ACM Transactions on Graphics (TOG): Vol. 39, No. 4. 2020

Full Citation in the ACM Digital Library

SESSION: Animation / simulation

A level-set method for magnetic substance simulation

We present a versatile numerical approach to simulating various magnetic phenomena using a level-set method. At the heart of our method lies a novel two-way coupling mechanism between a magnetic field and a magnetizable mechanical system, which is based on the interfacial Helmholtz force drawn from the Minkowski form of the Maxwell stress tensor. We show that a magnetic-mechanical coupling system can be solved as an interfacial problem, both theoretically and computationally. In particular, we employ a Poisson equation with a jump condition across the interface to model the mechanical-to-magnetic interaction and a Helmholtz force on the free surface to model the magnetic-to-mechanical effects. Our computational framework can be easily integrated into a standard Euler fluid solver, enabling both simulation and visualization of a complex magnetic field and its interaction with immersed magnetizable objects in a large domain. We demonstrate the efficacy of our method through an array of magnetic substance simulations that exhibit rich geometric and dynamic characteristics, encompassing ferrofluid, rigid magnetic body, deformable magnetic body, and multi-phase couplings.

A massively parallel and scalable multi-CPU material point method

Harnessing the power of modern multi-GPU architectures, we present a massively parallel simulation system based on the Material Point Method (MPM) for simulating physical behaviors of materials undergoing complex topological changes, self-collision, and large deformations. Our system makes three critical contributions. First, we introduce a new particle data structure that promotes coalesced memory access patterns on the GPU and eliminates the need for complex atomic operations on the memory hierarchy when writing particle data to the grid. Second, we propose a kernel fusion approach using a new Grid-to-Particles-to-Grid (G2P2G) scheme, which efficiently reduces GPU kernel launches, improves latency, and significantly reduces the amount of global memory needed to store particle data. Finally, we introduce optimized algorithmic designs that allow for efficient sparse grids in a shared memory context, enabling us to best utilize modern multi-GPU computational platforms for hybrid Lagrangian-Eulerian computational patterns. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our method with extensive benchmarks, evaluations, and dynamic simulations with elastoplasticity, granular media, and fluid dynamics. In comparisons against an open-source and heavily optimized CPU-based MPM codebase [Fang et al. 2019] on an elastic sphere colliding scene with particle counts ranging from 5 to 40 million, our GPU MPM achieves over 100x per-time-step speedup on a workstation with an Intel 8086K CPU and a single Quadro P6000 GPU, exposing exciting possibilities for future MPM simulations in computer graphics and computational science. Moreover, compared to the state-of-the-art GPU MPM method [Hu et al. 2019a], we not only achieve 2x acceleration on a single GPU but our kernel fusion strategy and Array-of-Structs-of-Array (AoSoA) data structure design also generalizes to multi-GPU systems. Our multi-GPU MPM exhibits near-perfect weak and strong scaling with 4 GPUs, enabling performant and large-scale simulations on a 10243 grid with close to 100 million particles with less than 4 minutes per frame on a single 4-GPU workstation and 134 million particles with less than 1 minute per frame on an 8-GPU workstation.

A model for soap film dynamics with evolving thickness

Previous research on animations of soap bubbles, films, and foams largely focuses on the motion and geometric shape of the bubble surface. These works neglect the evolution of the bubble's thickness, which is normally responsible for visual phenomena like surface vortices, Newton's interference patterns, capillary waves, and deformation-dependent rupturing of films in a foam. In this paper, we model these natural phenomena by introducing the film thickness as a reduced degree of freedom in the Navier-Stokes equations and deriving their equations of motion. We discretize the equations on a non-manifold triangle mesh surface and couple it to an existing bubble solver. In doing so, we also introduce an incompressible fluid solver for 2.5D films and a novel advection algorithm for convecting fields across non-manifold surface junctions. Our simulations enhance state-of-the-art bubble solvers with additional effects caused by convection, rippling, draining, and evaporation of the thin film.

A practical octree liquid simulator with adaptive surface resolution

We propose a new adaptive liquid simulation framework that achieves highly detailed behavior with reduced implementation complexity. Prior work has shown that spatially adaptive grids are efficient for simulating large-scale liquid scenarios, but in order to enable adaptivity along the liquid surface these methods require either expensive boundary-conforming (re-)meshing or elaborate treatments for second order accurate interface conditions. This complexity greatly increases the difficulty of implementation and maintainability, potentially making it infeasible for practitioners. We therefore present new algorithms for adaptive simulation that are comparatively easy to implement yet efficiently yield high quality results. First, we develop a novel staggered octree Poisson discretization for free surfaces that is second order in pressure and gives smooth surface motions even across octree T-junctions, without a power/Voronoi diagram construction. We augment this discretization with an adaptivity-compatible surface tension force that likewise supports T-junctions. Second, we propose a moving least squares strategy for level set and velocity interpolation that requires minimal knowledge of the local tree structure while blending near-seamlessly with standard trilinear interpolation in uniform regions. Finally, to maximally exploit the flexibility of our new surface-adaptive solver, we propose several novel extensions to sizing function design that enhance its effectiveness and flexibility. We perform a range of rigorous numerical experiments to evaluate the reliability and limitations of our method, as well as demonstrating it on several complex high-resolution liquid animation scenarios.

A scalable approach to control diverse behaviors for physically simulated characters

Human characters with a broad range of natural looking and physically realistic behaviors will enable the construction of compelling interactive experiences. In this paper, we develop a technique for learning controllers for a large set of heterogeneous behaviors. By dividing a reference library of motion into clusters of like motions, we are able to construct experts, learned controllers that can reproduce a simulated version of the motions in that cluster. These experts are then combined via a second learning phase, into a general controller with the capability to reproduce any motion in the reference library. We demonstrate the power of this approach by learning the motions produced by a motion graph constructed from eight hours of motion capture data and containing a diverse set of behaviors such as dancing (ballroom and breakdancing), Karate moves, gesturing, walking, and running.

Accurate face rig approximation with deep differential subspace reconstruction

To be suitable for film-quality animation, rigs for character deformation must fulfill a broad set of requirements. They must be able to create highly stylized deformation, allow a wide variety of controls to permit artistic freedom, and accurately reflect the design intent. Facial deformation is especially challenging due to its nonlinearity with respect to the animation controls and its additional precision requirements, which often leads to highly complex face rigs that are not generalizable to other characters. This lack of generality creates a need for approximation methods that encode the deformation in simpler structures. We propose a rig approximation method that addresses these issues by learning localized shape information in differential coordinates and, separately, a subspace for mesh reconstruction. The use of differential coordinates produces a smooth distribution of errors in the resulting deformed surface, while the learned subspace provides constraints that reduce the low frequency error in the reconstruction. Our method can reconstruct both face and body deformations with high fidelity and does not require a set of well-posed animation examples, as we demonstrate with a variety of production characters.

Adaptive merging for rigid body simulation

We reduce computation time in rigid body simulations by merging collections of bodies when they share a common spatial velocity. Merging relies on monitoring the state of contacts, and a metric that compares the relative linear and angular motion of bodies based on their sizes. Unmerging relies on an inexpensive single iteration projected Gauss-Seidel sweep over contacts between merged bodies, which lets us update internal contact forces over time, and use the same metrics as merging to identify when bodies should unmerge. Furthermore we use a contact ordering for graph traversal refinement of the internal contact forces in collections, which helps to correctly identify all the bodies that must unmerge when there are impacts. The general concept of merging is similar to the common technique of sleeping and waking rigid bodies in the inertial frame, and we exploit this too, but our merging is in moving frames, and unmerging takes place at contacts between bodies rather than at the level of bodies themselves. We discuss the previous relative motion metrics in comparison to ours, and evaluate our method on a variety of scenarios.

An implicit compressible SPH solver for snow simulation

Snow is a complex material. It resists elastic normal and shear deformations, while some deformations are plastic. Snow can deform and break. It can be significantly compressed and gets harder under compression. Existing snow solvers produce impressive results. E.g., hybrid Lagrangian/Eulerian techniques have been used to capture all material properties of snow. The auxiliary grid, however, makes it challenging to handle small volumes. In particular, snow fall and accumulation on surfaces have not been demonstrated with these solvers yet. Existing particle-based snow solvers, on the other hand, can naturally handle small snow volumes. However, existing solutions consider simplified material properties. In particular, shear deformation and the hardening effect are typically omitted.

We present a novel Lagrangian snow approach based on Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH). Snow is modeled as an elastoplastic continuous material that captures all above-mentioned effects. The compression of snow is handled by a novel compressible pressure solver, where the typically employed state equation is replaced by an implicit formulation. Acceleration due to shear stress is computed using a second implicit formulation. The linear solvers of the two implicit formulations for accelerations due to shear and normal stress are realized with matrix-free implementations. Using implicit formulations and solving them with matrix-free solvers allows to couple the snow to other phases and is beneficial to the stability and the time step size, i.e., performance of the approach. Solid boundaries are represented with particles and a novel implicit formulation is used to handle friction at solid boundaries. We show that our approach can simulate accumulation, deformation, breaking, compression and hardening of snow. Furthermore, we demonstrate two-way coupling with rigid bodies, interaction with incompressible and highly viscous fluids and phase change from fluid to snow.

AnisoMPM: animating anisotropic damage mechanics

Dynamic fracture surrounds us in our day-to-day lives, but animating this phenomenon is notoriously difficult and only further complicated by anisotropic materials---those with underlying structures that dictate preferred fracture directions. Thus, we present AnisoMPM: a robust and general approach for animating the dynamic fracture of isotropic, transversely isotropic, and orthotropic materials. AnisoMPM has three core components: a technique for anisotropic damage evolution, methods for anisotropic elastic response, and a coupling approach. For anisotropic damage, we adopt a non-local continuum damage mechanics (CDM) geometric approach to crack modeling and augment this with structural tensors to encode material anisotropy. Furthermore, we discretize our damage evolution with explicit and implicit integration, giving a high degree of computational efficiency and flexibility. We also utilize a QR-decomposition based anisotropic constitutive model that is inversion safe, more efficient than SVD models, easy to implement, robust to extreme deformations, and that captures all aforementioned modes of anisotropy. Our elasto-damage coupling is enforced through an additive decomposition of our hyperelasticity into a tensile and compressive component in which damage is used to degrade the tensile contribution to allow for material separation. For extremely stiff fibered materials, we further introduce a novel Galerkin weak form discretization that enables embedded directional inextensibility. We present this as a hard-constrained grid velocity solve that poses an alternative to our anisotropic elasticity that is locking-free and can model very stiff materials.

CARL: controllable agent with reinforcement learning for quadruped locomotion

Motion synthesis in a dynamic environment has been a long-standing problem for character animation. Methods using motion capture data tend to scale poorly in complex environments because of their larger capturing and labeling requirement. Physics-based controllers are effective in this regard, albeit less controllable. In this paper, we present CARL, a quadruped agent that can be controlled with high-level directives and react naturally to dynamic environments. Starting with an agent that can imitate individual animation clips, we use Generative Adversarial Networks to adapt high-level controls, such as speed and heading, to action distributions that correspond to the original animations. Further fine-tuning through the deep reinforcement learning enables the agent to recover from unseen external perturbations while producing smooth transitions. It then becomes straightforward to create autonomous agents in dynamic environments by adding navigation modules over the entire process. We evaluate our approach by measuring the agent's ability to follow user control and provide a visual analysis of the generated motion to show its effectiveness.

Catch & Carry: reusable neural controllers for vision-guided whole-body tasks

We address the longstanding challenge of producing flexible, realistic humanoid character controllers that can perform diverse whole-body tasks involving object interactions. This challenge is central to a variety of fields, from graphics and animation to robotics and motor neuroscience. Our physics-based environment uses realistic actuation and first-person perception - including touch sensors and egocentric vision - with a view to producing active-sensing behaviors (e.g. gaze direction), transferability to real robots, and comparisons to the biology. We develop an integrated neural-network based approach consisting of a motor primitive module, human demonstrations, and an instructed reinforcement learning regime with curricula and task variations. We demonstrate the utility of our approach for several tasks, including goal-conditioned box carrying and ball catching, and we characterize its behavioral robustness. The resulting controllers can be deployed in real-time on a standard PC.1

Character controllers using motion VAEs

A fundamental problem in computer animation is that of realizing purposeful and realistic human movement given a sufficiently-rich set of motion capture clips. We learn data-driven generative models of human movement using autoregressive conditional variational autoencoders, or Motion VAEs. The latent variables of the learned autoencoder define the action space for the movement and thereby govern its evolution over time. Planning or control algorithms can then use this action space to generate desired motions. In particular, we use deep reinforcement learning to learn controllers that achieve goal-directed movements. We demonstrate the effectiveness of the approach on multiple tasks. We further evaluate system-design choices and describe the current limitations of Motion VAEs.

Chemomechanical simulation of soap film flow on spherical bubbles

Soap bubbles are widely appreciated for their fragile nature and their colorful appearance. The natural sciences and, in extension, computer graphics, have comprehensively studied the mechanical behavior of films and foams, as well as the optical properties of thin liquid layers. In this paper, we focus on the dynamics of material flow within the soap film, which results in fascinating, extremely detailed patterns. This flow is characterized by a complex coupling between surfactant concentration and Marangoni surface tension. We propose a novel chemomechanical simulation framework rooted in lubrication theory, which makes use of a custom semi-Lagrangian advection solver to enable the simulation of soap film dynamics on spherical bubbles both in free flow as well as under body forces such as gravity or external air flow. By comparing our simulated outcomes to videos of real-world soap bubbles recorded in a studio environment, we show that our framework, for the first time, closely recreates a wide range of dynamic effects that are also observed in experiment.

Codimensional surface tension flow using moving-least-squares particles

We propose a new Eulerian-Lagrangian approach to simulate the various surface tension phenomena characterized by volume, thin sheets, thin filaments, and points using Moving-Least-Squares (MLS) particles. At the center of our approach is a meshless Lagrangian description of the different types of codimensional geometries and their transitions using an MLS approximation. In particular, we differentiate the codimension-1 and codimension-2 geometries on Lagrangian MLS particles to precisely describe the evolution of thin sheets and filaments, and we discretize the codimension-0 operators on a background Cartesian grid for efficient volumetric processing. Physical forces including surface tension and pressure across different codimensions are coupled in a monolithic manner by solving one single linear system to evolve the surface-tension driven Navier-Stokes system in a complex non-manifold space. The codimensional transitions are handled explicitly by tracking a codimension number stored on each particle, which replaces the tedious meshing operators in a conventional mesh-based approach. Using the proposed framework, we simulate a broad array of visually appealing surface tension phenomena, including the fluid chain, bell, polygon, catenoid, and dripping, to demonstrate the efficacy of our approach in capturing the complex fluid characteristics with mixed codimensions, in a robust, versatile, and connectivity-free manner.

Constraint bubbles and affine regions: reduced fluid models for efficient immersed bubbles and flexible spatial coarsening

We propose to enhance the capability of standard free-surface flow simulators with efficient support for immersed bubbles through two new models: constraint-based bubbles and affine fluid regions. Unlike its predecessors, our constraint-based model entirely dispenses with the need for advection or projection inside zero-density bubbles, with extremely modest additional computational overhead that is proportional to the surface area of all bubbles. This surface-only approach is easy to implement, realistically captures many familiar bubble behaviors, and even allows two or more distinct liquid bodies to correctly interact across completely unsimulated air. We augment this model with a per-bubble volume-tracking and correction framework to minimize the cumulative effects of gradual volume drift. To support bubbles with non-zero densities, we propose a novel reduced model for an irregular fluid region with a single pointwise incompressible affine vector field. This model requires only 11 interior velocity degrees of freedom per affine fluid region in 3D, and correctly reproduces buoyant, stationary, and sinking behaviors of a secondary fluid phase with non-zero density immersed in water. Since the pressure projection step in both the above schemes is a slightly modified Poisson-style system, we propose novel Multigrid-based preconditioners for Conjugate Gradients for fast numerical solutions of our new discretizations. Furthermore, we observe that by enforcing an incompressible affine vector field over a coalesced set of grid cells, our reduced model is effectively an irregular coarse super-cell. This offers a convenient and flexible adaptive coarsening strategy that integrates readily with the standard staggered grid approach for fluid simulation, yet supports coarsened regions that are arbitrary voxelized shapes, and provides an analytically divergence-free interior. We demonstrate its effectiveness with a new adaptive liquid simulator whose interior regions are coarsened into a mix of tiles with regular and irregular shapes.

