Design Galleries: A General Approach to Setting Parameters for Computer Graphics and Animation

Marks J, Andalman B, Beardsley PA, Freeman W, Gibson S, Hodgins J, Kang T, Mirtich B, Pfister H, Ruml W, and others.

(ACM Press/Addison-Wesley Publishing Co.: Proceedings of the 24th annual conference on Computer graphics and interactive techniques, 1997.)

Image rendering maps scene parameters to output pixel values; animation maps motion-control parameters to trajectory values. Because these mapping functions are usually multidimensional, nonlinear, and discontinuous, finding input parameters that yield desireable output values is often a painful process of manual tweaking. Interactive evolutiona nd inverse design are two general methodologies for computer-assisted parameter setting in which the computer plays a prominent role. In this paper we present another such methodology. Design Gallery interfaces present the user with the broadest selection, automatically generated and organized, of perceptually different graphics or animations that can be produced by varying a given input-parameter vector. The principal technical challenges posed by the DG approach are dispersion, finding a set of input-parameter vectors that optimally disperses the resulting output-value vectors, and arrangement, organizing the resulting graphics for easy and intuitive browsing by the user. We describe the use of DG interfaces for several parameter-setting problems: light selection and placement for image rendering, both standard and image-based; opacity and color transfer-function specification for volume rendering; and motion control for particle-system and articulated-figure animation.