Depicting Stylized Materials with Vector Shade Trees
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.