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Preview: IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications

IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications

IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications bridges the theory and practice of computer graphics. From specific algorithms to full system implementations, CG&A offers a unique combination of peer-reviewed feature articles and informal departments, including p


Control and Release in Complex Relationships

11/20/2017 9:52 am PST

Artist James Alan Smith is driven to involve himself in the creative process, whether through coding or visual art. The effect of his abstract and representation pieces is extraordinary and mysterious, and each encourages viewers to see the complex relationships between the various layers.

Computer Graphics Animation for Objective Self-Evaluation

12/07/2017 9:01 pm PST

We developed a system specifically designed to help nonqualified dance instructors teach dance using motion capture. The goal is to allow dancers to easily self-evaluate their own performances by comparing it to a standard example. We began by measuring dance students using motion capture and developing animations based on the collected data. We then assessed the effect of having students use the animations to practice the dance and examined the effect on the students' collaborative learning. Our results indicate that the technology is easy to use and effective.

Visual Communication and Cognition in Everyday Decision-Making

12/07/2017 9:01 pm PST

The role of visual communication quickly changes, however, and with the influence and evolution of new materials and technology, commercial art and graphic design approaches were created. From cuneiform (a writing system that dates back to Mesopotamia that used a stylus to imprint markings on clay tablets) to Johannes Gutenberg's development of metal movable type and the start of the printing revolution, materials and technology created opportunities for visual communication to reach more people and share more diverse messaging faster than ever before.

Experiencing the Sights, Smells, Sounds, and Climate of Southern Italy in VR

12/07/2017 9:01 pm PST

This article explores what it takes to make interactive computer graphics and VR attractive as a promotional vehicle, from the points of view of the tourism agencies and the tourists themselves. Specifically, in response to a call from local authorities seeking to increase the tourism appeal of the Apulia region in southern Italy, we proposed an alternative approach to traditional tourism marketing and advertising efforts-a physical stand containing only videos looping on a screen, leaflets, and local personnel.

Modeling Virtual Humans

11/10/2017 2:11 pm PST

Modeling virtual humans has been an important and active research field in computer graphics for many years. Realistically representing a virtual human necessitates that we address several multifaceted challenges, generating realistic locomotion, facial expressions, natural speech, and interaction with clothes and hair. This special issue of IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications focuses on these and other key factors that come into play when modeling virtual humans.

Full-Body Animation of Human Locomotion in Reduced Gravity Using Physics-Based Control

11/10/2017 2:10 pm PST

The proposed physics-based approach can generate stable and robust full-body animation of various gaits under different gravitational conditions. As input, this method takes motion-captured human motions in the Earth’s gravity and builds an inverted-pendulum on cart (IPC) control model, which is analyzed using the motion-captured data. The authors use a pre-estimation model based on the Froude number to predict the desired velocity and stride frequency of a character model in hypogravity and then generate full-body animation using a pendulum trajectory generator, motion planner, and tracking.

A Generative Audio-Visual Prosodic Model for Virtual Actors

11/20/2017 9:52 am PST

An important problem in computer animation of virtual characters is the expression of complex mental states during conversation using the coordinated prosody of voice, rhythm, facial expressions, and head and gaze motion. In this work, the authors propose an expressive conversion method for generating natural speech and facial animation in a variety of recognizable attitudes, using neutral speech and animation as input. Their method works by automatically learning prototypical prosodic contours at the sentence level from an original dataset of dramatic attitudes.

Cloth Animation Retrieval Using a Motion-Shape Signature

11/20/2017 9:52 am PST

In cloth simulation, the behavior of textiles largely depends on initial conditions, parameters, and simulation techniques. Usually, several combinations of those aspects are altered until a simulation setting is found to create a satisfying animation. However, if an initial condition, such as a collision object, is changed afterward or the cloth behavior is transferred to a different scene, the existing set of simulation parameters could no longer be suitable for the desired look. In this case, it is difficult to find a new configuration by changing parameters manually and to determine if it conforms the desired properties. This article introduces a feature vector that is used as a motion-shape signature to capture the spatiotemporal shape characteristics of cloth and can be applied as a similarity measure for physics-based cloth animations.

