Visual Design and Engineering Laboratory

Carnegie Mellon University

Procedural Modeling Using Autoencoder Networks


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Procedural modeling systems allow users to create high quality content through parametric, conditional or stochastic rule sets. While such approaches create an abstraction layer by freeing the user from direct geometry editing, the nonlinear nature and the high number of parameters associated with such design spaces result in arduous modeling experiences for non-expert users. We propose a method to enable intuitive exploration of such high dimensional procedural modeling spaces within a lower dimensional space learned through autoencoder network training. Our method automatically generates a representative training dataset from the procedural modeling rule set based on shape similarity features. We then leverage the samples in this dataset to train an autoencoder neural network, while also structuring the learned lower dimensional space for continuous exploration with respect to shape features. We demonstrate the efficacy our method with user studies where designers create content with more than 10-fold faster speeds using our system compared to the classic procedural modeling interface.


Mehmet Ersin Yumer, Paul Asente, Radomir Mech, Levent Burak Kara. (2015). Procedural Modeling Using Autoencoder Networks. 28th ACM User Interface Software and Technology Symposium (UIST) 2015.

 title = {Procedural Modeling Using Autoencoder Networks},
 author = {Yumer, M. E., and Asente, P., and Mech, R., and Kara, L. B.},
 booktitle = {Proceedings of the ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST)},
 organization = {ACM},
 pages = {-},
 year = {2015},