“Sculpting: an interactive volumetric modeling technique” by Galyean and Hughes

  • ©Tinsley Galyean and John Hughes




    Sculpting: an interactive volumetric modeling technique



    We present a new interactive modeling technique based on the notion of sculpting a solid material. A sculpting tool is controlled by a 3D input device and the material is represented by voxel data; the tool acts by modifying the values in the voxel array, much as a “paint” program’s “paintbrush” modifies bitmap values. The voxel data is converted to a polygonal surface using a “marching-cubes” algorithm; since the modifications to the voxel data are local, we accelerate this computation by an incremental algorithm and accelerate the display by using a special data structure for determining which polygons must be redrawn in a particular screen region. We provide a variety of tools: one that cuts away material, one that adds material, a “sandpaper” tool, a “heat gun,” etc. The technique provides an intuitive direct interaction, as if the user were working with clay or wax. The models created are free-form and may have complex topology; however, they are not precise, so the technique is appropriate for modeling a boulder or a tooth but not for modeling a crankshaft.


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