Blending Face Details: Synthesizing a Face Using Multiscale Face Models

12/11/2017 4:10 pm PST

Creating realistic 3D face models is a challenging problem in computer graphics because humans are so sensitive to facial abnormalities. The authors propose a method to synthesize a 3D face model using weighted blending of multiscale details from different face models. Using multiscale continuous displacement maps (CDMs), they achieve full correspondences across multiple scales in the parameter space. Their results demonstrate detail transfer across faces with highly different proportions, such as between humans and nonhuman creatures. An artist evaluation also indicated the proposed approach is intuitive and easy to use.

Deferred Warping

11/16/2017 2:36 pm PST

Deferred warping is a novel approach for real-time deformation of 3D objects attached to an animated or manipulated surface. The target application is virtual prototyping of garments, where 2D pattern modeling is combined with 3D garment simulation, allowing for an immediate validation of the design. This technique can directly handle complex topology changes within a surface. The authors demonstrate a fast implementation in the vertex shading stage, allowing the use of highly decorated surfaces with millions of triangles in real time.

Sketch-Based Articulated 3D Shape Retrieval

11/20/2017 9:52 am PST

Sketch-based queries are a suitable and superior alternative to traditional text- and example-based queries for 3D shape retrieval. The authors developed an articulated 3D shape retrieval method that uses easy-to-obtain 2D sketches. In contrast to existing sketch-based retrieval systems that lower the 3D database models to 2D, their algorithm implicitly lifts the 2D query to 2.5D by inferring depth information from possibly self-intersecting sketches using a good continuation rule. It does not require 3D example models to initiate queries, but results show that it achieves accuracy comparable to a state-of-the-art example-based 3D shape retrieval method.

CI Thermometer: Visualizing Confidence Intervals in Correlation Analysis

12/07/2017 9:01 pm PST

The paper proposes a graphical method called the CI thermometer that facilitates the analysis of bivariate relations among many variables. The CI thermometer will help scientists present correlation matrices accompanied by additional information on confidence intervals.

Illuminating Nature

09/21/2017 2:34 pm PST

Influenced by her time working at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California, Kelly Lanphier’s artwork reflect her lifelong interest in sea life and oceanic environments. In particular, the concepts of bioluminescence and biofluorescence became fuel that drove her to create ultraviolet (UV) reactive imagery and glow-in-the-dark paintings. Many of Lanphier’s pieces can also be viewed using glasses with Chromadepth diffraction lenses. By adding the 3D element, Lanphier allows viewers to immerse themselves in the various emerging layers of color in her work.

Coming Into Focus: An Interview with Ellen Jantzen

09/21/2017 2:34 pm PST

Ellen Jantzen, the artist (, works with geographic composition that focuses attention on graphic elements in a scene, which might make her career particularly interesting to those working with geographic data and visualization. Her work explores reality and time, both how it is experienced and revealed, and the healing powers of the natural environment.

Making Together: An Interdisciplinary, Inter-institutional Assistive-Technology Project

09/21/2017 2:33 pm PST

Faculty at the University of North Carolina Asheville partnered with local healthcare professionals and retirement home residents and administrators on an assistive-technology project. The Creative Fabrication introductory computer science course incorporated subject-matter experts from the healthcare community, older and differently abled “users,” medical students, and sculpture faculty. Over the semester, the class students created assistive devices to meet the needs of the retirement home residents. They prototyped their designs in foam and 3D modeling software and cast parts of their design in bronze or aluminum. User-centered design, the design process, and the importance of form and function were emphasized throughout the project.

Geographic Data Science

09/21/2017 2:34 pm PST

Data science methods and approaches address all stages of transition from data to knowledge and action. Visualization of this data is essential for human understanding of the subject under study, analytical reasoning about it, and generating new knowledge. Geographic data science deals with data that incorporates spatial and, often, temporal elements. The articles selected for this special issue represent a mix of theoretical approaches and novel applications of geographic data science.