Directional sources and listeners in interactive sound propagation using reciprocal wave field coding

Common acoustic sources, like voices or musical instruments, exhibit strong frequency and directional dependence. When transported through complex environments, their anisotropic radiated field undergoes scattering, diffraction, and occlusion before reaching a directionally-sensitive listener. We present the first wave-based interactive auralization system that encodes and renders a complete reciprocal description of acoustic wave fields in general scenes. Our method renders directional effects at freely moving and rotating sources and listeners and supports any tabulated source directivity function and head-related transfer function. We represent a static scene's global acoustic transfer as an 11-dimensional bidirectional impulse response (BIR) field, which we extract from a set of wave simulations. We parametrically encode the BIR as a pair of radiating and arriving directions for the perceptually-salient initial (direct) response, and a compact 6 × 6 reflections transfer matrix capturing indirect energy transfer with scene-dependent anisotropy. We render our encoded data with an efficient and scalable algorithm - integrated in the Unreal Engine - whose CPU performance is agnostic to scene complexity and angular source/listener resolutions. We demonstrate convincing effects that depend on detailed scene geometry, for a variety of environments and source types.

Example-driven virtual cinematography by learning camera behaviors

Designing a camera motion controller that has the capacity to move a virtual camera automatically in relation with contents of a 3D animation, in a cinematographic and principled way, is a complex and challenging task. Many cinematographic rules exist, yet practice shows there are significant stylistic variations in how these can be applied.

In this paper, we propose an example-driven camera controller which can extract camera behaviors from an example film clip and re-apply the extracted behaviors to a 3D animation, through learning from a collection of camera motions. Our first technical contribution is the design of a low-dimensional cinematic feature space that captures the essence of a film's cinematic characteristics (camera angle and distance, screen composition and character configurations) and which is coupled with a neural network to automatically extract these cinematic characteristics from real film clips. Our second technical contribution is the design of a cascaded deep-learning architecture trained to (i) recognize a variety of camera motion behaviors from the extracted cinematic features, and (ii) predict the future motion of a virtual camera given a character 3D animation. We propose to rely on a Mixture of Experts (MoE) gating+prediction mechanism to ensure that distinct camera behaviors can be learned while ensuring generalization.

We demonstrate the features of our approach through experiments that highlight (i) the quality of our cinematic feature extractor (ii) the capacity to learn a range of behaviors through the gating mechanism, and (iii) the ability to generate a variety of camera motions by applying different behaviors extracted from film clips. Such an example-driven approach offers a high level of controllability which opens new possibilities toward a deeper understanding of cinematographic style and enhanced possibilities in exploiting real film data in virtual environments.

Fast and flexible multilegged locomotion using learned centroidal dynamics

We present a flexible and efficient approach for generating multilegged locomotion. Our model-predictive control (MPC) system efficiently generates terrain-adaptive motions, as computed using a three-level planning approach. This leverages two commonly-used simplified dynamics models, an inverted pendulum on a cart model (IPC) and a centroidal dynamics model (CDM). Taken together, these ensure efficient computation and physical fidelity of the resulting motion. The final full-body motion is generated using a novel momentum-mapped inverse kinematics solver and is responsive to external pushes by using CDM forward dynamics. For additional efficiency and robustness, we then learn a predictive model that then replaces two of the intermediate steps. We demonstrate the rich capabilities of the method by applying it to monopeds, bipeds, and quadrupeds, and showing that it can generate a very broad range of motions at interactive rates, including banked variable-terrain walking and running, hurdles, jumps, leaps, stepping stones, monkey bars, implicit quadruped gait transitions, moon gravity, push-responses, and more.

Fast and scalable turbulent flow simulation with two-way coupling

Despite their cinematic appeal, turbulent flows involving fluid-solid coupling remain a computational challenge in animation. At the root of this current limitation is the numerical dispersion from which most accurate Navier-Stokes solvers suffer: proper coupling between fluid and solid often generates artificial dispersion in the form of local, parasitic trains of velocity oscillations, eventually leading to numerical instability. While successive improvements over the years have led to conservative and detail-preserving fluid integrators, the dispersive nature of these solvers is rarely discussed despite its dramatic impact on fluid-structure interaction. In this paper, we introduce a novel low-dissipation and low-dispersion fluid solver that can simulate two-way coupling in an efficient and scalable manner, even for turbulent flows. In sharp contrast with most current CG approaches, we construct our solver from a kinetic formulation of the flow derived from statistical mechanics. Unlike existing lattice Boltzmann solvers, our approach leverages high-order moment relaxations as a key to controlling both dissipation and dispersion of the resulting scheme. Moreover, we combine our new fluid solver with the immersed boundary method to easily handle fluid-solid coupling through time adaptive simulations. Our kinetic solver is highly parallelizable by nature, making it ideally suited for implementation on single- or multi-GPU computing platforms. Extensive comparisons with existing solvers on synthetic tests and real-life experiments are used to highlight the multiple advantages of our work over traditional and more recent approaches, in terms of accuracy, scalability, and efficiency.

Homogenized yarn-level cloth

We present a method for animating yarn-level cloth effects using a thin-shell solver. We accomplish this through numerical homogenization: we first use a large number of yarn-level simulations to build a model of the potential energy density of the cloth, and then use this energy density function to compute forces in a thin shell simulator. We model several yarn-based materials, including both woven and knitted fabrics. Our model faithfully reproduces expected effects like the stiffness of woven fabrics, and the highly deformable nature and anisotropy of knitted fabrics. Our approach does not require any real-world experiments nor measurements; because the method is based entirely on simulations, it can generate entirely new material models quickly, without the need for testing apparatuses or human intervention. We provide data-driven models of several woven and knitted fabrics, which can be used for efficient simulation with an off-the-shelf cloth solver.

Incremental potential contact: intersection-and inversion-free, large-deformation dynamics

Contacts weave through every aspect of our physical world, from daily household chores to acts of nature. Modeling and predictive computation of these phenomena for solid mechanics is important to every discipline concerned with the motion of mechanical systems, including engineering and animation. Nevertheless, efficiently time-stepping accurate and consistent simulations of real-world contacting elastica remains an outstanding computational challenge. To model the complex interaction of deforming solids in contact we propose Incremental Potential Contact (IPC) - a new model and algorithm for variationally solving implicitly time-stepped nonlinear elastodynamics. IPC maintains an intersection- and inversion-free trajectory regardless of material parameters, time step sizes, impact velocities, severity of deformation, or boundary conditions enforced.

Constructed with a custom nonlinear solver, IPC enables efficient resolution of time-stepping problems with separate, user-exposed accuracy tolerances that allow independent specification of the physical accuracy of the dynamics and the geometric accuracy of surface-to-surface conformation. This enables users to decouple, as needed per application, desired accuracies for a simulation's dynamics and geometry.

The resulting time stepper solves contact problems that are intersection-free (and thus robust), inversion-free, efficient (at speeds comparable to or faster than available methods that lack both convergence and feasibility), and accurate (solved to user-specified accuracies). To our knowledge this is the first implicit time-stepping method, across both the engineering and graphics literature that can consistently enforce these guarantees as we vary simulation parameters.

In an extensive comparison of available simulation methods, research libraries and commercial codes we confirm that available engineering and computer graphics methods, while each succeeding admirably in custom-tuned regimes, often fail with instabilities, egregious constraint violations and/or inaccurate and implausible solutions, as we vary input materials, contact numbers and time step. We also exercise IPC across a wide range of existing and new benchmark tests and demonstrate its accurate solution over a broad sweep of reasonable time-step sizes and beyond (up to h = 2s) across challenging large-deformation, large-contact stress-test scenarios with meshes composed of up to 2.3M tetrahedra and processing up to 498K contacts per time step. For applications requiring high-accuracy we demonstrate tight convergence on all measures. While, for applications requiring lower accuracies, e.g. animation, we confirm IPC can ensure feasibility and plausibility even when specified tolerances are lowered for efficiency.

Informative scene decomposition for crowd analysis, comparison and simulation guidance

Crowd simulation is a central topic in several fields including graphics. To achieve high-fidelity simulations, data has been increasingly relied upon for analysis and simulation guidance. However, the information in real-world data is often noisy, mixed and unstructured, making it difficult for effective analysis, therefore has not been fully utilized. With the fast-growing volume of crowd data, such a bottleneck needs to be addressed. In this paper, we propose a new framework which comprehensively tackles this problem. It centers at an unsupervised method for analysis. The method takes as input raw and noisy data with highly mixed multi-dimensional (space, time and dynamics) information, and automatically structure it by learning the correlations among these dimensions. The dimensions together with their correlations fully describe the scene semantics which consists of recurring activity patterns in a scene, manifested as space flows with temporal and dynamics profiles. The effectiveness and robustness of the analysis have been tested on datasets with great variations in volume, duration, environment and crowd dynamics. Based on the analysis, new methods for data visualization, simulation evaluation and simulation guidance are also proposed. Together, our framework establishes a highly automated pipeline from raw data to crowd analysis, comparison and simulation guidance. Extensive experiments and evaluations have been conducted to show the flexibility, versatility and intuitiveness of our framework.

IQ-MPM: an interface quadrature material point method for non-sticky strongly two-way coupled nonlinear solids and fluids

We propose a novel scheme for simulating two-way coupled interactions between nonlinear elastic solids and incompressible fluids. The key ingredient of this approach is a ghost matrix operator-splitting scheme for strongly coupled nonlinear elastica and incompressible fluids through the weak form of their governing equations. This leads to a stable and efficient method handling large time steps under the CFL limit while using a single monolithic solve for the coupled pressure fields, even in the case with highly nonlinear elastic solids. The use of the Material Point Method (MPM) is essential in the designing of the scheme, it not only preserves discretization consistency with the hybrid Lagrangian-Eulerian fluid solver, but also works naturally with our novel interface quadrature (IQ) discretization for free-slip boundary conditions. While traditional MPM suffers from sticky numerical artifacts, our framework naturally supports discontinuous tangential velocities at the solid-fluid interface. Our IQ discretization results in an easy-to-implement, fully particle-based treatment of the interfacial boundary, avoiding the additional complexities associated with intermediate level set or explicit mesh representations. The efficacy of the proposed scheme is verified by various challenging simulations with fluid-elastica interactions.

Lagrangian neural style transfer for fluids

Artistically controlling the shape, motion and appearance of fluid simulations pose major challenges in visual effects production. In this paper, we present a neural style transfer approach from images to 3D fluids formulated in a Lagrangian viewpoint. Using particles for style transfer has unique benefits compared to grid-based techniques. Attributes are stored on the particles and hence are trivially transported by the particle motion. This intrinsically ensures temporal consistency of the optimized stylized structure and notably improves the resulting quality. Simultaneously, the expensive, recursive alignment of stylization velocity fields of grid approaches is unnecessary, reducing the computation time to less than an hour and rendering neural flow stylization practical in production settings. Moreover, the Lagrangian representation improves artistic control as it allows for multi-fluid stylization and consistent color transfer from images, and the generality of the method enables stylization of smoke and liquids likewise.

Learned motion matching

In this paper we present a learned alternative to the Motion Matching algorithm which retains the positive properties of Motion Matching but additionally achieves the scalability of neural-network-based generative models. Although neural-network-based generative models for character animation are capable of learning expressive, compact controllers from vast amounts of animation data, methods such as Motion Matching still remain a popular choice in the games industry due to their flexibility, predictability, low preprocessing time, and visual quality - all properties which can sometimes be difficult to achieve with neural-network-based methods. Yet, unlike neural networks, the memory usage of such methods generally scales linearly with the amount of data used, resulting in a constant trade-off between the diversity of animation which can be produced and real world production budgets. In this work we combine the benefits of both approaches and, by breaking down the Motion Matching algorithm into its individual steps, show how learned, scalable alternatives can be used to replace each operation in turn. Our final model has no need to store animation data or additional matching meta-data in memory, meaning it scales as well as existing generative models. At the same time, we preserve the behavior of Motion Matching, retaining the quality, control, and quick iteration time which are so important in the industry.

Local motion phases for learning multi-contact character movements

Training a bipedal character to play basketball and interact with objects, or a quadruped character to move in various locomotion modes, are difficult tasks due to the fast and complex contacts happening during the motion. In this paper, we propose a novel framework to learn fast and dynamic character interactions that involve multiple contacts between the body and an object, another character and the environment, from a rich, unstructured motion capture database. We use one-on-one basketball play and character interactions with the environment as examples. To achieve this task, we propose a novel feature called local motion phase, that can help neural networks to learn asynchronous movements of each bone and its interaction with external objects such as a ball or an environment. We also propose a novel generative scheme to reproduce a wide variation of movements from abstract control signals given by a gamepad, which can be useful for changing the style of the motion under the same context. Our scheme is useful for animating contact-rich, complex interactions for real-time applications such as computer games.

N-dimensional rigid body dynamics

I present a formulation for Rigid Body Dynamics that is independent of the dimension of the space. I describe the state and equations of motion of rigid bodies using geometric algebra. Using collision detection algorithms extended to nD I resolve collisions and contact between bodies. My implementation is 4D, but the techniques described here apply to any number of dimensions. I display these four-dimensional rigid bodies by taking a three-dimensional slice through them. I allow the user to manipulate these bodies in real-time.

Phong deformation: a better C0 interpolant for embedded deformation

Physics-based simulations of deforming tetrahedral meshes are widely used to animate detailed embedded geometry. Unfortunately most practitioners still use linear interpolation (or other low-order schemes) on tetrahedra, which can produce undesirable visual artifacts, e.g., faceting and shading artifacts, that necessitate increasing the simulation's spatial resolution and, unfortunately, cost.

In this paper, we propose Phong Deformation, a simple, robust and practical vertex-based quadratic interpolation scheme that, while still only C0 continuous like linear interpolation, greatly reduces visual artifacts for embedded geometry. The method first averages element-based linear deformation models to vertices, then barycentrically interpolates the vertex models while also averaging with the traditional linear interpolation model. The method is a fast, robust, and easily implemented replacement for linear interpolation that produces visually better results for embedded deformation with irregular tetrahedral meshes.

Projective dynamics with dry frictional contact

Projective dynamics was introduced a few years ago as a fast method to yield an approximate yet stable solution to the dynamics of nodal systems subject to stiff internal forces. Previous attempts to include contact forces in that framework considered adding a quadratic penalty energy to the global system, which however broke the simple - constant matrix - structure of the global linear equation, while failing to treat contact in an implicit manner. In this paper we propose a simple yet effective method to integrate in a unified and semi-implicit way contact as well as dry frictional forces into the nested architecture of Projective dynamics. Assuming that contacts apply to nodes only, the key is to split the global matrix into a diagonal and a positive matrix, and use this splitting in the local step so as to make a good prediction of frictional contact forces at next iteration. Each frictional contact force is refined independently in the local step, while the original efficient structure of the global step is left unchanged. We apply our algorithm to cloth simulation and show that contact and dry friction can be captured at a reasonable precision within a few iterations only, hence one order of magnitude faster compared to global implicit contact solvers of the literature.

