Team Alice

Overall Objectives
Scientific Foundations
Application Domains
New Results
Contracts and Grants with Industry
Other Grants and Activities

Section: Scientific Foundations


Figure 1. Overall vision of the ALICE project-team: Computer Graphics past (1970) and future (some open problems). Top: Computer Graphics in the 1970's: To obtain 3D data, Henri Gouraud's wife accepted to be manually digitalized (A), this gave this facetted surface (B) which Henri Gouraud did improve with his celebrated smooth shading algorithm (C). Bottom: Computer Graphics in the 2000's: huge advances were made. However, the basic problems still remain unsolved, i.e., finding common representations for data acquisition (D), modeling (E) and image generation (F) (image (D) and 3D model in (E),(F) courtesy of Stanford Digital Michelangelo Project). This is one of the main goals of the ALICE project-team. Once this common representation is defined, our second goal is to apply it to large-scale Visualization and Rendering problems.

Computer Graphics is a quickly evolving domain of research. These last few years, both acquisition techniques (e.g., range laser scanners) and computer graphics hardware (the so-called GPU's, for Graphics Processing Units) have made considerable advances. However, as shown in Figure 1 , despite these advances, fundamental problems still remain open. For instance, a scanned mesh composed of hundred million triangles cannot be used directly in real-time visualization or complex numerical simulation. To design efficient solutions for these difficult problems, ALICE studies two fundamental issues in Computer Graphics:

Historically, these two issues have been studied by independent research communities. However, we think that they share a common theoretical basis. For instance, multi-resolution and wavelets were mathematical tools used by both communities [20] . We develop a new approach, which consists in studying the geometry and lighting from the numerical analysis point of view. In our approach, geometry processing and light simulation are systematically restated as a (possibly non-linear and/or constrained) functional optimization problem. This type of formulation leads to algorithms that are more efficient. Our long-term research goal is to find a formulation that permits a unified treatment of geometry and illumination over this geometry.


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