Typology of Uncertainty in Static Geolocated Graphs for Visualization

09/21/2017 2:34 pm PST

Static geolocated graphs have nodes connected by edges, where both can have geographic location and associated attributes. For example, it can be uncertain exactly where a node is located or whether an edge between two nodes exists. Because source data is often incomplete or inexact, it is necessary to visualize this uncertainty to help users make appropriate decisions. The proposed typology of uncertainty extends related typologies with specific features needed for characterizing uncertainty in static geolocated graphs.

ANALYTiC: An Active Learning System for Trajectory Classification

09/21/2017 2:34 pm PST

The increasing availability and use of positioning devices has resulted in large volumes of trajectory data. However, semantic annotations for such data are typically added by domain experts, which is a time-consuming task. Machine-learning algorithms can help infer semantic annotations from trajectory data by learning from sets of labeled data. Specifically, active learning approaches can minimize the set of trajectories to be annotated while preserving good performance measures. The ANALYTiC web-based interactive tool visually guides users through this annotation process.

Impact of Spatial Scales on the Intercomparison of Climate Scenarios

09/21/2017 2:34 pm PST

Scenario analysis has been widely applied in climate science to understand the impact of climate change on the future human environment, but intercomparison and similarity analysis of different climate scenarios based on multiple simulation runs remain challenging. Although spatial heterogeneity plays a key role in modeling climate and human systems, little research has been performed to understand the impact of spatial variations and scales on similarity analysis of climate scenarios. To address this issue, the authors developed a geovisual analytics framework that lets users perform similarity analysis of climate scenarios from the Global Change Assessment Model (GCAM) using a hierarchical clustering approach.

Urban Space Explorer: A Visual Analytics System for Urban Planning

11/22/2017 10:05 am PST

Understanding people’s behavior is fundamental to many planning professions (including transportation, community development, economic development, and urban design) that rely on data about frequently traveled routes, places, and social and cultural practices. Based on the results of a practitioner survey, the authors designed Urban Space Explorer, a visual analytics system that utilizes mobile social media to enable interactive exploration of public-space-related activity along spatial, temporal, and semantic dimensions.

Name Profiler Toolkit

09/21/2017 2:34 pm PST

The Name Profiler Toolkit is a visual analytics system designed to enable the interactive exploration and analysis of forename and surname geographical distributions across the United States. The toolkit utilizes 78 million records from US public telephone directories, links the location data to demographic data from the US Census Bureau and Zillow, and allows users to interactively compare distributions of names and name attributes. Using the forename and surname data as a case study, the authors developed a methodology for exploring joint probability distributions of categorical spatial data and demonstrate how such data can be linked to secondary sources of information (such as income and age) to derive further insights from the data.

Terrain Model Reconstruction from Terrestrial LiDAR Data Using Radial Basis Functions

09/21/2017 2:34 pm PST

The presence of vegetation and the terrain topography itself generate strong occlusions causing large gaps in terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) data at the ground level as well as a risk of integrating above-ground objects. This article introduces a surface-approximation algorithm dedicated to extracting digital terrain models (DTMs) from terrestrial TLS data acquired in forest areas. The proposed method is based on the combination of a quadtree subdivision of space guided by the local density and distribution of data together with a surface modeling via radial basis functions, which are used as partitions of unity for merging local quadratic approximating patches.

Compressing VR: Fitting Large Virtual Environments within Limited Physical Space

09/21/2017 2:33 pm PST

In practice, real-world physical workspaces and technological limitations restrict the free and unlimited exploration of an arbitrary large-scale virtual environment. This article provides an overview of the existing approaches and techniques for enlarging the walkable virtual space. The authors specifically focus on the methods that use spatial manipulation for spatial compression because it is one of the most promising, but underexplored methods for nonintrusive user redirection in a limited physical space.

Beautiful Math, Part 6: Visualizing 4D Regular Polytopes Using the Kaleidoscope Principle

09/21/2017 2:33 pm PST

Symmetry can be widely found in natural phenomenon. Regular polygons and polyhedra are the most basic and important symmetrical structures in 2D and 3D Euclidean space. Four-dimensional regular polytopes (4-RPs) are the 4D analogs of regular polyhedra in three dimensions and regular polygons in two dimensions. After introducing the fundamental root systems of 4-RPs, this article presents three interesting methods to visualize 4-RPs using a fundamental region algorithm.

