Depicting Stylized Materials with Vector Shade Trees

Jorge Lopez-Moreno, Stefan Popov, Adrien Bousseau, Maneesh Agrawala, George Drettakis


Vector graphics represent images with compact, editable and scalable primitives. Skillful vector artists employ these primitives to produce vivid depictions of material appearance and lighting. However, such stylized imagery often requires building complex multi-layered combinations of colored fills and gradient meshes. We facilitate this task by introducing vector shade trees that bring to vector graphics the flexibility of modular shading representations as known in the 3D rendering community. In contrast to traditional shade trees that combine pixel and vertex shaders, our shade nodes encapsulate the creation and blending of vector primitives that vector artists routinely use. We propose a set of basic shade nodes that we design to respect the traditional guidelines on material depiction described in drawing books and tutorials. We integrate our representation as an Adobe Illustrator plug-in that allows even inexperienced users to take a line drawing, apply a few clicks and obtain a fully colored illustration. More experienced artists can easily refine the illustration, adding more details and visual features, while using all the vector drawing tools they are already familiar with. We demonstrate the power of our representation by quickly generating illustrations of complex objects and materials.

We describe Vector Shade Trees that represent stylized materials as a combination of basic shade nodes composed of vector graphics primitives (a). Combining these nodes allows the depiction of a variety of materials while preserving traditional vector drawing style and practice. We integrate our vector shade trees in a vector drawing tool that allows users to apply stylized shading effects on vector line drawings (b,c). This pdf contains png versions of vector art to avoid viewer compatibility problems; full vector versions of our results are in supplemental material. Original line drawing from koconmus, , colored version the authors .

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Depicting Stylized Materials with Vector Shade Trees
SIGGRAPH 2013, July 2013. pp. 118:1-118:10.