Painting detail

Nathan A. Carr, John C. Hart

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Surface painting is a technique that allows a user to paint a texture directly onto a surface, usually with a texture atlas: a 1:1 mapping between the surface and its texture image. Many good automatic texture atlas generation methods exist that evenly distribute texture samples across a surface based on its area and/or curvature, and some are even sensitive to the frequency spectrum of the input texture. However, during the surface painting process, the texture can change non-uniformly and unpredictably and even the best atlases are static and can thus fail to reproduce sections of finely painted detail such us surface illustration. We present a new texture atlas algorithm that distributes initial texture samples evenly according to surface area and texture frequency, and, more importantly, maintains this distribution as the texture signal changes during the surface painting process. The running time is further accelerated with a novel GPU implementation of the surface painting process. The redistribution of samples is transparent to the user, resulting in a surface painting system of seemingly unlimited resolution. The atlas construction is local, making it fast enough to run interactively on models containing over 100K faces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)845-852
Number of pages8
JournalACM Transactions on Graphics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2004
EventACM Transactions on Graphics - Proceedings of ACM SIGGRAPH 2004 -
Duration: Aug 9 2004Aug 12 2004


  • 3D painting
  • Face clustering
  • Mesh parametrization
  • Texture atlas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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