Visual Analytics for Spatial Clusters of Air-Quality Data

09/21/2017 2:34 pm PST

With the rapid development of industrial society, air pollution has become a major issue in the modern world. The development and widespread deployment of sensors has enabled the collection of air-quality datasets with detailed spatial and temporal scales. Analyses of these spatiotemporal air-quality datasets can help decision makers explore the major causes of air pollution and find efficient solutions. The authors designed a visual analytics system that uses multidimensional scaling (MDS) to transform the air-quality data from monitor stations into 2D plots and uses hierarchical clustering, Voronoi diagrams, and storyline visualizations to help experts explore various attributes and time scales in the data.

How Visualization Can Foster Diversity and Inclusion in Next-Generation Science

09/21/2017 2:33 pm PST

Visualization researchers, developers, practitioners, and educators routinely work across traditional discipline boundaries, oftentimes in teams of people that come from a diverse blend of backgrounds, using visualizations as a common language for collaboration. There is a looming global workforce shortage in the computational science and high-tech space, primarily due to a disconnect between population demographics and the demographics of those educated to fill these jobs. The visualization community is uniquely positioned to bring a fresh approach to making diversity and inclusion fundamental tenets that are necessary rather than desirable.

Visualizing Science

08/24/2017 2:35 pm PST

iThe Vandal Ideas Project, a competitive grant program launched in 2015 at the University of Idaho to encourage collaborative work, held an exhibition, “Visualizing Science,” at the University’s Prichard Art Gallery from February to April 2017. Seven different collaborative teams of artists and scientists, all faculty members, produced the works in the show. The collaborative projects did not deal with data visualization in the scientific sense, but more with how artists and designers can translate scientific methods of inquiry into something visually engaging for a gallery audience in order to produce an emotional response./i

In Memoriam: Martin William Ribarsky

08/24/2017 2:34 pm PST

Martin William Ribarsky, a leading scientist and inspiring leader, died on 23 February 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina, after a serious bicycling accident. He is survived by his wife, Barbara Schreiber, and children. Ribarsky helped shape the fields of scientific visualization, virtual reality, and visual analytics. His work, leadership, and students impacted people and society across the world.

On the Convergence of Modeling and Simulation

08/24/2017 2:35 pm PST

Product development consists of two stages: geometrical modeling to define the product’s shape, followed by mechanical simulation to verify the design specification and ensure the product’s structural integrity. New demands on product design cannot be met using this traditional approach to product development where these two stages remain distinct. Thus, making simulation and analysis pervasive throughout the modeling stage has become a critical goal. This article discusses how far we have come in merging design and analysis and what challenges lie ahead.

Animation of Natural Virtual Characters

08/24/2017 2:34 pm PST

Virtual characters can be a powerful tool for a range of applications, from storytelling and games to tutoring, training, and general interfaces. Yet, human users’ keen observation skills means they will be aware of any errors in the virtual character’s performance and may easily read unintended messages into the communication if an agent’s performance is flawed. This special issue takes up these challenges in order to move the field closer to being able to reap the benefits of virtual characters.

Believability and Co-presence in Human-Virtual Character Interaction

08/24/2017 2:35 pm PST

Subtle phenomena rooted in our body dynamics affect the reactive and evolutive parts of every human interaction. The authors’ decision model allows for adaptive physical interactions between a human and a virtual agent. This article presents an evaluation of that model in terms of agent believability, the user’s feeling of co-presence, and overall game experience. The results show that the model can generate adaptive body behavior for virtual agents that is comparable to a human’s, but the user and agent roles in each scenario strongly impact the user’s perception of the agent.

Data-Driven Approach to Synthesizing Facial Animation Using Motion Capture

08/24/2017 2:34 pm PST

Producing cartoon animations is a laborious task, and there is a distinct lack of automatic tools to help animators, particularly with creating facial animation. The proposed method uses real-time video-based motion tracking to generate facial motion as input and then matches it to existing hand-created animation curves. The synthesized animations can then be refined and polished by an animator, saving considerable time in overall production.

