EXPloring REsponsive Shapes for Seamless desIgn of Virtual Environments

picture imagine



Despite our great expressive skills, humans lack an easy way of conveying the 3D shapes we imagine, even more so for dynamic shapes that change over time. Over centuries we relied on drawing and sculpture to convey shapes. However, these tools require significant expertise and time investment, especially when one aims to describe complex or dynamic shapes. With the advent of virtual environments one would expect digital modeling to replace these traditional tools. Unfortunately, conventional techniques in the area have failed, since even trained computer artists still create with traditional media and only use the computer to reproduce already designed content.

Could digital media be turned into a tool, even more expressive and simpler to use than a pen, to convey and refine both static and dynamic 3D shapes?  This is the goal of my project. Achieving it will make shape design directly possible in virtual form, from early drafting to progressive refinement and finalization of an idea. To this end, models for shape and motion need to be redefined from a user-centered perspective. Specifically, we propose the new paradigm of responsive 3D shapes, a novel representation separating morphology from isometric embedding,  to define high-level, dynamic 3D content that takes form, is refined, moves, and deforms based on user intent, expressed through intuitive interaction gestures.

Scientifically, while the problem we address is in the realm of Computer Graphics, it calls for a new convergence with Algebraic Geometry, Simulation and Human Computer Interaction. In terms of impact, the resulting “expressive virtual pen” for 3D content will not only serve the needs of digital artists, but also of scientists and engineers willing to refine their thoughts by interacting with virtual prototypes of their objects of study, educators aiming at quickly conveying their ideas, as well as any people interested in describing a 3D shape. This project thus opens up new horizons for science, technology and society.

ERC Expressive Contact

name: Sanie Claraz


Publications funded or partially funded by the ERC Expressive


Methodology & Work Plan Let us now present the main aspects of the proposed research. We develop it in five work packages, following the 5 objectives identified by the review of the state of the art. They include: WP1. Shape representation WP2. Sketch-Based modeling  WP3. Shape response during design  WP4. Animation WP5. Towards a new …


Past ERC EXPRESSIVE Seminars DATE SPEAKER TITLE (click on ▶ /▽ to read/collapse the corresponding summary and bio.) 2016/10/25 Bernhard Thomaszewski Computational Design Tools for the Age of Digital Fabrication ▶ One of the most exciting aspects of digital fabrication is the promise of instant creativity: the immediate and effortless transition from an idea to …