Projects and Fundings

ERC Grant Expressive


Despite our great expressive skills, we humans lack an easy way of communicating the 3D shapes we imagine, and even more so when it comes to dynamic shapes. Over centuries humans used drawing and sculpture to convey shapes. These tools require significant expertise and time investment, especially if one aims to describe complex or dynamic shapes. With the advent of virtual environments one would expect digital modelling 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 this 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 totally rethought from a user-centred 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 belongs to 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 and media aiming at quickly conveying their ideas, as well as anyone willing to communicate a 3D shape. This project thus opens up new horizons for science, technology and society.

Collodi: Intuitive Tools for Animation

2012-2015 contract with 2 industrial partners, TeamTO and Mercenaries Engineering. The goal is to offer a new software solution for the efficient production of computer animation. This will provide:
– classical character design and rigging capabilities
– novel sketch-based tools for more intuitive, productive animation design.
– novel physically-based character deformers
– physically-based animation for hair and cloth

This project has been supported by Cap Digital and Imaginove clusters, and funded by Region Rhône-Alpes and Ile-de-France.



EADS: Idealization of components for structural mechanics

Cifre PhD in partnership with EADS IW to generate the shape of mechanical components through dimensional reduction operations as needed for mechanical simulations, e.g. transformations from volume bodies to shells or plates forming surface models, usually non-manifold ones. The topic addressed covers also the shape detail removal process that takes place during the successive phases where subsets of the initial shape are idealized. Mechanical criteria are taken into account that interact with the dimensional reductions and the detail removal processes. The goal is to define the transformation operators such that a large range of mechanical components can be processed as automatically and robustly as possible. Some results from the homology computation topic
may be used in the present context. An ongoing publication should address the description of the various stages of a component shape transformation in the context of assemblies.

HAPTIHAND, technology transfer project

The objective is to transfer a device, named HandNavigator, that has been developed in collaboration with Arts et Métiers ParisTech/Institut Image, as add on to the 6D Virtuose haptic device developed by HAPTION. The purpose of the HandNavigator is to monitor the movement of a virtual hand at a relatively detailed scale (movements of fingers and phalanxes), in order to create precise interactions with virtual objects. This includes monitoring the whole Virtuose 6D arm and the HandNavigator in a virtual environment, for typical applications of maintenance simulation and virtual assembly in industry. The project covers the creation of an API coupled
to physical engine to generate and monitor a realistic and intuitive use of the entire device, a research study about the optimal use of the device as well as a project management task.

BQR Intuactive

The goal of this project is to develop and compare 2D vs 3D interaction for selecting, placing and editing 3D shapes.


LIMA 2 (Loisirs et Images) is a Rhône-Alpes project in the ISLE cluster (Informatique, Signal, Logiciel Embarqué) focussed on classification and computer graphics. This project founded the PhD for Lucian Stanculescu with Raphaelle Chaine (LIRIS) and Marie-Paule Cani.


In October 2011, we started a collaboration with Theatre des Celestins in Lyon on the topic of interactive editing of rehearsals. This research program is funded by the Region Rhone Alpes as part of their CIBLE project, with a budget for a doctoral thesis (Vineet Gandhi) and three large sensor video cameras. Theatre des Celestins is interested in novel tools for capturing, editing and browsing video recordings of their rehearsals, with applications in reviewing and simulating staging decisions. We are interested in building such tools as a direct application and test of our computational model of film editing, and also for building the world’s first publicly available video resource on the creative process of theatre rehearsal. Using state-of-the-art video analysis methods, this corpus is expected to be useful in our future work on procedural animation of virtual actors and narrative design. The corpus is also expected to be shared with the LEAR team as a test bed for video-based action recognition.


We received a doctoral grant from LABEX PERSYVAL, as part of the research program on authoring augmented reality (AAR) for PhD student Adela Barbelescu. Her thesis is entitled directing virtual actors by imitation and mutual interaction – technological and cognitive challenges. Her advisors are Rémi Ronfard and Gérard Bailly (GIPSA-LAB).

