Texture Synthesis for 3D Shape Representation

Gabriele Gorla, Victoria Interrante, Guillermo Sapiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Considerable evidence suggests that a viewer's perception of the 3D shape of a polygonally-defined object can be significantly affected (either masked or enhanced) by the presence of a surface texture pattern. However, investigations into the specific mechanisms of texture's effect on shape perception are still ongoing and the question of how to design and apply a texture pattern to a surface in order to best facilitate shape perception remains open. Recently, we have suggested that, for anisotropic texture patterns, the accuracy of shape judgments may be significantly affected by the orientation of the surface texture pattern anisotropy with respect to the principal directions of curvature over the surface. However, it has been difficult, until this time, to conduct controlled studies specifically Investigating the effect of texture orientation on shape perception because there has been no simple and reliable method for texturing an arbitrary doubly curved surface with a specified input pattern such that the dominant orientation of the pattern everywhere follows a predefined directional vector field over the surface, while seams and projective distortion of the pattern are avoided. In this paper, we present a straightforward and highly efficient method for achieving such a texture and describe how it can potentially be used to enhance shape representation. Specifically, we describe a novel, efficient, automatic algorithm for seamlessly synthesizing, from a sample 2D pattern, a high resolution fitted surface texture in which the dominant orientation of the pattern locally follows a specified vector field over the surface at a par-pixel level and In which seams, projective distortion, and repetition artifacts in the texture pattern are nearly completely avoided. We demonstrate the robustness of our method with a variety of texture swatches applied to standard graphics data sets and we explain how our method can be used to facilitate research in the perception of shape from texture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)512-524
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a University of Minnesota Grant-in-Aid of Research, Artistry, and Scholarship. Additional support was provided by a US National Science Foundation (NSF) Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) 9875368, NSF CAREER award CCR-9873670, US Office of Naval Research (ONR) N00014-97-2-0509, an ONR Young Investigator Award, Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) Navy/N00014-98-1-0631, and the NSF Learning and Intelligent Systems Program.


  • Shape perception
  • Shape representation
  • Texture mapping
  • Texture synthesis


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