Non-Photorealistic Computer Graphics Library

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About

This library is a collection of references in Non-photorealistic computer graphics (for a more accurate defintion read here). They have been collected from the websites and digital libraries that can be found in the links section and the private respective authors' websites. It has been mainly inspired by the website of Mario Costa Sousa "Bibliography in Non-Photorealistic Rendering" (which is no longer available). This library acts mostly as a personal tool that I use to quickly access material that I like and usually read. By no means it is intended to be an error free and complete reference repository.

Due to the copyright restrictions of many papers and resources found in this library, as well as bandwidth restrictions, public access to them is not possible at this time. Please contact me if you fall within any of the following categories:

  • You see one of your papers and would like to give permission to me to make it publicly available.
  • You are an author and would like to see your work here.
  • You found any type of mistake (reference, author details etc).
  • You have source code/tutorial/guide or anything related to NPR that you would like to share.
  • You believe that something should not be presented here (mainly copyrighted material)

Concept

The concept behind this repository and the specialized engine I developed for it, is to have a centralized portal for NPR work. The public area, what you as a visitor see, is as low-bandwidth as possible, without fancy Flash, layout graphics and client-side requirements. I chose a minimalistic approach, since the aim of this repository is to serve as an access point to state of the art NPR, rather than show off my level in doing web graphics. The system supports all modern graphical web browsers, as well as console text-based ones. (But please read below the "Development" sub-section.)

Instead of tailoring the data to a user interface, I chose to structure the information for optimal accessibility and let the interface adapt to the information as the data expand and stretch in volume and complexity. The database backend, as well as the entry points to it via the user inteface, allows references to be accessed in a non-linear fashion, therefore different users can develop their own navigation style to find what they are seeking.

Most of the references' metadata are accompanied with an image taken from the respective work. While someone may debate that this is a contradiction to the simplistic approach data are displayed there are two key points to consider. For one, memory and attention are enhanced when humans are provided with visual information. Visual information is processed much faster than textual information, hence an image can quickly give an indication of previously accessed material, as well as help to identify whether that particular reference is the one we seek on the system. It is not unusual for me to identify research papers from a single image. The second reason I use an image directly related to the referenced research is to identify the style presented in that work. Overall, a well selected image can serve equally well as a properly selected title for the particular work.

Another strong feature of the system is the live generation of statistics. One can track research work and its evolution, by looking at researchers involved and which type of research they have participated in. By using the system it is rather easy to also identify active researchers and notice trends in the field. At this time the system generates simple statistics, but I plan to add some better statistical analysis of the references so that we will be able, with minor effort, to have an overview of work by "type" (illustration, painting, drawing, 2D or 3D, etc.).

For sometime I was considering whether I should turn the system into an automated one, where data are retrieved from particular sources, much like what I manually do by searching around and monitoring current research. This would consume much of my free time to design and implement such a system and it would require significantly more resources. Without trying to come up with a cheap excuse to avoid this automation, the volume of NPR research is not very large at the moment. I think it is easier and better structured if I manually maintain it.

Development

This system is optimized for Mozilla Browsers, more precisely all browsers using the NGLayout (aka Gecko) engine. Even though all other major browsers work equally well (Opera, Safari, IE), you may see some ugly rendering here and there. Note that you can also use some of the long standing text web-browsers, such as Links and Lynx.

The system uses php and mysql, as well as some unix utilities. I program it always via a terminal with the nano text editor and I audit security as thoroughly as possible. The power of the system is not on the public area, but rather on the administration of it, featuring easy to use forms for managing references, authors, links and also multiple other tools to assist administrators and have an overview of the system.

--stathis (aka Efstathios Stavrakis (blog).

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