sources of information at the core of such processes. In our opinion, there are three main sources of information: the automatic analysis of the inputs before processing; the use of prior knowledge through predetermined models; and users' explicit intervention. Through a clever combination of these sources, we propose new expressive synthesis techniques which satisfy the aforementioned usability. More than photographic realism, expressive rendering strives for the fulfillment of less easily quantifiable goals such as the intelligibility or the aesthetic value of its results. The subjectivity behind the assessment of such criteria thus forces us to attach much importance to the careful choice of the source of information to favor; the required amount of user intervention (without being detrimental to the method's theoretical value); and the possible resort to prior models (without endangering its generality).
Three main synthesis instances are studied in this document: texture generation, image de-colorization, and artistic line rendering. The great disparity of inputs (raster and vector textures, complex images, 3d meshes), terms of synthesis (imitation, conversion, depiction) and objectives (preservation of a texture's visual signature, plausible restitution of chromatic contrasts, creation of drawings in accordance with users' styles) gives rise to distinct balances between those sources of information and requires the consideration of various modes of user interaction.