Variational Skinning of an Ordered Set of Discrete 2D Balls

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Abstract

This paper considers the problem of computing an interpolating skin of a ordered set of discrete 2D balls. By construction, the skin is constrained to be C 1 continuous, and for each ball, it touches the ball at a point and is tangent to the ball at the point of contact. Using an energy formulation, we derive differential equations that are designed to minimize the skin’s arc length, curvature, or convex combination of both. Given an initial skin, we update the skin’s parametric representation using the differential equations until convergence occurs. We demonstrate the method’s usefulness in generating interpolating skins of balls of different sizes and in various configurations.