RigNet: neural rigging for articulated characters

We present RigNet, an end-to-end automated method for producing animation rigs from input character models. Given an input 3D model representing an articulated character, RigNet predicts a skeleton that matches the animator expectations in joint placement and topology. It also estimates surface skin weights based on the predicted skeleton. Our method is based on a deep architecture that directly operates on the mesh representation without making assumptions on shape class and structure. The architecture is trained on a large and diverse collection of rigged models, including their mesh, skeletons and corresponding skin weights. Our evaluation is three-fold: we show better results than prior art when quantitatively compared to animator rigs; qualitatively we show that our rigs can be expressively posed and animated at multiple levels of detail; and finally, we evaluate the impact of various algorithm choices on our output rigs.1

Robust eulerian-on-lagrangian rods

This paper introduces a method to simulate complex rod assemblies and stacked layers with implicit contact handling, through Eulerian-on-Lagrangian (EoL) discretizations. Previous EoL methods fail to handle such complex situations, due to ubiquitous and intrinsic degeneracies in the contact geometry, which prevent the use of remeshing and make simulations unstable. We propose a novel mixed Eulerian-Lagrangian discretization that supports accurate and efficient contact as in EoL methods, but is transparent to internal rod forces, and hence insensitive to degeneracies. By combining the standard and novel EoL discretizations as appropriate, we derive mixed statics-dynamics equations of motion that can be solved in a unified manner with standard solvers. Our solution is simple and elegant in practice, and produces robust simulations on large-scale scenarios with complex rod arrangements and pervasive degeneracies. We demonstrate our method on multi-layer yarn-level cloth simulations, with implicit handling of both intra-and inter-layer contacts.

Robust motion in-betweening

In this work we present a novel, robust transition generation technique that can serve as a new tool for 3D animators, based on adversarial recurrent neural networks. The system synthesises high-quality motions that use temporally-sparse keyframes as animation constraints. This is reminiscent of the job of in-betweening in traditional animation pipelines, in which an animator draws motion frames between provided keyframes. We first show that a state-of-the-art motion prediction model cannot be easily converted into a robust transition generator when only adding conditioning information about future keyframes. To solve this problem, we then propose two novel additive embedding modifiers that are applied at each timestep to latent representations encoded inside the network's architecture. One modifier is a time-to-arrival embedding that allows variations of the transition length with a single model. The other is a scheduled target noise vector that allows the system to be robust to target distortions and to sample different transitions given fixed keyframes. To qualitatively evaluate our method, we present a custom MotionBuilder plugin that uses our trained model to perform in-betweening in production scenarios. To quantitatively evaluate performance on transitions and generalizations to longer time horizons, we present well-defined in-betweening benchmarks on a subset of the widely used Human3.6M dataset and on LaFAN1, a novel high quality motion capture dataset that is more appropriate for transition generation. We are releasing this new dataset along with this work, with accompanying code for reproducing our baseline results.

Simple and scalable frictional contacts for thin nodal objects

Frictional contacts are the primary way by which physical bodies interact, yet they pose many numerical challenges. Previous works have devised robust methods for handling collisions in elastic bodies, cloth, or fiber assemblies such as hair, but the performance of many of those algorithms degrades when applied to objects with different topologies or constitutive models, or simply cannot scale to high-enough numbers of contacting points.

In this work we propose a unified approach, able to handle a large class of dynamical objects, that can solve for millions of contacts with unbiased Coulomb friction while keeping computation time and memory usage reasonable. Our method allows seamless coupling between the various simulated components that comprise virtual characters and their environment. Furthermore, our proposed approach is simple to implement and can be easily integrated in popular time integrators such as Projected Newton or ADMM.

Skeleton-aware networks for deep motion retargeting

We introduce a novel deep learning framework for data-driven motion retargeting between skeletons, which may have different structure, yet corresponding to homeomorphic graphs. Importantly, our approach learns how to retarget without requiring any explicit pairing between the motions in the training set.

We leverage the fact that different homeomorphic skeletons may be reduced to a common primal skeleton by a sequence of edge merging operations, which we refer to as skeletal pooling. Thus, our main technical contribution is the introduction of novel differentiable convolution, pooling, and unpooling operators. These operators are skeleton-aware, meaning that they explicitly account for the skeleton's hierarchical structure and joint adjacency, and together they serve to transform the original motion into a collection of deep temporal features associated with the joints of the primal skeleton. In other words, our operators form the building blocks of a new deep motion processing framework that embeds the motion into a common latent space, shared by a collection of homeomorphic skeletons. Thus, retargeting can be achieved simply by encoding to, and decoding from this latent space.

Our experiments show the effectiveness of our framework for motion retargeting, as well as motion processing in general, compared to existing approaches. Our approach is also quantitatively evaluated on a synthetic dataset that contains pairs of motions applied to different skeletons. To the best of our knowledge, our method is the first to perform retargeting between skeletons with differently sampled kinematic chains, without any paired examples.

The leopard never changes its spots: realistic pigmentation pattern formation by coupling tissue growth with reaction-diffusion

Previous research in pattern formation using reaction-diffusion mostly focused on static domains, either for computational simplicity or mathematical tractability. In this work, we have explored the expressiveness of combining simple mechanisms as a possible explanation for pigmentation pattern formation, where tissue growth plays a crucial role. Our motivation is not only to realistically reproduce natural patterns but also to get insights into the underlying biological processes. Therefore, we present a novel approach to generate realistic animal skin patterns. First, we describe the approximation of tissue growth by a series of discrete matrix expansion operations. Then, we combine it with an adaptation of Turing's non-linear reaction-diffusion model, which enforces upper and lower bounds to the concentrations of the involved chemical reagents. We also propose the addition of a single-reagent continuous autocatalytic reaction, called reinforcement, to provide a mechanism to maintain an already established pattern during growth. By careful adjustment of the parameters and the sequencing of operations, we closely match the appearance of a few real species. In particular, we reproduce in detail the distinctive features of the leopard skin, also providing a hypothesis for the simultaneous productions of the most common melanin types, eumelanin and pheomelanin.

Unpaired motion style transfer from video to animation

Transferring the motion style from one animation clip to another, while preserving the motion content of the latter, has been a long-standing problem in character animation. Most existing data-driven approaches are supervised and rely on paired data, where motions with the same content are performed in different styles. In addition, these approaches are limited to transfer of styles that were seen during training.

In this paper, we present a novel data-driven framework for motion style transfer, which learns from an unpaired collection of motions with style labels, and enables transferring motion styles not observed during training. Furthermore, our framework is able to extract motion styles directly from videos, bypassing 3D reconstruction, and apply them to the 3D input motion.

Our style transfer network encodes motions into two latent codes, for content and for style, each of which plays a different role in the decoding (synthesis) process. While the content code is decoded into the output motion by several temporal convolutional layers, the style code modifies deep features via temporally invariant adaptive instance normalization (AdaIN).

Moreover, while the content code is encoded from 3D joint rotations, we learn a common embedding for style from either 3D or 2D joint positions, enabling style extraction from videos.

Our results are comparable to the state-of-the-art, despite not requiring paired training data, and outperform other methods when transferring previously unseen styles. To our knowledge, we are the first to demonstrate style transfer directly from videos to 3D animations - an ability which enables one to extend the set of style examples far beyond motions captured by MoCap systems.

Wave curves: simulating lagrangian water waves on dynamically deforming surfaces

We propose a method to enhance the visual detail of a water surface simulation. Our method works as a post-processing step which takes a simulation as input and increases its apparent resolution by simulating many detailed Lagrangian water waves on top of it. We extend linear water wave theory to work in non-planar domains which deform over time, and we discretize the theory using Lagrangian wave packets attached to spline curves. The method is numerically stable and trivially parallelizable, and it produces high frequency ripples with dispersive wave-like behaviors customized to the underlying fluid simulation.

SESSION: Hardware

High resolution étendue expansion for holographic displays

Holographic displays can create high quality 3D images while maintaining a small form factor suitable for head-mounted virtual and augmented reality systems. However, holographic displays have limited étendue based on the number of pixels in their spatial light modulators, creating a tradeoff between the eyebox size and the field-of-view. Scattering-based étendue expansion, in which coherent light is focused into an image after being scattered by a static mask, is a promising avenue to break this tradeoff. However, to date, this approach has been limited to very sparse content consisting of, for example, only tens of spots.

In this work, we introduce new algorithms to scattering-based étendue expansion that support dense, photorealistic imagery at the native resolution of the spatial light modulator, offering up to a 20 dB improvement in peak signal to noise ratio over baseline methods. We propose spatial and frequency constraints to optimize performance for human perception, and performance is characterized both through simulation and a preliminary benchtop prototype. We further demonstrate the ability to generate content at multiple depths, and we provide a path for the miniaturization of our benchtop prototype into a sunglasses-like form factor.

Holographie optics for thin and lightweight virtual reality

We present a class of display designs combining holographic optics, directional backlighting, laser illumination, and polarization-based optical folding to achieve thin, lightweight, and high performance near-eye displays for virtual reality. Several design alternatives are proposed, compared, and experimentally validated as prototypes. Using only thin, flat films as optical components, we demonstrate VR displays with thicknesses of less than 9 mm, fields of view of over 90° horizontally, and form factors approaching sunglasses. In a benchtop form factor, we also demonstrate a full color display using wavelength-multiplexed holographic lenses that uses laser illumination to provide a large gamut and highly saturated color. We show experimentally that our designs support resolutions expected of modern VR headsets and can scale to human visual acuity limits. Current limitations are identified, and we discuss challenges to obtain full practicality.

Towards occlusion-aware multifocal displays

The human visual system uses numerous cues for depth perception, including disparity, accommodation, motion parallax and occlusion. It is incumbent upon virtual-reality displays to satisfy these cues to provide an immersive user experience. Multifocal displays, one of the classic approaches to satisfy the accommodation cue, place virtual content at multiple focal planes, each at a different depth. However, the content on focal planes close to the eye do not occlude those farther away; this deteriorates the occlusion cue as well as reduces contrast at depth discontinuities due to leakage of the defocus blur. This paper enables occlusion-aware multifocal displays using a novel ConeTilt operator that provides an additional degree of freedom --- tilting the light cone emitted at each pixel of the display panel. We show that, for scenes with relatively simple occlusion configurations, tilting the light cones provides the same effect as physical occlusion. We demonstrate that ConeTilt can be easily implemented by a phase-only spatial light modulator. Using a lab prototype, we show results that demonstrate the presence of occlusion cues and the increased contrast of the display at depth edges.

SESSION: Imaging / video

Attribute2Font: creating fonts you want from attributes

Font design is now still considered as an exclusive privilege of professional designers, whose creativity is not possessed by existing software systems. Nevertheless, we also notice that most commercial font products are in fact manually designed by following specific requirements on some attributes of glyphs, such as italic, serif, cursive, width, angularity, etc. Inspired by this fact, we propose a novel model, Attribute2Font, to automatically create fonts by synthesizing visually pleasing glyph images according to user-specified attributes and their corresponding values. To the best of our knowledge, our model is the first one in the literature which is capable of generating glyph images in new font styles, instead of retrieving existing fonts, according to given values of specified font attributes. Specifically, Attribute2Font is trained to perform font style transfer between any two fonts conditioned on their attribute values. After training, our model can generate glyph images in accordance with an arbitrary set of font attribute values. Furthermore, a novel unit named Attribute Attention Module is designed to make those generated glyph images better embody the prominent font attributes. Considering that the annotations of font attribute values are extremely expensive to obtain, a semi-supervised learning scheme is also introduced to exploit a large number of unlabeled fonts. Experimental results demonstrate that our model achieves impressive performance on many tasks, such as creating glyph images in new font styles, editing existing fonts, interpolation among different fonts, etc.

Computational image marking on metals via laser induced heating

Laser irradiation induces colors on some industrially important materials, such as stainless steel and titanium. It is however challenging to find marking configurations that create colorful, high-resolution images. The brute-force solution to the gamut exploration problem does not scale with the high-dimensional design space of laser marking. Moreover, there exists no color reproduction workflow capable of reproducing color images with laser marking. Here, we propose a measurement-based, data-driven performance space exploration of the color laser marking process. We formulate this exploration as a search for the Pareto optimal solutions to a multi-objective optimization and solve it using an evolutionary algorithm. The explored set of diverse colors is then utilized to mark high-quality, full-color images.

Consistent video depth estimation

We present an algorithm for reconstructing dense, geometrically consistent depth for all pixels in a monocular video. We leverage a conventional structure-from-motion reconstruction to establish geometric constraints on pixels in the video. Unlike the ad-hoc priors in classical reconstruction, we use a learning-based prior, i.e., a convolutional neural network trained for single-image depth estimation. At test time, we fine-tune this network to satisfy the geometric constraints of a particular input video, while retaining its ability to synthesize plausible depth details in parts of the video that are less constrained. We show through quantitative validation that our method achieves higher accuracy and a higher degree of geometric consistency than previous monocular reconstruction methods. Visually, our results appear more stable. Our algorithm is able to handle challenging hand-held captured input videos with a moderate degree of dynamic motion. The improved quality of the reconstruction enables several applications, such as scene reconstruction and advanced video-based visual effects.

DeepFaceDrawing: deep generation of face images from sketches

Recent deep image-to-image translation techniques allow fast generation of face images from freehand sketches. However, existing solutions tend to overfit to sketches, thus requiring professional sketches or even edge maps as input. To address this issue, our key idea is to implicitly model the shape space of plausible face images and synthesize a face image in this space to approximate an input sketch. We take a local-to-global approach. We first learn feature embeddings of key face components, and push corresponding parts of input sketches towards underlying component manifolds defined by the feature vectors of face component samples. We also propose another deep neural network to learn the mapping from the embedded component features to realistic images with multi-channel feature maps as intermediate results to improve the information flow. Our method essentially uses input sketches as soft constraints and is thus able to produce high-quality face images even from rough and/or incomplete sketches. Our tool is easy to use even for non-artists, while still supporting fine-grained control of shape details. Both qualitative and quantitative evaluations show the superior generation ability of our system to existing and alternative solutions. The usability and expressiveness of our system are confirmed by a user study.

Interactive video stylization using few-shot patch-based training

In this paper, we present a learning-based method to the keyframe-based video stylization that allows an artist to propagate the style from a few selected keyframes to the rest of the sequence. Its key advantage is that the resulting stylization is semantically meaningful, i.e., specific parts of moving objects are stylized according to the artist's intention. In contrast to previous style transfer techniques, our approach does not require any lengthy pre-training process nor a large training dataset. We demonstrate how to train an appearance translation network from scratch using only a few stylized exemplars while implicitly preserving temporal consistency. This leads to a video stylization framework that supports real-time inference, parallel processing, and random access to an arbitrary output frame. It can also merge the content from multiple keyframes without the need to perform an explicit blending operation. We demonstrate its practical utility in various interactive scenarios, where the user paints over a selected keyframe and sees her style transferred to an existing recorded sequence or a live video stream.

Interferometric transmission probing with coded mutual intensity

We introduce a new interferometric imaging methodology that we term interferometry with coded mutual intensity, which allows selectively imaging photon paths based on attributes such as their length and endpoints. At the core of our methodology is a new technical result that shows that manipulating the spatial coherence properties of the light source used in an interferometric system is equivalent, through a Fourier transform, to implementing light path probing patterns. These patterns can be applied to either the coherent transmission matrix, or the incoherent light transport matrix describing the propagation of light in a scene. We test our theory by building a prototype inspired by the Michelson interferometer, extended to allow for programmable phase and amplitude modulation of the illumination injected in the interferometer. We use our prototype to perform experiments such as visualizing complex fields, capturing direct and global transport components, acquiring light transport matrices, and performing anisotropic descattering, both in steady-state imaging and, by combining our technique with optical coherence tomography, in transient imaging.

