Published in ACM Transactions on Graphics, Volume 28, Issue 5, Article 110 (SIGGRAPH Asia 2009 Papers)

Motion Field Texture Synthesis

2D synthesis results

2D synthesis results. In each figure, the upper inset shows the input exemplar for synthesis of motion details.


A variety of animation effects such as herds and fluids contain detailed motion fields characterized by repetitive structures. Such detailed motion fields are often visually important, but tedious to specify manually or expensive to simulate computationally. Due to the repetitive nature, some of these motion fields (e.g. turbulence in fluids) could be synthesized by procedural texturing, but procedural texturing is known for its limited generality.

We apply example-based texture synthesis for motion fields. Our technique is general and can take on a variety of user inputs, including captured data, manual art, and physical/procedural simulation. This data-driven approach enables artistic effects that are difficult to achieve via previous methods, such as heart shaped swirls in fluid animation. Due to the use of texture synthesis, our method is able to populate a large output field from a small input exemplar, imposing minimum user workload. Our algorithm also allows the synthesis of output motion fields not only with the same dimension as the input (e.g. 2D to 2D) but also of higher dimension, such as 3D volumetric outputs from 2D planar inputs. This cross-dimension capability supports a convenient usage scenario, i.e. the user could simply supply 2D images and our method produces a 3D motion field with similar characteristics. The motion fields produced by our method are generic, and could be combined with a variety of large-scale low-resolution motions that are easy to specify either manually or computationally but lack the repetitive structures to be characterized as textures. We apply our technique to a variety of animation phenomena, including smoke, liquid, and group motion.


Motion Field, Texture Synthesis, Fluids, Group Motion


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