“A Hybrid Approach to Procedural Tree Skeletonization”

  • ©James Bartolozzi and Matt Kuruc

  • ©James Bartolozzi and Matt Kuruc

  • ©James Bartolozzi and Matt Kuruc



Entry Number: 53


    A Hybrid Approach to Procedural Tree Skeletonization



    The curve hierarchy skeleton has been a foundational component of Pixar’s vegetation pipeline since Cars 2 (2011). This skeleton is leveraged when building flow fields for texture synthesis, generating procedural secondary vegetation detail, and as a basis for simulation rigs. Our current skeletonization pipeline is built around mesh contraction [Shek et al. 2010] [Au et al. 2008] which is sensitive to the underlying topology. This method creates undesirable curve structures when modelers add musculature to the trunk mesh. Technical directors would reapply manual fixes to the skeleton over the course of iterating on the model. Recent work examining constructing skeletons using point clouds and volumetrics inspired us to develop a new hybrid approach. This alternative to the traditional mesh contraction algorithm has shown to be fast, reliable, accurate, and minimizes constraints on our modeling artists.


    Oscar Kin-Chung Au, Chiew-Lan Tai, Hung-Kuo Chu, Daniel Cohen-Or, and Tong-Yee Lee. 2008. Skeleton Extraction by Mesh Contraction. In ACM SIGGRAPH 2008 Papers (SIGGRAPH ’08). ACM, New York, NY, USA, Article 44, 10 pages. Google ScholarDigital Library
    Arthur Shek, Dylan Lacewell, Andrew Selle, Daniel Teece, and Tom Thompson. 2010. Art-directing Disney’s Tangled Procedural Trees. In ACM SIGGRAPH 2010 Talks (SIGGRAPH ’10). ACM, New York, NY, USA, Article 53, 1 pages.


    We would like to thank David Eberle for his insights and contributions to this algorithm.


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