Learning temporal coherence via self-supervision for GAN-based video generation

Our work explores temporal self-supervision for GAN-based video generation tasks. While adversarial training successfully yields generative models for a variety of areas, temporal relationships in the generated data are much less explored. Natural temporal changes are crucial for sequential generation tasks, e.g. video super-resolution and unpaired video translation. For the former, state-of-the-art methods often favor simpler norm losses such as L2 over adversarial training. However, their averaging nature easily leads to temporally smooth results with an undesirable lack of spatial detail. For unpaired video translation, existing approaches modify the generator networks to form spatio-temporal cycle consistencies. In contrast, we focus on improving learning objectives and propose a temporally self-supervised algorithm. For both tasks, we show that temporal adversarial learning is key to achieving temporally coherent solutions without sacrificing spatial detail. We also propose a novel Ping-Pong loss to improve the long-term temporal consistency. It effectively prevents recurrent networks from accumulating artifacts temporally without depressing detailed features. Additionally, we propose a first set of metrics to quantitatively evaluate the accuracy as well as the perceptual quality of the temporal evolution. A series of user studies confirm the rankings computed with these metrics. Code, data, models, and results are provided at

One shot 3D photography

3D photography is a new medium that allows viewers to more fully experience a captured moment. In this work, we refer to a 3D photo as one that displays parallax induced by moving the viewpoint (as opposed to a stereo pair with a fixed viewpoint). 3D photos are static in time, like traditional photos, but are displayed with interactive parallax on mobile or desktop screens, as well as on Virtual Reality devices, where viewing it also includes stereo. We present an end-to-end system for creating and viewing 3D photos, and the algorithmic and design choices therein. Our 3D photos are captured in a single shot and processed directly on a mobile device. The method starts by estimating depth from the 2D input image using a new monocular depth estimation network that is optimized for mobile devices. It performs competitively to the state-of-the-art, but has lower latency and peak memory consumption and uses an order of magnitude fewer parameters. The resulting depth is lifted to a layered depth image, and new geometry is synthesized in parallax regions. We synthesize color texture and structures in the parallax regions as well, using an inpainting network, also optimized for mobile devices, on the LDI directly. Finally, we convert the result into a mesh-based representation that can be efficiently transmitted and rendered even on low-end devices and over poor network connections. Altogether, the processing takes just a few seconds on a mobile device, and the result can be instantly viewed and shared. We perform extensive quantitative evaluation to validate our system and compare its new components against the current state-of-the-art.

PolyFit: perception-aligned vectorization of raster clip-art via intermediate polygonal fitting

Raster clip-art images, which consist of distinctly colored regions separated by sharp boundaries typically allow for a clear mental vector interpretation. Converting these images into vector format can facilitate compact lossless storage and enable numerous processing operations. Despite recent progress, existing vectorization methods that target such data frequently produce vectorizations that fail to meet viewer expectations. We present PolyFit, a new clip-art vectorization method that produces vectorizations well aligned with human preferences. Since segmentation of such inputs into regions had been addressed successfully, we specifically focus on fitting piecewise smooth vector curves to the raster input region boundaries, a task prior methods are particularly prone to fail on. While perceptual studies suggest the criteria humans are likely to use during mental boundary vectorization, they provide no guidance as to the exact interaction between them; learning these interactions directly is problematic due to the large size of the solution space. To obtain the desired solution, we first approximate the raster region boundaries with coarse intermediate polygons leveraging a combination of perceptual cues with observations from studies of human preferences. We then use these intermediate polygons as auxiliary inputs for computing piecewise smooth vectorizations of raster inputs. We define a finite set of potential polygon to curve primitive maps, and learn the mapping from the polygons to their best fitting primitive configurations from human annotations, arriving at a compact set of local raster and polygon properties whose combinations reliably predict human-expected primitive choices. We use these primitives to obtain a final globally consistent spline vectorization. Extensive comparative user studies show that our method outperforms state-of-the-art approaches on a wide range of data, where our results are preferred three times as often as those of the closest competitor across multiple types of inputs with various resolutions.

Portrait shadow manipulation

Casually-taken portrait photographs often suffer from unflattering lighting and shadowing because of suboptimal conditions in the environment. Aesthetic qualities such as the position and softness of shadows and the lighting ratio between the bright and dark parts of the face are frequently determined by the constraints of the environment rather than by the photographer. Professionals address this issue by adding light shaping tools such as scrims, bounce cards, and flashes. In this paper, we present a computational approach that gives casual photographers some of this control, thereby allowing poorly-lit portraits to be relit post-capture in a realistic and easily-controllable way. Our approach relies on a pair of neural networks---one to remove foreign shadows cast by external objects, and another to soften facial shadows cast by the features of the subject and to add a synthetic fill light to improve the lighting ratio. To train our first network we construct a dataset of real-world portraits wherein synthetic foreign shadows are rendered onto the face, and we show that our network learns to remove those unwanted shadows. To train our second network we use a dataset of Light Stage scans of human subjects to construct input/output pairs of input images harshly lit by a small light source, and variably softened and fill-lit output images of each face. We propose a way to explicitly encode facial symmetry and show that our dataset and training procedure enable the model to generalize to images taken in the wild. Together, these networks enable the realistic and aesthetically pleasing enhancement of shadows and lights in real-world portrait images.1

Quanta burst photography

Single-photon avalanche diodes (SPADs) are an emerging sensor technology capable of detecting individual incident photons, and capturing their time-of-arrival with high timing precision. While these sensors were limited to singlepixel or low-resolution devices in the past, recently, large (up to 1 MPixel) SPAD arrays have been developed. These single-photon cameras (SPCs) are capable of capturing high-speed sequences of binary single-photon images with no read noise. We present quanta burst photography, a computational photography technique that leverages SPCs as passive imaging devices for photography in challenging conditions, including ultra low-light and fast motion. Inspired by recent success of conventional burst photography, we design algorithms that align and merge binary sequences captured by SPCs into intensity images with minimal motion blur and artifacts, high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), and high dynamic range. We theoretically analyze the SNR and dynamic range of quanta burst photography, and identify the imaging regimes where it provides significant benefits. We demonstrate, via a recently developed SPAD array, that the proposed method is able to generate high-quality images for scenes with challenging lighting, complex geometries, high dynamic range and moving objects. With the ongoing development of SPAD arrays, we envision quanta burst photography finding applications in both consumer and scientific photography.

Single image HDR reconstruction using a CNN with masked features and perceptual loss

Digital cameras can only capture a limited range of real-world scenes' luminance, producing images with saturated pixels. Existing single image high dynamic range (HDR) reconstruction methods attempt to expand the range of luminance, but are not able to hallucinate plausible textures, producing results with artifacts in the saturated areas. In this paper, we present a novel learning-based approach to reconstruct an HDR image by recovering the saturated pixels of an input LDR image in a visually pleasing way. Previous deep learning-based methods apply the same convolutional filters on wellexposed and saturated pixels, creating ambiguity during training and leading to checkerboard and halo artifacts. To overcome this problem, we propose a feature masking mechanism that reduces the contribution of the features from the saturated areas. Moreover, we adapt the VGG-based perceptual loss function to our application to be able to synthesize visually pleasing textures. Since the number of HDR images for training is limited, we propose to train our system in two stages. Specifically, we first train our system on a large number of images for image inpainting task and then fine-tune it on HDR reconstruction. Since most of the HDR examples contain smooth regions that are simple to reconstruct, we propose a sampling strategy to select challenging training patches during the HDR fine-tuning stage. We demonstrate through experimental results that our approach can reconstruct visually pleasing HDR results, better than the current state of the art on a wide range of scenes.

Single-shot high-quality facial geometry and skin appearance capture

We propose a new light-weight face capture system capable of reconstructing both high-quality geometry and detailed appearance maps from a single exposure. Unlike currently employed appearance acquisition systems, the proposed technology does not require active illumination and hence can readily be integrated with passive photogrammetry solutions. These solutions are in widespread use for 3D scanning humans as they can be assembled from off-the-shelf hardware components, but lack the capability of estimating appearance. This paper proposes a solution to overcome this limitation, by adding appearance capture to photogrammetry systems. The only additional hardware requirement to these solutions is that a subset of the cameras are cross-polarized with respect to the illumination, and the remaining cameras are parallel-polarized. The proposed algorithm leverages the images with the two different polarization states to reconstruct the geometry and to recover appearance properties. We do so by means of an inverse rendering framework, which solves per texel diffuse albedo, specular intensity, and high-resolution normals, as well as global specular roughness considering the subsurface scattering nature of skin. We show results for a variety of human subjects of different ages and skin typology, illustrating how the captured fine-detail skin surface and subsurface scattering effects lead to realistic renderings of their digital doubles, also in different illumination conditions.

XNect: real-time multi-person 3D motion capture with a single RGB camera

We present a real-time approach for multi-person 3D motion capture at over 30 fps using a single RGB camera. It operates successfully in generic scenes which may contain occlusions by objects and by other people. Our method operates in subsequent stages. The first stage is a convolutional neural network (CNN) that estimates 2D and 3D pose features along with identity assignments for all visible joints of all individuals. We contribute a new architecture for this CNN, called SelecSLS Net, that uses novel selective long and short range skip connections to improve the information flow allowing for a drastically faster network without compromising accuracy. In the second stage, a fullyconnected neural network turns the possibly partial (on account of occlusion) 2D pose and 3D pose features for each subject into a complete 3D pose estimate per individual. The third stage applies space-time skeletal model fitting to the predicted 2D and 3D pose per subject to further reconcile the 2D and 3D pose, and enforce temporal coherence. Our method returns the full skeletal pose in joint angles for each subject. This is a further key distinction from previous work that do not produce joint angle results of a coherent skeleton in real time for multi-person scenes. The proposed system runs on consumer hardware at a previously unseen speed of more than 30 fps given 512x320 images as input while achieving state-of-the-art accuracy, which we will demonstrate on a range of challenging real-world scenes.

SESSION: Interaction / VR

ARAnimator: in-situ character animation in mobile AR with user-defined motion gestures

Creating animated virtual AR characters closely interacting with real environments is interesting but difficult. Existing systems adopt video see-through approaches to indirectly control a virtual character in mobile AR, making close interaction with real environments not intuitive. In this work we use an AR-enabled mobile device to directly control the position and motion of a virtual character situated in a real environment. We conduct two guessability studies to elicit user-defined motions of a virtual character interacting with real environments, and a set of user-defined motion gestures describing specific character motions. We found that an SVM-based learning approach achieves reasonably high accuracy for gesture classification from the motion data of a mobile device. We present ARAnimator, which allows novice and casual animation users to directly represent a virtual character by an AR-enabled mobile phone and control its animation in AR scenes using motion gestures of the device, followed by animation preview and interactive editing through a video see-through interface. Our experimental results show that with ARAnimator, users are able to easily create in-situ character animations closely interacting with different real environments.

HeadBlaster: a wearable approach to simulating motion perception using head-mounted air propulsion jets

We present HeadBlaster, a novel wearable technology that creates motion perception by applying ungrounded force to the head to stimulate the vestibular and proprioception sensory systems. Compared to motion platforms that tilt the body, HeadBlaster more closely approximates how lateral inertial and centrifugal forces are felt during real motion to provide more persistent motion perception. In addition, because HeadBlaster only actuates the head rather than the entire body, it eliminates the mechanical motion platforms that users must be constrained to, which improves user mobility and enables room-scale VR experiences. We designed a wearable HeadBlaster system with 6 air nozzles integrated into a VR headset, using compressed air jets to provide persistent, lateral propulsion forces. By controlling multiple air jets, it is able to create the perception of lateral acceleration in 360 degrees. We conducted a series of perception and human-factor studies to quantify the head movement, the persistence of perceived acceleration, and the minimal level of detectable forces. We then explored the user experience of HeadBlaster through two VR applications: a custom surfing game, and a commercial driving simulator together with a commercial motion platform. Study results showed that HeadBlaster provided significantly longer perceived duration of acceleration than motion platforms. It also significantly improved realism and immersion, and was preferred by users compared to using VR alone. In addition, it can be used in conjunction with motion platforms to further augment the user experience.

Human-in-the-loop differential subspace search in high-dimensional latent space

Generative models based on deep neural networks often have a high-dimensional latent space, ranging sometimes to a few hundred dimensions or even higher, which typically makes them hard for a user to explore directly. We propose differential subspace search to allow efficient iterative user exploration in such a space, without relying on domain- or data-specific assumptions. We develop a general framework to extract low-dimensional subspaces based on a local differential analysis of the generative model, such that a small change in such a subspace would provide enough change in the resulting data. We do so by applying singular value decomposition to the Jacobian of the generative model and forming a subspace with the desired dimensionality spanned by a given number of singular vectors stochastically selected on the basis of their singular values, to maintain ergodicity. We use our framework to present 1D subspaces to the user via a 1D slider interface. Starting from an initial location, the user finds a new candidate in the presented 1D subspace, which is in turn updated at the new candidate location. This process is repeated until no further improvement can be made. Numerical simulations show that our method can better optimize synthetic black-box objective functions than the alternatives that we tested. Furthermore, we conducted a user study using complex generative models and the results show that our method enables more efficient exploration of high-dimensional latent spaces than the alternatives.

Immersive light field video with a layered mesh representation

We present a system for capturing, reconstructing, compressing, and rendering high quality immersive light field video. We accomplish this by leveraging the recently introduced DeepView view interpolation algorithm, replacing its underlying multi-plane image (MPI) scene representation with a collection of spherical shells that are better suited for representing panoramic light field content. We further process this data to reduce the large number of shell layers to a small, fixed number of RGBA+depth layers without significant loss in visual quality. The resulting RGB, alpha, and depth channels in these layers are then compressed using conventional texture atlasing and video compression techniques. The final compressed representation is lightweight and can be rendered on mobile VR/AR platforms or in a web browser. We demonstrate light field video results using data from the 16-camera rig of [Pozo et al. 2019] as well as a new low-cost hemispherical array made from 46 synchronized action sports cameras. From this data we produce 6 degree of freedom volumetric videos with a wide 70 cm viewing baseline, 10 pixels per degree angular resolution, and a wide field of view, at 30 frames per second video frame rates. Advancing over previous work, we show that our system is able to reproduce challenging content such as view-dependent reflections, semi-transparent surfaces, and near-field objects as close as 34 cm to the surface of the camera rig.

MEgATrack: monochrome egocentric articulated hand-tracking for virtual reality

We present a system for real-time hand-tracking to drive virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) experiences. Using four fisheye monochrome cameras, our system generates accurate and low-jitter 3D hand motion across a large working volume for a diverse set of users. We achieve this by proposing neural network architectures for detecting hands and estimating hand keypoint locations. Our hand detection network robustly handles a variety of real world environments. The keypoint estimation network leverages tracking history to produce spatially and temporally consistent poses. We design scalable, semi-automated mechanisms to collect a large and diverse set of ground truth data using a combination of manual annotation and automated tracking. Additionally, we introduce a detection-by-tracking method that increases smoothness while reducing the computational cost; the optimized system runs at 60Hz on PC and 30Hz on a mobile processor. Together, these contributions yield a practical system for capturing a user's hands and is the default feature on the Oculus Quest VR headset powering input and social presence.

Sequential gallery for interactive visual design optimization

Visual design tasks often involve tuning many design parameters. For example, color grading of a photograph involves many parameters, some of which non-expert users might be unfamiliar with. We propose a novel user-in-the-loop optimization method that allows users to efficiently find an appropriate parameter set by exploring such a high-dimensional design space through much easier two-dimensional search subtasks. This method, called sequential plane search, is based on Bayesian optimization to keep necessary queries to users as few as possible. To help users respond to plane-search queries, we also propose using a gallery-based interface that provides options in the two-dimensional subspace arranged in an adaptive grid view. We call this interactive framework Sequential Gallery since users sequentially select the best option from the options provided by the interface. Our experiment with synthetic functions shows that our sequential plane search can find satisfactory solutions in fewer iterations than baselines. We also conducted a preliminary user study, results of which suggest that novices can effectively complete search tasks with Sequential Gallery in a photo-enhancement scenario.

