The Visual Computer

, Volume 8, Issue 5, pp 292-302

First online:

Cutaways and ghosting: satisfying visibility constraints in dynamic 3D illustrations

  • Steven K. FeinerAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Science, Columbia University
  • , Dorée Duncan SeligmannAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Science, Columbia University

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For an illustration to fulfill the purposes for which it is designed, it is often important that certain objects depicted not be blocked by others. We describe an automated approach to the problem of generating illustrations that satisfy a set of visibility constraints for a given viewing specification. We introduce a family of algorithms that automatically identify potentially obscuring objects, and render them using cutaway and ghosting effects modeled after those used by illustrators. These algorithms exploit modernz-buffer-based 3D graphics hardware to make possible dynamic illustrations that maintain a set of visibility constraints as a user interactively updates the viewing specification.

Key words

Knowledge-based graphics Automated picture generation z-buffer Illustration Visibility