August 21, 2014 AT 4:00 am

3D Design Innovation from Disney Research: Capturing Perfect (Printable) Hair, Instant Mechanical Characters, and Inflatable Structures #3DThursday #3DPrinting

Here’s a round up of three more Disney Research digital fabrication papers presented from SIGGRAPH 2014 in Vancouver this year.

Computational Design of Linkage-Based Characters (Video above.)

We present a design system for linkage-based characters, combining form and function in an aesthetically-pleasing manner. Linkage-based character design exhibits a mix of discrete and continuous problems, making for a highly unintuitive design space that is difficult to navigate without assistance. Our system significantly simplifies this task by allowing users to interactively browse different topology options, thus guiding the discrete set of choices that need to be made. A subsequent continuous optimization step improves motion quality and, crucially, safeguards against singularities. We demonstrate the flexibility of our method on a diverse set of character designs, and then realize our designs by physically fabricating prototypes. (Project page with link to the paper!)

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Stylized Hair Capture:

In this paper we present the first method for stylized hair capture, a technique to reconstruct an individual’s actual hair-style in a manner suitable for physical reproduction. Inspired by centuries-old artistic sculptures, our method generates hair as a closed-manifold surface, yet contains the structural and color elements stylized in a way that captures the defining characteristics of the hair-style. The key to our approach is a novel multi-view stylization algorithm, which extends feature-preserving color filtering from 2D images to irregular manifolds in 3D, and introduces abstract geometric details that are coherent with the color stylization. The proposed technique fits naturally in traditional pipelines for figurine reproduction, and we demonstrate the robustness and versatility of our approach by capturing several subjects with widely varying hair-styles. (Project page with link to the paper!)

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Designing Inflatable Structures

We propose an interactive, optimization-in-the-loop tool for designing inflatable structures. Given a target shape, the user draws a network of seams defining desired segment boundaries in 3D. Our method computes optimally-shaped flat panels for the segments, such that the inflated structure is as close as possible to the target while satisfying the desired seam positions. Our approach is underpinned by physics-based pattern optimization, accurate coarse-scale simulation using tension field theory, and a specialized constraint-optimization method. Our system is fast enough to warrant interactive exploration of different seam layouts, including internal connections, and their effects on the inflated shape. We demonstrate the resulting design process on a varied set of simulation examples, some of which we have fabricated, demonstrating excellent agreement with the design intent. (Project page with link to the paper!)

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And to browse through even more “beta projects” (aka cool tech demos!) from Disney Research, head here.

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