Tactile line drawings for improved shape understanding in blind and visually impaired users

Members of the blind and visually impaired community rely heavily on tactile illustrations - raised line graphics on paper that are felt by hand - to understand geometric ideas in school textbooks, depict a story in children's books, or conceptualize exhibits in museums. However, these illustrations often fail to achieve their goals, in large part due to the lack of understanding in how 3D shapes can be represented in 2D projections. This paper describes a new technique to design tactile illustrations considering the needs of blind individuals. Successful illustration design of 3D objects presupposes identification and combination of important information in topology and geometry. We propose a twofold approach to improve shape understanding. First, we introduce a part-based multi-projection rendering strategy to display geometric information of 3D shapes, making use of canonical viewpoints and removing reliance on traditional perspective projections. Second, curvature information is extracted from cross sections and embedded as textures in our illustrations.

Tactile rendering based on skin stress optimization

We present a method to render virtual touch, such that the stimulus produced by a tactile device on a user's skin matches the stimulus computed in a virtual environment simulation. To achieve this, we solve the inverse mapping from skin stimulus to device configuration thanks to a novel optimization algorithm. Within this algorithm, we use a device-skin simulation model to estimate rendered stimuli, we account for trajectory-dependent effects efficiently by decoupling the computation of the friction state from the optimization of device configuration, and we accelerate computations using a neural-network approximation of the device-skin model. Altogether, we enable real-time tactile rendering of rich interactions including smooth rolling, but also contact with edges, or frictional stick-slip motion. We validate our algorithm both qualitatively through user experiments, and quantitatively on a BioTac biomimetic finger sensor.

The eyes have it: an integrated eye and face model for photorealistic facial animation

Interacting with people across large distances is important for remote work, interpersonal relationships, and entertainment. While such face-to-face interactions can be achieved using 2D video conferencing or, more recently, virtual reality (VR), telepresence systems currently distort the communication of eye contact and social gaze signals. Although methods have been proposed to redirect gaze in 2D teleconferencing situations to enable eye contact, 2D video conferencing lacks the 3D immersion of real life. To address these problems, we develop a system for face-to-face interaction in VR that focuses on reproducing photorealistic gaze and eye contact. To do this, we create a 3D virtual avatar model that can be animated by cameras mounted on a VR headset to accurately track and reproduce human gaze in VR. Our primary contributions in this work are a jointly-learnable 3D face and eyeball model that better represents gaze direction and upper facial expressions, a method for disentangling the gaze of the left and right eyes from each other and the rest of the face allowing the model to represent entirely unseen combinations of gaze and expression, and a gaze-aware model for precise animation from headset-mounted cameras. Our quantitative experiments show that our method results in higher reconstruction quality, and qualitative results show our method gives a greatly improved sense of presence for VR avatars.

SESSION: Methods & applications

CNNs on surfaces using rotation-equivariant features

This paper is concerned with a fundamental problem in geometric deep learning that arises in the construction of convolutional neural networks on surfaces. Due to curvature, the transport of filter kernels on surfaces results in a rotational ambiguity, which prevents a uniform alignment of these kernels on the surface. We propose a network architecture for surfaces that consists of vector-valued, rotation-equivariant features. The equivariance property makes it possible to locally align features, which were computed in arbitrary coordinate systems, when aggregating features in a convolution layer. The resulting network is agnostic to the choices of coordinate systems for the tangent spaces on the surface. We implement our approach for triangle meshes. Based on circular harmonic functions, we introduce convolution filters for meshes that are rotation-equivariant at the discrete level. We evaluate the resulting networks on shape correspondence and shape classifications tasks and compare their performance to other approaches.

Code replicability in computer graphics

Being able to duplicate published research results is an important process of conducting research whether to build upon these findings or to compare with them. This process is called "replicability" when using the original authors' artifacts (e.g., code), or "reproducibility" otherwise (e.g., re-implementing algorithms). Reproducibility and replicability of research results have gained a lot of interest recently with assessment studies being led in various fields, and they are often seen as a trigger for better result diffusion and transparency. In this work, we assess replicability in Computer Graphics, by evaluating whether the code is available and whether it works properly. As a proxy for this field we compiled, ran and analyzed 151 codes out of 374 papers from 2014, 2016 and 2018 SIGGRAPH conferences. This analysis shows a clear increase in the number of papers with available and operational research codes with a dependency on the subfields, and indicates a correlation between code replicability and citation count. We further provide an interactive tool to explore our results and evaluation data.

Fast and deep facial deformations

Film-quality characters typically display highly complex and expressive facial deformation. The underlying rigs used to animate the deformations of a character's face are often computationally expensive, requiring high-end hardware to deform the mesh at interactive rates. In this paper, we present a method using convolutional neural networks for approximating the mesh deformations of characters' faces. For the models we tested, our approximation runs up to 17 times faster than the original facial rig while still maintaining a high level of fidelity to the original rig. We also propose an extension to the approximation for handling high-frequency deformations such as fine skin wrinkles. While the implementation of the original animation rig depends on an extensive set of proprietary libraries making it difficult to install outside of an in-house development environment, our fast approximation relies on the widely available and easily deployed TensorFlow libraries. In addition to allowing high frame rate evaluation on modest hardware and in a wide range of computing environments, the large speed increase also enables interactive inverse kinematics on the animation rig. We demonstrate our approach and its applicability through interactive character posing and real-time facial performance capture.

MichiGAN: multi-input-conditioned hair image generation for portrait editing

Despite the recent success of face image generation with GANs, conditional hair editing remains challenging due to the under-explored complexity of its geometry and appearance. In this paper, we present MichiGAN (Multi-Input-Conditioned Hair Image GAN), a novel conditional image generation method for interactive portrait hair manipulation. To provide user control over every major hair visual factor, we explicitly disentangle hair into four orthogonal attributes, including shape, structure, appearance, and background. For each of them, we design a corresponding condition module to represent, process, and convert user inputs, and modulate the image generation pipeline in ways that respect the natures of different visual attributes. All these condition modules are integrated with the backbone generator to form the final end-to-end network, which allows fully-conditioned hair generation from multiple user inputs. Upon it, we also build an interactive portrait hair editing system that enables straightforward manipulation of hair by projecting intuitive and high-level user inputs such as painted masks, guiding strokes, or reference photos to well-defined condition representations. Through extensive experiments and evaluations, we demonstrate the superiority of our method regarding both result quality and user controllability.

NASOQ: numerically accurate sparsity-oriented QP solver

Quadratic programs (QP), minimizations of quadratic objectives subject to linear inequality and equality constraints, are at the heart of algorithms across scientific domains. Applications include fundamental tasks in geometry processing, simulation, engineering, animation and finance where the accurate, reliable, efficient, and scalable solution of QP problems is critical. However, available QP algorithms generally provide either accuracy or scalability - but not both. Some algorithms reliably solve QP problems to high accuracy but work only for smaller-scale QP problems due to their reliance on dense matrix methods. Alternately, many other QP solvers scale well via sparse, efficient algorithms but cannot reliably deliver solutions at requested accuracies. Towards addressing the need for accurate and efficient QP solvers at scale, we develop NASOQ, a new, full-space QP algorithm that provides accurate, efficient, and scalable solutions for QP problems. To enable NASOQ we construct a new row modification method and fast implementation of LDL factorization for indefinite systems. Together they enable efficient updates and accurate solutions of the iteratively modified KKT systems required for accurate QP solves. While QP methods have been previously tested on large synthetic benchmarks, to test and compare NASOQ's suitability for real-world applications we collect here a new benchmark set comprising a wide range of graphics-related QPs across physical simulation, animation, and geometry processing tasks. We combine these problems with numerous pre-existing stress-test QP benchmarks to form, to our knowledge, the largest-scale test set of application-based QP problems currently available. Building off of our base NASOQ solver we then develop and test two NASOQ variants against best, state-of-the-art available QP libraries - both commercial and open-source. Our two NASOQ-based methods each solve respectively 98.8% and 99.5% of problems across a range of requested accuracies from 10-3 to 10-9 with average speedups ranging from 1.7× to 24.8× over fastest competing methods.

Nonlinear color triads for approximation, learning and direct manipulation of color distributions

We present nonlinear color triads, an extension of color gradients able to approximate a variety of natural color distributions that have no standard interactive representation. We derive a method to fit this compact parametric representation to existing images and show its power for tasks such as image editing and compression. Our color triad formulation can also be included in standard deep learning architectures, facilitating further research.

RoboCut: hot-wire cutting with robot-controlled flexible rods

Hot-wire cutting is a subtractive fabrication technique used to carve foam and similar materials. Conventional machines rely on straight wires and are thus limited to creating piecewise ruled surfaces. In this work, we propose a method that exploits a dual-arm robot setup to actively control the shape of a flexible, heated rod as it cuts through the material. While this setting offers great freedom of shape, using it effectively requires concurrent reasoning about three tightly coupled sub-problems: 1) modeling the way in which the shape of the rod and the surface it sweeps are governed by the robot's motions; 2) approximating a target shape through a sequence of surfaces swept by the equilibrium shape of an elastic rod; and 3) generating collision-free motion trajectories that lead the robot to create desired sweeps with the deformable tool. We present a computational framework for robotic hot wire cutting that addresses all three sub-problems in a unified manner. We evaluate our approach on a set of simulated results and physical artefacts generated with our robotic fabrication system.

Sliced optimal transport sampling

In this paper, we introduce a numerical technique to generate sample distributions in arbitrary dimension for improved accuracy of Monte Carlo integration. We point out that optimal transport offers theoretical bounds on Monte Carlo integration error, and that the recently-introduced numerical framework of sliced optimal transport (SOT) allows us to formulate a novel and efficient approach to generating well-distributed high-dimensional pointsets. The resulting sliced optimal transport sampling, solely involving repeated 1D solves, is particularly simple and efficient for the common case of a uniform density over a d-dimensional ball. We also construct a volume-preserving map from a d-ball to a d-cube (generalizing the Shirley-Chiu mapping to arbitrary dimensions) to offer fast SOT sampling over d-cubes. We provide ample numerical evidence of the improvement in Monte Carlo integration accuracy that SOT sampling brings compared to existing QMC techniques, and derive a projective variant for rendering which rivals, and at times outperforms, current sampling strategies using low-discrepancy sequences or optimized samples.

Unsupervised K-modal styled content generation

The emergence of deep generative models has recently enabled the automatic generation of massive amounts of graphical content, both in 2D and in 3D. Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) and style control mechanisms, such as Adaptive Instance Normalization (AdaIN), have proved particularly effective in this context, culminating in the state-of-the-art StyleGAN architecture. While such models are able to learn diverse distributions, provided a sufficiently large training set, they are not well-suited for scenarios where the distribution of the training data exhibits a multi-modal behavior. In such cases, reshaping a uniform or normal distribution over the latent space into a complex multi-modal distribution in the data domain is challenging, and the generator might fail to sample the target distribution well. Furthermore, existing unsupervised generative models are not able to control the mode of the generated samples independently of the other visual attributes, despite the fact that they are typically disentangled in the training data.

In this paper, we introduce uMM-GAN, a novel architecture designed to better model multi-modal distributions, in an unsupervised fashion. Building upon the StyleGAN architecture, our network learns multiple modes, in a completely unsupervised manner, and combines them using a set of learned weights. We demonstrate that this approach is capable of effectively approximating a complex distribution as a superposition of multiple simple ones. We further show that uMM-GAN effectively disentangles between modes and style, thereby providing an independent degree of control over the generated content.

SESSION: Modeling / geometry

A low-parametric rhombic microstructure family for irregular lattices

New fabrication technologies have significantly decreased the cost of fabrication of shapes with highly complex geometric structure. One important application of complex fine-scale geometric structures is to create variable effective elastic material properties in shapes manufactured from a single material. Modification of material properties has a variety of uses, from aerospace applications to soft robotics and prosthetic devices. Due to its scalability and effectiveness, an increasingly common approach to creating spatially varying materials is to partition a shape into cells and use a parametric family of small-scale geometric structures with known effective properties to fill the cells.

We propose a new approach to solving this problem for extruded, planar microstructures. Differently from existing methods for two-scale optimization based on regular grids with square periodic cells, which cannot conform to an arbitrary boundary, we introduce cell decompositions consisting of (nearly) rhombic cells. These meshes have far greater flexibility than those with square cells in terms of approximating arbitrary shapes, and, at the same time, have a number of properties simplifying small-scale structure construction. Our main contributions include a new family of 2D cell geometry structures, explicitly parameterized by their effective Young's moduli E, Poisson's ratios v, and rhombic angle α with the geometry parameters expressed directly as smooth spline functions of E, v, and α. This family leads to smooth transitions between the tiles and can handle a broad range of rhombic cell shapes. We introduce a complete material design pipeline based on this microstructure family, composed of an algorithm to generate rhombic tessellation from quadrilateral meshes and an algorithm to synthesize the microstructure geometry. We fabricated a number of models and experimentally demonstrated how our method, in combination with material optimization, can be used to achieve the desired deformation behavior.

Automatic structure synthesis for 3D woven relief

3D weaving is a manufacturing technique that creates multilayer textiles with substantial thickness. Currently, the primary use for these materials is in regularly structured carbon-polymer or glass-polymer composites, but in principle a wide range of complex shapes can be achieved, providing the opportunity to customize the fiber structure for individual parts and also making 3D weaving appealing in many soft-goods applications. The primary obstacle to broader use is the need to design intricate weave structures, involving tens to hundreds of thousands of yarn crossings, which are different for every shape to be produced. The goal of this research is to make 3D weaving as readily usable as CNC machining or 3D printing, by providing an algorithm to convert an arbitrary 3D solid model into machine instructions to weave the corresponding shape. We propose a method to generate 3D weaving patterns for height fields by slicing the shape along intersecting arrays of parallel planes and then computing the paths for all the warp and weft yarns, which travel in these planes. We demonstrate the method by generating weave structures for different shapes and fabricating a number of examples in polyester yarn using a Jacquard loom.

Bézier guarding: precise higher-order meshing of curved 2D domains

We present a mesh generation algorithm for the curvilinear triangulation of planar domains with piecewise polynomial boundary. The resulting mesh consists of regular, injective higher-order triangular elements and precisely conforms with the domain's curved boundary. No smoothness requirements are imposed on the boundary. Prescribed piecewise polynomial curves in the interior, like material interfaces or feature curves, can be taken into account for precise interpolation by the resulting mesh's edges as well. In its core, the algorithm is based on a novel explicit construction of guaranteed injective Bézier triangles with certain edge curves and edge parametrizations prescribed. Due to the use of only rational arithmetic, the algorithm can optionally be performed using exact number types in practice, so as to provide robustness guarantees.

C-Space tunnel discovery for puzzle path planning

Rigid body disentanglement puzzles are challenging for both humans and motion planning algorithms because their solutions involve tricky twisting and sliding moves that correspond to navigating through narrow tunnels in the puzzle's configuration space (C-space). We propose a tunnel-discovery and planning strategy for solving these puzzles. First, we locate important features on the pieces using geometric heuristics and machine learning, and then match pairs of these features to discover collision free states in the puzzle's C-space that lie within the narrow tunnels. Second, we propose a Rapidly-exploring Dense Tree (RDT) motion planner variant that builds tunnel escape roadmaps and then connects these roadmaps into a solution path connecting start and goal states. We evaluate our approach on a variety of challenging disentanglement puzzles and provide extensive baseline comparisons with other motion planning techniques.

