Non-Photorealistic Computer Graphics Library

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PhD Thesis Wet and Sticky: A novel model for computer based painting

Author(s): Tunde Cockshott.
PhD Thesis: University of Glasgow, 1991.
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The problems of computer based painting are considered from a fine arts stand point. A detailed criticism of existing approaches is provided. This criticism centres on the limited depth of existing models and the resultant limited complexity and relative poverty of their mark making capabilities. The notion of the importance of the accidental in art is highlighted and an argument is made for its inclusion in computer based painting models. An informal task analysis is carried out and a description is provided for the task of domain modeling. The results of this task analysis confirm the inadequacy of the existing computer based models. A novel paradigm, Wet & Sticky, is proposed which models the physical and behavioural characteristics of paint rather than just its colour properties. The initial proposals for the model require that it mimics the actions of gravity and the effects of ageing of upon different types of paint. An experimental development procedure is used to produce and refine a set of algorithms for an implementation of the new model, resulting in an increase in the complexity of the proposed model. The final model includes algorithms which simulate the actions of surface tension and diffusion. Details are given of the behavioural parameters and algorithms required by the model. This new model is capable of supporting the production of marks which possess a greater degree of complexity than possible with existing models. Thoughout the development of the model the aim is to balance the requirements of producing a convincing visual and behavioural simulation of real paint, against the complexity of making a physically accurate simulation. The new model also provides the opportunity for new tools and techniques which are not only unsupportable with existing systems but also with traditional fine art painting methods. A selection of photographic results are included which provide support for the accuracy of the behaviour of the model.

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