Colloquium Details

Conveying and Analyzing Shapes: From Art to Science

Speaker: Alla Sheffer, University of British Columbia

Location: Warren Weaver Hall 1302

Date: October 16, 2015, 11:30 a.m.

Host: Denis Zorin


Humans have developed multiple ways to communicate about both tangible and abstract shape properties. Artists and designers can quickly and effectively convey complex shapes to a broad audience using traditional mediums such as paper, while both experts and the general public can analyze and agree on intangible shape properties such as style or aesthetics. While perception research provides some clues as to the mental processes involved, concrete and quantifiable explanations of this process are still lacking.

Our recent line of research aims to quantify the geometric properties and tools involved in shape communication and analysis, and to develop algorithms that successfully replicate human abilities in this domain. In my talk I will survey our efforts in this domain - describing methods for creation of 3D looking shaded production drawings from concept sketches; sketch based modeling algorithms that automatically create complex 3D shapes from artist-generated line drawings in a range of domains, including industrial design, character modeling, and garment design; and methods for style analysis and transfer for both engineered shapes and garments. The common thread in these approaches is the use of insights derived from perception and design literature combined with subsequent perceptual validation via a range of user studies.

Speaker Bio:

Alla Sheffer is a professor of Computer Science at the University of British Columbia. She investigates algorithms for geometry processing focusing on computer graphics applications. She is particularly interested in geometric interpretation of designer intent when conveying shape. Alla regularly publishes at selective computer graphics venues such as SIGGRAPH and SIGGRAPH Asia. Alla holds 5 recent patents on methods for shape communication and hexahedral mesh generation. She received an IBM faculty award, Killam Research Fellowship, NSERC DAS, NSERC I2I, and the Audi Production Award. She served on the PCs for SIGGRAPH, SIGGRAPH Asia, Eurographics, and other key graphics conferences and co-chaired the PCs for SGP’06, Sketches & Posters at SIGGRAPH Asia’10, and IEEE SMI’13. She served on the editorial boards of IEEE TVCG, Computer Graphics Form, Graphical Models, Computers & Graphics, and CAGD.


Refreshments will be offered starting 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the talk.

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