Computational design of skintight clothing

We propose an optimization-driven approach for automated, physics-based pattern design for tight-fitting clothing. Designing such clothing poses particular challenges since large nonlinear deformations, tight contact between cloth and body, and body deformations have to be accounted for. To address these challenges, we develop a computational model based on an embedding of the two-dimensional cloth mesh in the surface of the three-dimensional body mesh. Our Lagrangian-on-Lagrangian approach eliminates contact handling while coupling cloth and body. Building on this model, we develop a physics-driven optimization method based on sensitivity analysis that automatically computes optimal patterns according to design objectives encoding body shape, pressure distribution, seam traction, and other criteria. We demonstrate our approach by generating personalized patterns for various body shapes and a diverse set of garments with complex pattern layouts.

Cut-enhanced PolyCube-maps for feature-aware all-hex meshing

Volumetric PolyCube-Map-based methods offer automatic ways to construct all-hexahedral meshes for closed 3D polyhedral domains, but their meshing quality is limited by the lack of interior singularities and feature alignment. In the presented work, we propose cut-enhanced PolyCube-Maps, to introduce essential interior singularities and preserve most input features. Our main idea is simple and intuitive: by inserting proper parameterization seams into the initial PolyCube-Map via novel PolyCube cutting operations, the mapping distortion can be reduced significantly.

The cut-enhanced PolyCube-Map computation includes feature-aware PolyCube-Map construction and cut-enhanced PolyCube deformation. The former aims to preserve input feature edges during the initial PolyCube-Map construction. The latter introduces seams into the volumetric PolyCube shape by cutting it through selective PolyCube edges and deforms the modified PolyCube under the seamless constraints to compute a low-distortion PolyCube-Map. The hexahedral mesh induced by the final PolyCube-Map can be further enhanced by our mesh improvement algorithm.

We validate the efficacy of our method on a collection of more than one hundred CAD models and demonstrate its advantages over other automatic all-hex meshing methods and padding strategies. The limitations of cut-enhanced PolyCube-Maps are also discussed thoroughly.

Data-driven extraction and composition of secondary dynamics in facial performance capture

Performance capture of expressive subjects, particularly facial performances acquired with high spatial resolution, will inevitably incorporate some fraction of motion that is due to inertial effects and dynamic overshoot due to ballistic motion. This is true in most natural capture environments where the actor is able to move freely during their performance, rather than being tethered to a fixed position. Normally these secondary dynamic effects are unwanted, as the captured facial performance is often retargeted to different head motion, and sometimes to completely different characters, and in both cases the captured dynamic effects should be removed and new secondary effects should be added. This paper advances the hypothesis that for a highly constrained elastic medium such as the human face, these secondary inertial effects are predominantly due to the motion of the underlying bony structures (cranium and mandible). Our work aims to compute and characterize the difference between the captured dynamic facial performance, and a speculative quasistatic variant of the same motion should the inertial effects have been absent. This is used to either subtract parasitic secondary dynamics that resulted from unintentional motion during capture, or compose such effects on top of a quasistatic performance to simulate a new dynamic motion of the actor's body and skull, either artist-prescribed or acquired via motion capture. We propose a data-driven technique that comprises complementary removal and synthesis networks for secondary dynamics in facial performance capture. We show how such a system can be effectively trained from a collection of acquired dynamic deformations under varying expressions where the actor induces rigid head motion from walking and running, as well as forced oscillatory body motion in a controlled setting by external actuators.

Deep geometric texture synthesis

Recently, deep generative adversarial networks for image generation have advanced rapidly; yet, only a small amount of research has focused on generative models for irregular structures, particularly meshes. Nonetheless, mesh generation and synthesis remains a fundamental topic in computer graphics. In this work, we propose a novel framework for synthesizing geometric textures. It learns geometric texture statistics from local neighborhoods (i.e., local triangular patches) of a single reference 3D model. It learns deep features on the faces of the input triangulation, which is used to subdivide and generate offsets across multiple scales, without parameterization of the reference or target mesh. Our network displaces mesh vertices in any direction (i.e., in the normal and tangential direction), enabling synthesis of geometric textures, which cannot be expressed by a simple 2D displacement map. Learning and synthesizing on local geometric patches enables a genus-oblivious framework, facilitating texture transfer between shapes of different genus.

Developability of heightfields via rank minimization

This work concerns the computation and approximation of developable surfaces --- surfaces that are locally isometric to the two-dimensional plane. These surfaces are heavily studied in differential geometry, and are also of great interest to fabrication, architecture and fashion. We focus specifically on developability of heightfields. Our main observation is that developability can be cast as a rank constraint, which can then be plugged into theoretically-grounded rank-minimization techniques from the field of compressed sensing. This leads to a convex semidefinite optimization problem, which receives an input heightfield and recovers a similar heightfield which is developable. Due to the sparsifying nature of compressed sensing, the recovered surface is piecewise developable, with creases emerging between connected developable pieces. The convex program includes one user-specified parameter, balancing adherence to the original surface with developability and number of patches. We moreover show, that in contrast to previous techniques, our discretization does not introduce a bias and the same results are achieved across resolutions and orientations, and with no limit on the number of creases and patches. We solve this convex semidefinite optimization problem efficiently, by devising a tailor-made ADMM solver which leverages matrix-projection observations unique to our problem. We employ our method on a plethora of experiments, from denoising 3D scans of developable geometry such as documents and buildings, through approximating general heightfields with developable ones, and up to interpolating sparse annotations with a developable heightfield.

Discrete differential operators on polygonal meshes

Geometry processing of surface meshes relies heavily on the discretization of differential operators such as gradient, Laplacian, and covariant derivative. While a variety of discrete operators over triangulated meshes have been developed and used for decades, a similar construction over polygonal meshes remains far less explored despite the prevalence of non-simplicial surfaces in geometric design and engineering applications. This paper introduces a principled construction of discrete differential operators on surface meshes formed by (possibly non-flat and non-convex) polygonal faces. Our approach is based on a novel mimetic discretization of the gradient operator that is linear-precise on arbitrary polygons. Equipped with this discrete gradient, we draw upon ideas from the Virtual Element Method in order to derive a series of discrete operators commonly used in graphics that are now valid over polygonal surfaces. We demonstrate the accuracy and robustness of our resulting operators through various numerical examples, before incorporating them into existing geometry processing algorithms.

Efficient bijective parameterizations

We propose a novel method to efficiently compute bijective parameterizations with low distortion on disk topology meshes. Our method relies on a second-order solver. To design an efficient solver, we develop two key techniques. First, we propose a coarse shell to substantially reduce the number of collision constraints that are used to guarantee overlap-free boundaries. During the optimization process, the shell ensures the Hessian matrix with a fixed nonzero structure and a low density, thereby significantly accelerating the optimization. The second is a triangle inequality-based barrier function that effectively ensures non-intersecting boundaries. Our barrier function is C inside the locally supported region and its convex second-order approximation is able to be analytically obtained. Compared to state-of-the-art methods for optimizing bijective parameterizations, our method exhibits better scalability and is about six times faster. The performance of our bijective parameterization algorithm is comparable to state-of-the-art methods of locally flip-free parameterizations. A large number of experimental results have shown the capability and feasibility of our method.

ENIGMA: evolutionary non-isometric geometry MAtching

In this paper we propose a fully automatic method for shape correspondence that is widely applicable, and especially effective for non isometric shapes and shapes of different topology. We observe that fully-automatic shape correspondence can be decomposed as a hybrid discrete/continuous optimization problem, and we find the best sparse landmark correspondence, whose sparse-to-dense extension minimizes a local metric distortion. To tackle the combinatorial task of landmark correspondence we use an evolutionary genetic algorithm, where the local distortion of the sparse-to-dense extension is used as the objective function. We design novel geometrically guided genetic operators, which, when combined with our objective, are highly effective for non isometric shape matching. Our method outperforms state of the art methods for automatic shape correspondence both quantitatively and qualitatively on challenging datasets.

Error-bounded compatible remeshing

We present a novel method to construct compatible surface meshes with bounded approximation errors. Given two oriented and topologically equivalent surfaces and a sparse set of corresponding landmarks, our method contains two steps: (1) generate compatible meshes with bounded approximation errors and (2) reduce mesh complexity while ensuring that approximation errors are always bounded. Central to the first step is a parameterization-based remeshing technique, which is capable of isotropically remeshing the input surfaces to be compatible and error-bounded. By iteratively performing a novel edge-based compatible remeshing and increasing the compatible target edge lengths, the second step effectively reduces mesh complexity while explicitly maintaining compatibility, regularity, and bounding approximation errors. Tests on various pairs of complex models demonstrate the efficacy and practicability of our method for constructing high-quality compatible meshes with bounded approximation errors.

Exact and efficient polyhedral envelope containment check

We introduce a new technique to check containment of a triangle within an envelope built around a given triangle mesh. While existing methods conservatively check containment within a Euclidean envelope, our approach makes use of a non-Euclidean envelope where containment can be checked both exactly and efficiently. Exactness is crucial to address major robustness issues in existing geometry processing algorithms, which we demonstrate by integrating our technique in two surface triangle remeshing algorithms and a volumetric tetrahedral meshing algorithm. We provide a quantitative comparison of our method and alternative algorithms, showing that our solution, in addition to being exact, is also more efficient. Indeed, while containment within large envelopes can be checked in a comparable time, we show that our algorithm outperforms alternative methods when the envelope becomes thin.

Exertion-aware path generation

We propose a novel approach for generating paths with desired exertion properties, which can be used for delivering highly realistic and immersive virtual reality applications that help users achieve exertion goals. Given a terrain as input, our optimization-based approach automatically generates feasible paths on the terrain which users can bike to perform body training in virtual reality. The approach considers exertion properties such as the total work and the perceived level of path difficulty in generating the paths. To verify our approach, we applied it to generate paths on a variety of terrains with different exertion targets and constraints. To conduct our user studies, we built an exercise bike whose force feedback was controlled by the elevation angle of the generated path over the terrain. Our user study results showed that users found exercising with our generated paths in virtual reality more enjoyable compared to traditional exercising approaches. Their energy expenditure in biking the generated paths also matched with the specified targets, validating the efficacy of our approach.

Fabrication-in-the-loop co-optimization of surfaces and styli for drawing haptics

Digital drawing tools are now standard in art and design workflows. These tools offer comfort, portability, and precision as well as native integration with digital-art workflows, software, and tools. At the same time, artists continue to work with long-standing, traditional drawing tools. One feature of traditional tools, well-appreciated by many artists and lacking in digital tools, is the specific and diverse range of haptic responses provided by them. Haptic feedback in traditional drawing tools provides unique, per-tool responses that help determine the precision and character of individual strokes. In this work, we address the problem of fabricating digital drawing tools that closely match the haptic feedback of their traditional counterparts. This requires the formulation and solution of a complex, co-optimization of both digital styli and the drawing surfaces they move upon. Here, a potentially direct formulation of this optimization with numerical simulation-in-the-loop is not yet viable. As in many complex design tasks, state-of-the-art methods do not currently offer predictive modeling at rates and scales that can account for the numerous, coupled, physical behaviors governing the haptics of styli and surfaces, nor for the limitations and uncertainties inherent in their fabrication processes. To address these challenges, we propose fabrication-in-the-loop optimization. Critical to making this strategy practical we construct our objective via a Gaussian Process that does not require computing derivatives with respect to design parameters. Our Gaussian Process surrogate model then provides both function estimates and confidence intervals that guide the efficient sampling of our design space. In turn, this sampling critically reduces the numbers of fabricated examples during exploration and automatically handles exploration-exploitation trade-offs. We apply our method to fabricate drawing tools that provide a wide range of haptic feedback, and demonstrate that they are often hard for users to distinguish from their traditional drawing-tool analogs.

Fast tetrahedral meshing in the wild

We propose a new tetrahedral meshing method, fTetWild, to convert triangle soups into high-quality tetrahedral meshes. Our method builds on the TetWild algorithm, replacing the rational triangle insertion with a new incremental approach to construct and optimize the output mesh, interleaving triangle insertion and mesh optimization. Our approach makes it possible to maintain a valid floating-point tetrahedral mesh at all algorithmic stages, eliminating the need for costly constructions with rational numbers used by TetWild, while maintaining full robustness and similar output quality. This allows us to improve on TetWild in two ways. First, our algorithm is significantly faster, with running time comparable to less robust Delaunay-based tetrahedralization algorithms. Second, our algorithm is guaranteed to produce a valid tetrahedral mesh with floating-point vertex coordinates, while TetWild produces a valid mesh with rational coordinates which is not guaranteed to be valid after floating-point conversion. As a trade-off, our algorithm no longer guarantees that all input triangles are present in the output mesh, but in practice, as confirmed by our tests on the Thingi10k dataset, the algorithm always succeeds in inserting all input triangles.

Graph2Plan: learning floorplan generation from layout graphs

We introduce a learning framework for automated floorplan generation which combines generative modeling using deep neural networks and user-in-the-loop designs to enable human users to provide sparse design constraints. Such constraints are represented by a layout graph. The core component of our learning framework is a deep neural network, Graph2Plan, which converts a layout graph, along with a building boundary, into a floorplan that fulfills both the layout and boundary constraints. Given an input building boundary, we allow a user to specify room counts and other layout constraints, which are used to retrieve a set of floorplans, with their associated layout graphs, from a database. For each retrieved layout graph, along with the input boundary, Graph2Plan first generates a corresponding raster floorplan image, and then a refined set of boxes representing the rooms. Graph2Plan is trained on RPLAN, a large-scale dataset consisting of 80K annotated floorplans. The network is mainly based on convolutional processing over both the layout graph, via a graph neural network (GNN), and the input building boundary, as well as the raster floorplan images, via conventional image convolution. We demonstrate the quality and versatility of our floorplan generation framework in terms of its ability to cater to different user inputs. We conduct both qualitative and quantitative evaluations, ablation studies, and comparisons with state-of-the-art approaches.

Inter-surface maps via constant-curvature metrics

We propose a novel approach to represent maps between two discrete surfaces of the same genus and to minimize intrinsic mapping distortion. Our maps are well-defined at every surface point and are guaranteed to be continuous bijections (surface homeomorphisms). As a key feature of our approach, only the images of vertices need to be represented explicitly, since the images of all other points (on edges or in faces) are properly defined implicitly. This definition is via unique geodesics in metrics of constant Gaussian curvature. Our method is built upon the fact that such metrics exist on surfaces of arbitrary topology, without the need for any cuts or cones (as asserted by the uniformization theorem). Depending on the surfaces' genus, these metrics exhibit one of the three classical geometries: Euclidean, spherical or hyperbolic. Our formulation handles constructions in all three geometries in a unified way. In addition, by considering not only the vertex images but also the discrete metric as degrees of freedom, our formulation enables us to simultaneously optimize the images of these vertices and images of all other points.

Lifting simplices to find injectivity

Mapping a source mesh into a target domain while preserving local injectivity is an important but highly non-trivial task. Existing methods either require an already-injective starting configuration, which is often not available, or rely on sophisticated solving schemes. We propose a novel energy form, called Total Lifted Content (TLC), that is equipped with theoretical properties desirable for injectivity optimization. By lifting the simplices of the mesh into a higher dimension and measuring their contents (2D area or 3D volume) there, TLC is smooth over the entire embedding space and its global minima are always injective. The energy is simple to minimize using standard gradient-based solvers. Our method achieved 100% success rate on an extensive benchmark of embedding problems for triangular and tetrahedral meshes, on which existing methods only have varied success.

LoopyCuts: practical feature-preserving block decomposition for strongly hex-dominant meshing

We present a new fully automatic block-decomposition algorithm for feature-preserving, strongly hex-dominant meshing, that yields results with a drastically larger percentage of hex elements than prior art. Our method is guided by a surface field that conforms to both surface curvature and feature lines, and exploits an ordered set of cutting loops that evenly cover the input surface, defining an arrangement of loops suitable for hex-element generation. We decompose the solid into coarse blocks by iteratively cutting it with surfaces bounded by these loops. The vast majority of the obtained blocks can be turned into hexahedral cells via simple midpoint subdivision. Our method produces pure hexahedral meshes in approximately 80% of the cases, and hex-dominant meshes with less than 2% non-hexahedral cells in the remaining cases. We demonstrate the robustness of our method on 70+ models, including CAD objects with features of various complexity, organic and synthetic shapes, and provide extensive comparisons to prior art, demonstrating its superiority.