Fast Neural Style Transfer for Motion Data

08/24/2017 2:35 pm PST

Automating motion style transfer can help save animators time by allowing them to produce a single set of motions, which can then be automatically adapted for use with different characters. The proposed fast, efficient technique for performing neural style transfer of human motion data uses a feed-forward neural network trained on a large motion database. The proposed framework can transform the style of motion thousands of times faster than previous approaches that use optimization.

Perception of Virtual Audiences

08/24/2017 2:34 pm PST

A growing body of evidence shows that virtual audiences are a valuable tool in the treatment of social anxiety, and recent works show that it also a useful in public-speaking training programs. However, little research has focused on how such audiences are perceived and on how the behavior of virtual audiences can be manipulated to create various types of stimuli. The authors used a crowdsourcing methodology to create a virtual audience nonverbal behavior model and, with it, created a dataset of videos with virtual audiences containing varying behaviors. Using this dataset, they investigated how virtual audiences are perceived and which factors affect this perception.

Evaluating and Optimizing Evacuation Plans for Crowd Egress

08/21/2017 2:03 pm PST

Evacuation planning is an important and difficult task in building design. The proposed framework can identify optimal evacuation plans using decision points, which control the ratio of agents that select a particular route at a specific spatial location. The authors optimize these ratios to achieve the best evacuation based on a quantitatively validated metric for evacuation performance. This metric captures many of the important aspects of an evacuation: total evacuation time, average evacuation time, agent speed, and local agent density. The proposed approach was validated using a night club model that incorporates real data from an actual evacuation.

Animation Stimuli System for Research on Instructor Gestures in Education

08/24/2017 2:34 pm PST

Education research has shown that instructor gestures can help capture, maintain, and direct the student’s attention during a lecture as well as enhance learning and retention. Traditional education research on instructor gestures relies on video stimuli, which are time consuming to produce, especially when gesture precision and consistency across conditions are strictly enforced. The proposed system allows users to efficiently create accurate and effective stimuli for complex studies on gesture, without the need for computer animation expertise or artist talent.

A Virtual Try-On System for Prescription Eyeglasses

10/12/2017 3:51 pm PST

Corrective lenses introduce distortion caused by the refraction effect, which changes the wearer’s appearance. To give users a more realistic experience, a virtual try-on system for prescription eyeglasses modifies an input video and virtually inserts prescription eyeglasses, producing an output similar to a virtual mirror. The proposed system generates a 3D representation of the corrective lenses mounted into the eyeglasses frame and modifies the video sequence to virtually insert the eyeglasses through image-based rendering. Unlike existing virtual try-on systems, this approach simulates the refraction effects due to the corrective lens and takes into account reflections and shading.

Performance-Based Animation Using Constraints for Virtual Object Manipulation

08/24/2017 2:35 pm PST

Optical motion-capture systems can be used to animate characters in real time based on human demonstrations. However, most approaches do not consider the detailed finger movements necessary for object manipulation. The proposed online motion-capture framework encourages natural motions by automatically guiding the avatar’s motion toward the desired behavior based on a set of captured reference motions for the same behavior. The proposed motion controller imitates the user’s finger and body gestures to enable performance-based animation of human avatars that can manipulate virtual objects in real time.

Pathways for Theoretical Advances in Visualization

08/21/2017 2:04 pm PST

There is little doubt that having a theoretic foundation will benefit the field of visualization, including its main subfields. Because there has been a substantial amount of work on taxonomies and conceptual models in the visualization literature and some recent work on theoretic frameworks, such a theoretic foundation is not a foolish or impractical ambition. This article asks, “How can we build a theoretic foundation for visualization collectively as a community?” The authors envision the pathways for four different aspects of a theoretic foundation: taxonomies and ontologies, principles and guidelines, conceptual models and theoretic frameworks, and quantitative laws and theoretic systems.

Stories in the Data

06/12/2017 2:06 pm PST

To some degree, comics have always been used to convert data into stories, from ancient Egyptian heiroglyphics to crude biology diagrams in grade-school textbooks. By their very nature, comics communicate through a variety of visualization techniques. Benjamin Bach, who along with his coauthors Nathalie Henry Riche, Sheelagh Carpendale, and Hanspeter Pfister created this issue's Art on Graphics special contribution about the emerging genre of data comics, here talks about their attempts to leverage the massive untapped potential for data-driven comics to explain multiple threads of simultaneous data.

