Visual Design and Engineering Laboratory

Carnegie Mellon University

Sketch-based shape exploration using multiscale free-form surface editing


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The hierarchical construction of solid models with current computer-aided design systems provides little support in creating and editing free-form surfaces commonly encountered in industrial design. In this work, we propose a new design exploration method that enables sketch-based editing of free-form surface geometries where specific modifications can be applied at different levels of detail. This multilevel detail approach allows the designer to work from existing models and make alterations at coarse and fine representations of the geometry, thereby providing increased conceptual flexibility during modeling. At the heart of our approach lies a multiscale representation of the geometry obtained through a spectral analysis on the discrete free-form surface. This representation is accompanied by a sketch-based surface editing algorithm that enables edits to be made at different levels. The seamless transfer of modifications across different levels of detail facilitates a fluid exploration of the geometry by eliminating the need for a manual specification of the shape hierarchy. We demonstrate our method with several design examples.


Gunay Orbay, M. Ersin Yumer, Levent Burak Kara. (2012). Sketch-based Shape Exploration Using Multi-Scale Freeform Surface Editing. AI-EDAM, Special Issue on Sketching and Pen-based Design Interaction, Volume 26, Issue 3, Pages 337-350.

 title = {Sketch-based shape exploration using multiscale free-form surface editing},
 author = {Gunay Orbay and M. Ersin Yumer and Levent Burak Kara},
 journal ={Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing},
 volume = {26},
 number = {03},
 year = {2012},
 pages = {337-350},
 doi = {},
 publisher = {Cambridge},