MGCN: descriptor learning using multiscale GCNs

We propose a novel framework for computing descriptors for characterizing points on three-dimensional surfaces. First, we present a new non-learned feature that uses graph wavelets to decompose the Dirichlet energy on a surface. We call this new feature Wavelet Energy Decomposition Signature (WEDS). Second, we propose a new Multiscale Graph Convolutional Network (MGCN) to transform a non-learned feature to a more discriminative descriptor. Our results show that the new descriptor WEDS is more discriminative than the current state-of-the-art non-learned descriptors and that the combination of WEDS and MGCN is better than the state-of-the-art learned descriptors. An important design criterion for our descriptor is the robustness to different surface discretizations including triangulations with varying numbers of vertices. Our results demonstrate that previous graph convolutional networks significantly overfit to a particular resolution or even a particular triangulation, but MGCN generalizes well to different surface discretizations. In addition, MGCN is compatible with previous descriptors and it can also be used to improve the performance of other descriptors, such as the heat kernel signature, the wave kernel signature, or the local point signature.

Monte Carlo geometry processing: a grid-free approach to PDE-based methods on volumetric domains

This paper explores how core problems in PDE-based geometry processing can be efficiently and reliably solved via grid-free Monte Carlo methods. Modern geometric algorithms often need to solve Poisson-like equations on geometrically intricate domains. Conventional methods most often mesh the domain, which is both challenging and expensive for geometry with fine details or imperfections (holes, self-intersections, etc.). In contrast, grid-free Monte Carlo methods avoid mesh generation entirely, and instead just evaluate closest point queries. They hence do not discretize space, time, nor even function spaces, and provide the exact solution (in expectation) even on extremely challenging models. More broadly, they share many benefits with Monte Carlo methods from photorealistic rendering: excellent scaling, trivial parallel implementation, view-dependent evaluation, and the ability to work with any kind of geometry (including implicit or procedural descriptions). We develop a complete "black box" solver that encompasses integration, variance reduction, and visualization, and explore how it can be used for various geometry processing tasks. In particular, we consider several fundamental linear elliptic PDEs with constant coefficients on solid regions of Rn. Overall we find that Monte Carlo methods significantly broaden the horizons of geometry processing, since they easily handle problems of size and complexity that are essentially hopeless for conventional methods.

Neural subdivision

This paper introduces Neural Subdivision, a novel framework for data-driven coarse-to-fine geometry modeling. During inference, our method takes a coarse triangle mesh as input and recursively subdivides it to a finer geometry by applying the fixed topological updates of Loop Subdivision, but predicting vertex positions using a neural network conditioned on the local geometry of a patch. This approach enables us to learn complex non-linear subdivision schemes, beyond simple linear averaging used in classical techniques. One of our key contributions is a novel self-supervised training setup that only requires a set of high-resolution meshes for learning network weights. For any training shape, we stochastically generate diverse low-resolution discretizations of coarse counterparts, while maintaining a bijective mapping that prescribes the exact target position of every new vertex during the subdivision process. This leads to a very efficient and accurate loss function for conditional mesh generation, and enables us to train a method that generalizes across discretizations and favors preserving the manifold structure of the output. During training we optimize for the same set of network weights across all local mesh patches, thus providing an architecture that is not constrained to a specific input mesh, fixed genus, or category. Our network encodes patch geometry in a local frame in a rotation- and translation-invariant manner. Jointly, these design choices enable our method to generalize well, and we demonstrate that even when trained on a single high-resolution mesh our method generates reasonable subdivisions for novel shapes.

On elastic geodesic grids and their planar to spatial deployment

We propose a novel type of planar-to-spatial deployable structures that we call elastic geodesic grids. Our approach aims at the approximation of freeform surfaces with spatial grids of bent lamellas which can be deployed from a planar configuration using a simple kinematic mechanism. Such elastic structures are easy-to-fabricate and easy-to-deploy and approximate shapes which combine physics and aesthetics. We propose a solution based on networks of geodesic curves on target surfaces and we introduce a set of conditions and assumptions which can be closely met in practice. Our formulation allows for a purely geometric approach which avoids the necessity of numerical shape optimization by building on top of theoretical insights from differential geometry. We propose a solution for the design, computation, and physical simulation of elastic geodesic grids, and present several fabricated small-scale examples with varying complexity. Moreover, we provide an empirical proof of our method by comparing the results to laser-scans of the fabricated models. Our method is intended as a form-finding tool for elastic gridshells in architecture and other creative disciplines and should give the designer an easy-to-handle way for the exploration of such structures.

Point2Mesh: a self-prior for deformable meshes

In this paper, we introduce Point2Mesh, a technique for reconstructing a surface mesh from an input point cloud. Instead of explicitly specifying a prior that encodes the expected shape properties, the prior is defined automatically using the input point cloud, which we refer to as a self-prior. The self-prior encapsulates reoccurring geometric repetitions from a single shape within the weights of a deep neural network. We optimize the network weights to deform an initial mesh to shrink-wrap a single input point cloud. This explicitly considers the entire reconstructed shape, since shared local kernels are calculated to fit the overall object. The convolutional kernels are optimized globally across the entire shape, which inherently encourages local-scale geometric self-similarity across the shape surface. We show that shrink-wrapping a point cloud with a self-prior converges to a desirable solution; compared to a prescribed smoothness prior, which often becomes trapped in undesirable local minima. While the performance of traditional reconstruction approaches degrades in non-ideal conditions that are often present in real world scanning, i.e., unoriented normals, noise and missing (low density) parts, Point2Mesh is robust to non-ideal conditions. We demonstrate the performance of Point2Mesh on a large variety of shapes with varying complexity.

Principal symmetric meshes

The isolines of principal symmetric surface parametrizations run symmetrically to the principal directions. We describe two discrete versions of these special nets/quad meshes which are dual to each other and show their usefulness for various applications in the context of fabrication and architectural design. Our discretization of a principal symmetric mesh comes naturally with a family of spheres, the so-called Meusnier and Mannheim spheres. In our representation of principal symmetric meshes, we have direct control over the radii of theses spheres and the intersection angles of the parameter lines. This facilitates tasks such as generating Weingarten surfaces including constant mean curvature surfaces and minimal surfaces. We illustrate the potential of Weingarten surfaces for paneling doubly curved freeform facades by significantly reducing the number of necessary molds. Moreover, we have direct access to curvature adaptive tool paths for cylindrical CNC milling with circular edges as well as flank milling with rotational cones. Furthermore, the construction of curved support structures from congruent circular strips is easily managed by constant sphere radii. The underlying families of spheres are in a natural way discrete curvature spheres in analogy to smooth Möbius and Laguerre geometry which further leads to a novel discrete curvature theory for principal symmetric meshes.

Quad-mesh based isometric mappings and developable surfaces

We discretize isometric mappings between surfaces as correspondences between checkerboard patterns derived from quad meshes. This method captures the degrees of freedom inherent in smooth isometries and enables a natural definition of discrete developable surfaces. This definition, which is remarkably simple, leads to a class of discrete developables which is much more flexible in applications than previous concepts of discrete developables. In this paper, we employ optimization to efficiently compute isometric mappings, conformal mappings and isometric bending of surfaces. We perform geometric modeling of developables, including cutting, gluing and folding. The discrete mappings presented here have applications in both theory and practice: We propose a theory of curvatures derived from a discrete Gauss map as well as a construction of watertight CAD models consisting of developable spline surfaces.

TilinGNN: learning to tile with self-supervised graph neural network

We introduce the first neural optimization framework to solve a classical instance of the tiling problem. Namely, we seek a non-periodic tiling of an arbitrary 2D shape using one or more types of tiles---the tiles maximally fill the shape's interior without overlaps or holes. To start, we reformulate tiling as a graph problem by modeling candidate tile locations in the target shape as graph nodes and connectivity between tile locations as edges. Further, we build a graph convolutional neural network, coined TilinGNN, to progressively propagate and aggregate features over graph edges and predict tile placements. TilinGNN is trained by maximizing the tiling coverage on target shapes, while avoiding overlaps and holes between the tiles. Importantly, our network is self-supervised, as we articulate these criteria as loss terms defined on the network outputs, without the need of ground-truth tiling solutions. After training, the runtime of TilinGNN is roughly linear to the number of candidate tile locations, significantly outperforming traditional combinatorial search. We conducted various experiments on a variety of shapes to showcase the speed and versatility of TilinGNN. We also present comparisons to alternative methods and manual solutions, robustness analysis, and ablation studies to demonstrate the quality of our approach.

Uncertainty quantification for multi-scan registration

A fundamental problem in scan-based 3D reconstruction is to align the depth scans under different camera poses into the same coordinate system. While there are abundant algorithms on aligning depth scans, few methods have focused on assessing the quality of a solution. This quality checking problem is vital, as we need to determine whether the current scans are sufficient or not and where to install additional scans to improve the reconstruction. On the other hand, this problem is fundamentally challenging because the underlying ground-truth is generally unavailable, and it is challenging to predict alignment errors such as global drifts manually. In this paper, we introduce a local uncertainty framework for geometric alignment algorithms. Our approach enjoys several appealing properties, such as it does not require re-sampling the input, no need for the underlying ground-truth, informative, and high computational efficiency. We apply this framework to two multi-scan alignment formulations, one minimizes geometric distances between pairs of scans, and another simultaneously aligns the input scans with a deforming model. The output of our approach can be seamlessly integrated with view selection, enabling uncertainty-aware view planning. Experimental results and user studies justify the effectiveness of our approach on both synthetic and real datasets.

Variable-width contouring for additive manufacturing

In most layered additive manufacturing processes, a tool solidifies or deposits material while following pre-planned trajectories to form solid beads. Many interesting problems arise in this context, among which one concerns the planning of trajectories for filling a planar shape as densely as possible. This is the problem we tackle in the present paper. Recent works have shown that allowing the bead width to vary along the trajectories helps increase the filling density. We present a novel technique that, given a deposition width range, constructs a set of closed beads whose width varies within the prescribed range and fill the input shape. The technique outperforms the state of the art in important metrics: filling density (while still guaranteeing the absence of bead overlap) and trajectories smoothness. We give a detailed geometric description of our algorithm, explore its behavior on example inputs and provide a statistical comparison with the state of the art. We show that it is possible to obtain high quality fabricated layers on commodity FDM printers.

Vid2Curve: simultaneous camera motion estimation and thin structure reconstruction from an RGB video

Thin structures, such as wire-frame sculptures, fences, cables, power lines, and tree branches, are common in the real world. It is extremely challenging to acquire their 3D digital models using traditional image-based or depth-based reconstruction methods, because thin structures often lack distinct point features and have severe self-occlusion. We propose the first approach that simultaneously estimates camera motion and reconstructs the geometry of complex 3D thin structures in high quality from a color video captured by a handheld camera. Specifically, we present a new curve-based approach to estimate accurate camera poses by establishing correspondences between featureless thin objects in the foreground in consecutive video frames, without requiring visual texture in the background scene to lock on. Enabled by this effective curve-based camera pose estimation strategy, we develop an iterative optimization method with tailored measures on geometry, topology as well as self-occlusion handling for reconstructing 3D thin structures. Extensive validations on a variety of thin structures show that our method achieves accurate camera pose estimation and faithful reconstruction of 3D thin structures with complex shape and topology at a level that has not been attained by other existing reconstruction methods.

SESSION: Rendering / visualization

A perceptual model of motion quality for rendering with adaptive refresh-rate and resolution

Limited GPU performance budgets and transmission bandwidths mean that real-time rendering often has to compromise on the spatial resolution or temporal resolution (refresh rate). A common practice is to keep either the resolution or the refresh rate constant and dynamically control the other variable. But this strategy is non-optimal when the velocity of displayed content varies. To find the best trade-off between the spatial resolution and refresh rate, we propose a perceptual visual model that predicts the quality of motion given an object velocity and predictability of motion. The model considers two motion artifacts to establish an overall quality score: non-smooth (juddery) motion, and blur. Blur is modeled as a combined effect of eye motion, finite refresh rate and display resolution. To fit the free parameters of the proposed visual model, we measured eye movement for predictable and unpredictable motion, and conducted psychophysical experiments to measure the quality of motion from 50 Hz to 165 Hz. We demonstrate the utility of the model with our on-the-fly motion-adaptive rendering algorithm that adjusts the refresh rate of a G-Sync-capable monitor based on a given rendering budget and observed object motion. Our psychophysical validation experiments demonstrate that the proposed algorithm performs better than constant-refresh-rate solutions, showing that motion-adaptive rendering is an attractive technique for driving variable-refresh-rate displays.

Analytic spherical harmonic gradients for real-time rendering with many polygonal area lights

Recent work has developed analytic formulae for spherical harmonic (SH) coefficients from uniform polygonal lights, enabling near-field area lights to be included in Precomputed Radiance Transfer (PRT) systems, and in offline rendering. However, the method is inefficient since coefficients need to be recomputed at each vertex or shading point, for each light, even though the SH coefficients vary smoothly in space. The complexity scales linearly with the number of lights, making many-light rendering difficult. In this paper, we develop a novel analytic formula for the spatial gradients of the spherical harmonic coefficients for uniform polygonal area lights. The result is a significant generalization, involving the Reynolds transport theorem to reduce the problem to a boundary integral for which we derive a new analytic formula, showing how to reduce a key term to an earlier recurrence for SH coefficients. The implementation requires only minor additions to existing code for SH coefficients. The results also hold implications for recent efforts on differentiable rendering. We show that SH gradients enable very sparse spatial sampling, followed by accurate Hermite interpolation. This enables scaling PRT to hundreds of area lights with minimal overhead and real-time frame rates. Moreover, the SH gradient formula is a new mathematical result that potentially enables many other graphics applications.

Compositional neural scene representations for shading inference

We present a technique for adaptively partitioning neural scene representations. Our method disentangles lighting, material, and geometric information yielding a scene representation that preserves the orthogonality of these components, improves interpretability of the model, and allows compositing new scenes by mixing components of existing ones. The proposed adaptive partitioning respects the uneven entropy of individual components and permits compressing the scene representation to lower its memory footprint and potentially reduce the evaluation cost of the model. Furthermore, the partitioned representation enables an in-depth analysis of existing image generators. We compare the flow of information through individual partitions, and by contrasting it to the impact of additional inputs (G-buffer), we are able to identify the roots of undesired visual artifacts, and propose one possible solution to remedy the poor performance. We also demonstrate the benefits of complementing traditional forward renderers by neural representations and synthesis, e.g. to infer expensive shading effects, and show how these could improve production rendering in the future if developed further.

Continuous multiple importance sampling

Multiple importance sampling (MIS) is a provably good way to combine a finite set of sampling techniques to reduce variance in Monte Carlo integral estimation. However, there exist integration problems for which a continuum of sampling techniques is available. To handle such cases we establish a continuous MIS (CMIS) formulation as a generalization of MIS to uncountably infinite sets of techniques. Our formulation is equipped with a base estimator that is coupled with a provably optimal balance heuristic and a practical stochastic MIS (SMIS) estimator that makes CMIS accessible to a broad range of problems. To illustrate the effectiveness and utility of our framework, we apply it to three different light transport applications, showing improved performance over the prior state-of-the-art techniques.

