Jean-Dominique Favreau: Fidelity vs. Simplicity: a Global Approach to Line Drawing Vectorization

Abstract: Vector drawing is a popular representation in graphic design because of the precision, compactness and editability offered by parametric curves. However, prior work on line drawing vectorization focused solely on faithfully capturing input bitmaps, and largely overlooked the problem of producing a compact and editable curve network. As a result, existing algorithms tend to produce overly-complex drawings composed of many short curves and control points, especially in the presence of thick or sketchy lines that yield spurious curves at junctions. We propose the first vectorization algorithm that explicitly balances fidelity to the input bitmap with simplicity of the output, as measured by the number of curves and their degree. By casting this trade-off as a global optimization, our algorithm generates few yet accurate curves, and also disambiguates curve topology at junctions by favoring the simplest interpretations overall. We demonstrate the robustness of our algorithm on a variety of drawings, sketchy cartoons and rough design sketches.