Guest Speaker

Guest speaker: Vladimir G. Kim, Adobe Research (Creative Technologies Lab)

Title: Data-driven Geometry Processing

Many geometry processing tasks require understanding geometric data from human perspective.  Recent growth of large online repositories of 3D shapes and advances in machine learning enable building data models that can be used to understand similarities, variations, semantics, and functionality of 3D objects. There two main challenges in using machine learning for geometry processing. First, we need to collect human annotations to learn functional and semantic attributes of shapes. And second, we need to develop novel geometric representations that are compatible with state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms.  To address the first challenge, we developed several techniques that significantly reduce the cost of human supervision by combining several types of crowd-sourced worker tasks, automatic label propagation, and meta-data that comes for free with the 3D models. In the second part of my talk I will discuss the challenges, existing solutions, and open research problems in geometric representations for machine learning.

Guest speaker: Marie-Paule Cani, Grenoble University & Inria

Title: Towards the Expressive Design of Virtual Worlds : Combining Knowledge and Control


Despite our great expressive skills, we humans lack an easy way of conveying the 3D worlds we imagine. While impressive advances were made in the last fifteen years to evolve digital modeling systems into gesture-based interfaces enabling to sketch or sculpt in 3D, modeling is generally limited to the design of isolated, static shapes. In contrast, virtual worlds are composed of distributions or assemblies of elements which are too numerous to be created or even positioned one by one; the shapes of these elements may heavily depend on physical laws and on the interaction with their surroundings; and many of them may be animated, meaning that they should not only be designed in space, but also over time. In this talk, I will explore the recent extensions of expressive modeling metaphors such as sketching, painting, transfer and sculpting, to such complex cases. I will show that models for shape and motion need to be redefined from a user-centered perspective, and in particular embed the necessary knowledge to make them respond in an intuitive way to the user’s control gestures. 

Guest speaker: Andrew Woo, WooStyle Consulting Ltd.

Title: Comparing geometric representations for real-time graphics


These days, on the internet, you may have read polarized opinions such as “polygons are the only serious representation in any serious 3D software”, or “this is the end for polygons”, when polygons are compared to one of the other geometric representations.  While both opinions are ridiculous, we will review some of the advantages and disadvantages of polygons, point cloud and voxels as geometric representations in real-time 3D applications, to get a better appreciation for why those polarized opinions exist, and why, in the end, those opinions do not really matter.

Guest speaker: Andrea Tagliasacchi, University of Victoria and EPFL

Title: State of the Art in Surface Reconstruction from Point Clouds

The area of surface reconstruction has seen substantial progress in the past two decades. The traditional problem addressed by surface reconstruction is to recover the digital representation of a physical shape that has been scanned, where the scanned data contains a wide variety of defects.

Speaker: Jack M Wang

Title: Simulating Human Locomotion: Optimization, Uncertainty, and Biomechanics

Locomotion, specifically walking and running, are common and essential human movements. The ability to create physically and biomechanically plausible simulations of locomotion is of interest to applications ranging from game content creation to pathological gait analysis, and can contribute to our understanding of motor control.

However, while humans can move on varied terrains, start and stop on a dime, and recover from trips with ease, getting simulated humanoids to simply walk forward without falling is a challenging task.  Achieving locomotion requires solving a high-dimensional, nonlinear, and underactuated control problem.  Furthermore, out of all the control strategies that accomplish the task, how do we select one that produces human-like movements? In this talk, the speaker will present an approach to simulate and control 3D humanoid locomotion that produces results matching human data to a much greater extent than previous state-of-the-art.


Speaker: Ping Tan

Title: Towards Automatic Visual Content Creation

Computer graphics has been very successful. However, an important problem still remains unsolved. High quality graphical content (such as 3D models and realistic images or animations) is difficult to create, which limits graphics to mass market products, such as games and movies. To make graphics a media for our daily communication, we must bridge the gap between ordinary people and graphics professionals, and make visual content easy to create for the general public. 
This talk introduces the speaker's recent work towards this goal.

Speaker: Vladimir G. Kim

Title: Discovering Similarities In Diverse Collections of 3D Shapes

Due to recent developments in modeling software and advances in acquisition techniques for 3D geometry, large numbers of shapes have been digitized. Existing datasets include millions of real-world objects, cultural heritage artifacts, scientific and engineering models. As large repositories of 3D shape collections continue to grow, understanding the data, especially the inter-model similarity and geometric variations across models, is essential for effective organization, exploration and analysis of these datasets.

Speaker: Nils Thuerey

Title: Turbulent Fluids for Interactive Graphics

Physics simulations are widely recognized to be crucial tools for complex special effects in feature films, and real-time simulations are often central game-play elements in modern computer games. There are, however, inherent difficulties with these simulations: we are still very far from being able to accurately simulate the complexity of nature around us. Additionally, the numerical methods that are commonly used are notoriously difficult to fine-tune and control. The central goal of the speaker's research is to address these issues with novel multi-physics solvers. 

Speaker: Markus Hadwiger

Title: GPU-Based High-Performance Visualization

This talk will give an overview of selected research that we are doing in interactive high-performance visualization at the Geometric Modeling and Scientific Visualization Center at KAUST. Interactive visualization is crucial to exploring, analyzing, and understanding data, such as the data acquired via computed tomography, electron microscopy, or seismic surveys, as well as simulated data, such as the result of fluid simulations. However, the amount of data that is acquired or simulated is increasing rapidly toward the petascale and further, which presents a tremendous challenge to interactive visualization and analysis.