Converting stroked primitives to filled primitives

Vector graphics formats offer support for both filled and stroked primitives. Filled primitives paint all points in the region bounded by a set of outlines. Stroked primitives paint all points covered by a line drawn over the outlines. Editors allow users to convert stroked primitives to the outlines of equivalent filled primitives for further editing. Likewise, renderers typically convert stroked primitives to equivalent filled primitives prior to rendering. This conversion problem is deceivingly difficult to solve. Surprisingly, it has received little to no attention in the literature. Existing implementations output too many segments, do not satisfy accuracy requirements, or fail under a variety of conditions, often spectacularly. In this paper, we present a solution to the stroke-to-fill conversion problem that addresses these issues. One of our key insights is to take into account the evolutes of input outlines, in addition to their offsets, in regions of high curvature. Furthermore, our approach strives to maintain continuity between the input and the set of painted points. Our implementation is available in open source.

GS-PAT: high-speed multi-point sound-fields for phased arrays of transducers

Phased Arrays of Transducers (PATs) allow accurate control of ultrasound fields, with applications in haptics, levitation (i.e. displays) and parametric audio. However, algorithms for multi-point levitation or tactile feedback are usually limited to computing solutions in the order of hundreds of sound-fields per second, preventing the use of multiple high-speed points, a feature that can broaden the scope of applications of PATs. We present GS-PAT, a GPU multi-point phase retrieval algorithm, capable of computing 17K solutions per second for up to 32 simultaneous points in a mid-end consumer grade GPU (NVidia GTX 1660). We describe the algorithm and compare it to state of the art multi-point algorithms used for ultrasound haptics and levitation, showing similar quality of the generated sound-fields, and much higher computation rates. We then illustrate how the shift in paradigm enabled by GS-PAT (i.e. real-time control of several high-speed points) opens new applications for PAT technologies, such as in volumetric fully coloured displays, multi-point spatio-temporal tactile feedback, parametric audio and simultaneous combinations of these modalities.

Image-based acquisition and modeling of polarimetric reflectance

Realistic modeling of the bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) of scene objects is a vital prerequisite for any type of physically based rendering. In the last decades, the availability of databases containing real-world material measurements has fueled considerable innovation in the development of such models. However, previous work in this area was mainly focused on increasing the visual realism of images, and hence ignored the effect of scattering on the polarization state of light, which is normally imperceptible to the human eye. Existing databases thus only capture scattered flux, or polarimetric BRDF datasets are too directionally sparse (e.g., in-plane) to be usable for simulation.

While subtle to human observers, polarization is easily perceived by any optical sensor (e.g., using polarizing filters), providing a wealth of additional information about shape and material properties of the object under observation. Given the increasing application of rendering in the solution of inverse problems via analysis-by-synthesis and differentiation, the ability to realistically model polarized radiative transport is thus highly desirable.

Polarization depends on the wavelength of the spectrum, and thus we provide the first polarimetric BRDF (pBRDF) dataset that captures the polarimetric properties of real-world materials over the full angular domain, and at multiple wavelengths. Acquisition of such reflectance data is challenging due to the extremely large space of angular, spectral, and polarimetric configurations that must be observed, and we propose a scheme combining image-based acquisition with spectroscopic ellipsometry to perform measurements in a realistic amount of time. This process yields raw Mueller matrices, which we subsequently transform into Rusinkiewicz-parameterized pBRDFs that can be used for rendering.

Our dataset provides 25 isotropic pBRDFs spanning a wide range of appearances: diffuse/specular, metallic/dielectric, rough/smooth, and different color albedos, captured in five wavelength ranges covering the visible spectrum. We demonstrate usage of our data-driven pBRDF model in a physically based renderer that accounts for polarized interreflection, and we investigate the relationship of polarization and material appearance, providing insights into the behavior of characteristic real-world pBRDFs.

Langevin monte carlo rendering with gradient-based adaptation

We introduce a suite of Langevin Monte Carlo algorithms for efficient photorealistic rendering of scenes with complex light transport effects, such as caustics, interreflections, and occlusions. Our algorithms operate in primary sample space, and use the Metropolis-adjusted Langevin algorithm (MALA) to generate new samples. Drawing inspiration from state-of-the-art stochastic gradient descent procedures, we combine MALA with adaptive preconditioning and momentum schemes that re-use previously-computed first-order gradients, either in an online or in a cache-driven fashion. This combination allows MALA to adapt to the local geometry of the primary sample space, without the computational overhead associated with previous Hessian-based adaptation algorithms. We use the theory of controlled Markov chain Monte Carlo to ensure that these combinations remain ergodic, and are therefore suitable for unbiased Monte Carlo rendering. Through extensive experiments, we show that our algorithms, MALA with online and cache-driven adaptation, can successfully handle complex light transport in a large variety of scenes, leading to improved performance (on average more than 3× variance reduction at equal time, and 7× for motion blur) compared to state-of-the-art Markov chain Monte Carlo rendering algorithms.

Massively parallel rendering of complex closed-form implicit surfaces

We present a new method for directly rendering complex closed-form implicit surfaces on modern GPUs, taking advantage of their massive parallelism. Our model representation is unambiguously solid, can be sampled at arbitrary resolution, and supports both constructive solid geometry (CSG) and more unusual modeling operations (e.g. smooth blending of shapes). The rendering strategy scales to large-scale models with thousands of arithmetic operations in their underlying mathematical expressions. Our method only requires C0 continuity, allowing for warping and blending operations which break Lipshitz continuity.

To render a model, its underlying expression is evaluated in a shallow hierarchy of spatial regions, using a high branching factor for efficient parallelization. Interval arithmetic is used to both skip empty regions and construct reduced versions of the expression. The latter is the optimization that makes our algorithm practical: in one benchmark, expression complexity decreases by two orders of magnitude between the original and reduced expressions. Similar algorithms exist in the literature, but tend to be deeply recursive with heterogeneous workloads in each branch, which makes them GPU-unfriendly; our evaluation and expression reduction both run efficiently as massively parallel algorithms, entirely on the GPU.

The resulting system renders complex implicit surfaces in high resolution and at interactive speeds. We examine how performance scales with computing power, presenting performance results on hardware ranging from older laptops to modern data-center GPUs, and showing significant improvements at each stage.

Neural supersampling for real-time rendering

Due to higher resolutions and refresh rates, as well as more photorealistic effects, real-time rendering has become increasingly challenging for video games and emerging virtual reality headsets. To meet this demand, modern graphics hardware and game engines often reduce the computational cost by rendering at a lower resolution and then upsampling to the native resolution. Following the recent advances in image and video superresolution in computer vision, we propose a machine learning approach that is specifically tailored for high-quality upsampling of rendered content in real-time applications. The main insight of our work is that in rendered content, the image pixels are point-sampled, but precise temporal dynamics are available. Our method combines this specific information that is typically available in modern renderers (i.e., depth and dense motion vectors) with a novel temporal network design that takes into account such specifics and is aimed at maximizing video quality while delivering real-time performance. By training on a large synthetic dataset rendered from multiple 3D scenes with recorded camera motion, we demonstrate high fidelity and temporally stable results in real-time, even in the highly challenging 4 × 4 upsampling scenario, significantly outperforming existing superresolution and temporal antialiasing work.

Path-space differentiable rendering

Physics-based differentiable rendering, the estimation of derivatives of radiometric measures with respect to arbitrary scene parameters, has a diverse array of applications from solving analysis-by-synthesis problems to training machine learning pipelines incorporating forward rendering processes. Unfortunately, general-purpose differentiable rendering remains challenging due to the lack of efficient estimators as well as the need to identify and handle complex discontinuities such as visibility boundaries.

In this paper, we show how path integrals can be differentiated with respect to arbitrary differentiable changes of a scene. We provide a detailed theoretical analysis of this process and establish new differentiable rendering formulations based on the resulting differential path integrals. Our path-space differentiable rendering formulation allows the design of new Monte Carlo estimators that offer significantly better efficiency than state-of-the-art methods in handling complex geometric discontinuities and light transport phenomena such as caustics.

We validate our method by comparing our derivative estimates to those generated using the finite-difference method. To demonstrate the effectiveness of our technique, we compare inverse-rendering performance with a few state-of-the-art differentiable rendering methods.

Penrose: from mathematical notation to beautiful diagrams

We introduce a system called Penrose for creating mathematical diagrams. Its basic functionality is to translate abstract statements written in familiar math-like notation into one or more possible visual representations. Rather than rely on a fixed library of visualization tools, the visual representation is user-defined in a constraint-based specification language; diagrams are then generated automatically via constrained numerical optimization. The system is user-extensible to many domains of mathematics, and is fast enough for iterative design exploration. In contrast to tools that specify diagrams via direct manipulation or low-level graphics programming, Penrose enables rapid creation and exploration of diagrams that faithfully preserve the underlying mathematical meaning. We demonstrate the effectiveness and generality of the system by showing how it can be used to illustrate a diverse set of concepts from mathematics and computer graphics.

Polar stroking: new theory and methods for stroking paths

Stroking and filling are the two basic rendering operations on paths in vector graphics. The theory of filling a path is well-understood in terms of contour integrals and winding numbers, but when path rendering standards specify stroking, they resort to the analogy of painting pixels with a brush that traces the outline of the path. This means important standards such as PDF, SVG, and PostScript lack a rigorous way to say what samples are inside or outside a stroked path. Our work fills this gap with a principled theory of stroking.

Guided by our theory, we develop a novel polar stroking method to render stroked paths robustly with an intuitive way to bound the tessellation error without needing recursion. Because polar stroking guarantees small uniform steps in tangent angle, it provides an efficient way to accumulate arc length along a path for texturing or dashing. While this paper focuses on developing the theory of our polar stroking method, we have successfully implemented our methods on modern programmable GPUs.

Radiative backpropagation: an adjoint method for lightning-fast differentiable rendering

Physically based differentiable rendering has recently evolved into a powerful tool for solving inverse problems involving light. Methods in this area perform a differentiable simulation of the physical process of light transport and scattering to estimate partial derivatives relating scene parameters to pixels in the rendered image. Together with gradient-based optimization, such algorithms have interesting applications in diverse disciplines, e.g., to improve the reconstruction of 3D scenes, while accounting for interreflection and transparency, or to design meta-materials with specified optical properties.

The most versatile differentiable rendering algorithms rely on reverse-mode differentiation to compute all requested derivatives at once, enabling optimization of scene descriptions with millions of free parameters. However, a severe limitation of the reverse-mode approach is that it requires a detailed transcript of the computation that is subsequently replayed to back-propagate derivatives to the scene parameters. The transcript of typical renderings is extremely large, exceeding the available system memory by many orders of magnitude, hence current methods are limited to simple scenes rendered at low resolutions and sample counts.

We introduce radiative backpropagation, a fundamentally different approach to differentiable rendering that does not require a transcript, greatly improving its scalability and efficiency. Our main insight is that reverse-mode propagation through a rendering algorithm can be interpreted as the solution of a continuous transport problem involving the partial derivative of radiance with respect to the optimization objective. This quantity is "emitted" by sensors, "scattered" by the scene, and eventually "received" by objects with differentiable parameters. Differentiable rendering then decomposes into two separate primal and adjoint simulation steps that scale to complex scenes rendered at high resolutions. We also investigated biased variants of this algorithm and find that they considerably improve both runtime and convergence speed. We showcase an efficient GPU implementation of radiative backpropagation and compare its performance and the quality of its gradients to prior work.

Robust fitting of parallax-aware mixtures for path guiding

Effective local light transport guiding demands for high quality guiding information, i.e., a precise representation of the directional incident radiance distribution at every point inside the scene. We introduce a parallax-aware distribution model based on parametric mixtures. By parallax-aware warping of the distribution, the local approximation of the 5D radiance field remains valid and precise across large spatial regions, even for close-by contributors. Our robust optimization scheme fits parametric mixtures to radiance samples collected in previous rendering passes. Robustness is achieved by splitting and merging of components refining the mixture. These splitting and merging decisions minimize and bound the expected variance of the local radiance estimator. In addition, we extend the fitting scheme to a robust, iterative update method, which allows for incremental training of our model using smaller sample batches. This results in more frequent training updates and, at the same time, significantly reduces the required sample memory footprint. The parametric representation of our model allows for the application of advanced importance sampling methods such as radiance-based, cosine-aware, and even product importance sampling. Our method further smoothly integrates next-event estimation (NEE) into path guiding, avoiding importance sampling of contributions better covered by NEE. The proposed robust fitting and update scheme, in combination with the parallax-aware representation, results in faster learning and lower variance compared to state-of-the-art path guiding approaches.

Spatiotemporal reservoir resampling for real-time ray tracing with dynamic direct lighting

Efficiently rendering direct lighting from millions of dynamic light sources using Monte Carlo integration remains a challenging problem, even for off-line rendering systems. We introduce a new algorithm---ReSTIR---that renders such lighting interactively, at high quality, and without needing to maintain complex data structures. We repeatedly resample a set of candidate light samples and apply further spatial and temporal resampling to leverage information from relevant nearby samples. We derive an unbiased Monte Carlo estimator for this approach, and show that it achieves equal-error 6×-60× faster than state-of-the-art methods. A biased estimator reduces noise further and is 35×-65× faster, at the cost of some energy loss. We implemented our approach on the GPU, rendering complex scenes containing up to 3.4 million dynamic, emissive triangles in under 50 ms per frame while tracing at most 8 rays per pixel.

Specular manifold sampling for rendering high-frequency caustics and glints

Scattering from specular surfaces produces complex optical effects that are frequently encountered in realistic scenes: intricate caustics due to focused reflection, multiple refraction, and high-frequency glints from specular microstructure. Yet, despite their importance and considerable research to this end, sampling of light paths that cause these effects remains a formidable challenge.

In this article, we propose a surprisingly simple and general sampling strategy for specular light paths including the above examples, unifying the previously disjoint areas of caustic and glint rendering into a single framework. Given two path vertices, our algorithm stochastically finds a specular subpath connecting the endpoints. In contrast to prior work, our method supports high-frequency normal- or displacement-mapped geometry, samples specular-diffuse-specular ("SDS") paths, and is compatible with standard Monte Carlo methods including unidirectional path tracing. Both unbiased and biased variants of our approach can be constructed, the latter often significantly reducing variance, which may be appealing in applied settings (e.g. visual effects). We demonstrate our method on a range of challenging scenes and evaluate it against state-of-the-art methods for rendering caustics and glints.

The design and evolution of the UberBake light baking system

We describe the design and evolution of UberBake, a global illumination system developed by Activision, which supports limited lighting changes in response to certain player interactions. Instead of relying on a fully dynamic solution, we use a traditional static light baking pipeline and extend it with a small set of features that allow us to dynamically update the precomputed lighting at run-time with minimal performance and memory overhead. This means that our system works on the complete set of target hardware, ranging from high-end PCs to previous generation gaming consoles, allowing the use of lighting changes for gameplay purposes. In particular, we show how to efficiently precompute lighting changes due to individual lights being enabled and disabled and doors opening and closing. Finally, we provide a detailed performance evaluation of our system using a set of production levels and discuss how to extend its dynamic capabilities in the future.

Variance-aware path guiding

Path guiding is a promising tool to improve the performance of path tracing algorithms. However, not much research has investigated what target densities a guiding method should strive to learn for optimal performance. Instead, most previous work pursues the zero-variance goal: The local decisions are guided under the assumption that all other decisions along the random walk will be sampled perfectly. In practice, however, many decisions are poorly guided, or not guided at all. Furthermore, learned distributions are often marginalized, e.g., by neglecting the BSDF. We present a generic procedure to derive theoretically optimal target densities for local path guiding. These densities account for variance in nested estimators, and marginalize provably well over, e.g., the BSDF. We apply our theory in two state-of-the-art rendering applications: a path guiding solution for unidirectional path tracing [Müller et al. 2017] and a guiding method for light source selection for the many lights problem [Vévoda et al. 2018]. In both cases, we observe significant improvements, especially on glossy surfaces. The implementations for both applications consist of trivial modifications to the original code base, without introducing any additional overhead.