ANR RepDyn


The purpose of this project is to enhance the performance of discrete elements and fluid computations, for the simulation of cracks in nuclear reactors or planes. Our task is to propose GPU implementations of particle models, as well as load balancing strategies in the context of multi-core, multi-GPU hardware. Marie Durand is doing a PhD thesis on this task.



The aim of the project is to efficiently and robustly model very complex mechanical assemblies. We are working on the interactive computation of contacts between mechanical parts using GPU techniques. We will also investigate the Visualization of data with uncertainty, applied in the context of the project.

ANR Sohusim


This project deals with the problem of modeling and simulation of soft interactions between humans and objects. At the moment, there is no software capable of modeling the physical behavior of human soft tissues (muscles, fat, skin) in mechanical interaction with the environment. The existing software such as LifeMod or OpenSim, models muscles as links of variable length and applying a force to an articulated stiff skeleton. The management of soft tissues is not taken into account and does not constitute the main objective of this software. A first axis of this project aims at the simple modeling and simulation of a passive human manipulated by a mecatronics device with for objective the study and the systems design of patient’s manipulation with very low mobility (clinic bed). The second axis concentrates on the detailed modeling and the simulation of the interaction of an active lower limb with objects like orthesis, exoskeleton, clothes or shoes. The objective being there also to obtain a tool for design of devices in permanent contact with the human who allows determining the adequate ergonomics in terms of forms, location, materials, according to the aimed use.

FUI Dynam’it


2-year contract with two industrial partners: TeamTo (production of animated series for television) and Artefacts Studio (video games). The goal is to adapt some technologies created in SOFA, and especially the frame-based deformable objects [29], [28] to practical animation tools. This contract provides us with the funding of two engineers and one graphical artist during two years. Dynam’it is partially funded by the European Union.



Chrome is a national project funded by the French Research Agency (ANR). The project is coordinated by Julien Pettré, member of MimeTIC. Partners are: INRIA-Grenoble IMAGINE team (Remi Ronfard), Golaem SAS (Stephane Donikian), and Archivideo (Francois Gruson). The project has been launched in september 2012. The Chrome project develops new and original techniques to massively populate huge environments. The key idea is to base our approach on the crowd patch paradigm that enables populating environments from sets of pre-computed portions of crowd animation. These portions undergo specific conditions to be assembled into large scenes. The question of visual exploration of these complex scenes is also raised in the project. We develop original camera control techniques to explore the most relevant part of the animations without suffering occlusions due to the constantly moving content. A long-term goal of the project is to enable populating a large digital mockup of the whole France (Territoire 3D, provided by Archivideo). Dedicated efficient human animation techniques are required (Golaem). A strong originality of the project is to address the problem of crowded scene visualisation through the scope of virtual camera control, as task which is coordinated by Imagine team-member Rémi Ronfard.

Action 3DS


Action3DS is a national project funded by Caisse des Dépots, as part of the Investissements d’avenir research program entitled Technologies de numérisation et de valorisation des contenus culturels, scientifiques et éducatifs.
The goal of the project is the developpement of a compact professional stereoscopic camera for 3D broadcast and associated software. Rémi Ronfard is leading a work-package on real-time stereoscopic previsualization, gaze-based camera control and stereoscopic image quality.

AEN MorphoGenetics


3-year collaboration with INRIA teams Virtual Plants and Demar, as well as INRA (Agricultural research) and the Physics department of ENS Lyon. The goal is to better understand the coupling of genes and mechanical constraints in the morphogenesis (creation of shape) of plants.



2-year collaboration with INRIA team DEMAR (Montpellier) and Institut de Myologie (Paris) to simulate 3D models of pathological muscles, for which no standard model exist. The main idea is to use our mesh-less frame-based model to easily create mechanical models based on segmented MRI images.