The Emerging Genre of Data Comics

06/12/2017 2:06 pm PST

As we increasingly rely on data to understand our world, and as problems require global solutions, we need to effectively communicate that data to help people make informed decisions. The special Art on Graphics article explores the potential of data comics and their unique ability to communicate both data and context via compelling visual storytelling.

In Memoriam: John Staudhammer

06/12/2017 2:06 pm PST

John Staudhammer, who died in February 2017, profoundly influenced computer graphics technology and people. His work in computer graphics education and his contributions to the field as a whole significantly impacted the computer graphics technology we now take for granted.

Enhancing the Gaming Experience Using 3D Spatial User Interface Technologies

08/30/2017 8:54 am PST

Three-dimensional (3D) spatial user interface technologies have the potential to make games more immersive and engaging and thus provide a better user experience. Although technologies such as stereoscopic 3D display, head tracking, and gesture-based control are available for games, it is still unclear how their use affects gameplay and if there are any user performance benefits. The authors have conducted several experiments on these technologies in game environments to understand how they affect gameplay and how we can use them to optimize the gameplay experience.

Efficient Surgical Cutting with Position-Based Dynamics

06/12/2017 2:06 pm PST

Simulations of cuts on deformable bodies have been an active research subject for more than two decades. However, previous works based on finite element methods and mass spring meshes cannot scale to complex surgical scenarios. This article presents a novel method that uses position-based dynamics (PBD) for mesh-free cutting simulation. The proposed solutions include a method to efficiently render force feedback while cutting, an efficient heat diffusion model to simulate electrocautery, and a novel adaptive skinning scheme based on oriented particles.

Computational Design and Fabrication

06/12/2017 2:06 pm PST

Computer graphics research is increasingly interested in the high-level analysis and processing of geometric objects. By acquiring a structural or functional understanding of 3D shapes, researchers are able to tackle mid- to high-level design problems for which machine computations can replace or at least relieve human efforts. In parallel, with the rapid advances in 3D printing technologies, many design solutions explored by researchers and practitioners are focusing on the needs and constraints arising from physical fabrication. The contributions in this special issue are cross-disciplinary, connecting physical fabrication with design and processing tasks in new domains including circuit design, geospatial visualization, and 3D scanning, leading to never-before-seen 3D printing applications.

FabSquare: Fabricating Photopolymer Objects by Mold 3D Printing and UV Curing

06/12/2017 2:07 pm PST

The FabSquare system is a personal fabrication method that lets users fabricate objects by molding photopolymers inside a 3D printed mold. The molds are printed with UV-transparent materials that allow for UV curing--the polymerization and solidification of the fluid content. The molds can be repeatedly reused to fabricate identical objects or create new objects with identical geometry, but different components. Because the necessary equipment is easily obtainable and affordable, the FabSquare approach is suitable for ordinary users in nonspecialized labs, allowing them to rapidly fabricate a range of objects.

Differential 3D Scanning

06/12/2017 2:06 pm PST

During the creative process, designers use various techniques and strategies to move from the abstract to the concrete, utilizing different physical and virtual means to represent form. The changes between virtual and physical models are not always fluent, however. Differential 3D scanning can detect the differences between a scanned model (point cloud) and a reference model (polygon mesh or CAD model) and then reflect those changes in the reference model. This can save designers time by reconstructing only the small changed regions rather than the entire object.

SurfCuit: Surface-Mounted Circuits on 3D Prints

06/12/2017 2:07 pm PST

The SurfCuit system integrates circuits into 3D prints by mounting them on the printed surface. SurfCuit does not require tedious circuit casing design or expensive setups, allowing users to build complex, highly conductive circuit patterns for consumer-level desktop fused decomposition modeling (FDM) 3D printers and thus expediting the process of circuit construction for 3D models.

Physical Visualization of Geospatial Datasets

06/12/2017 2:06 pm PST

Geospatial datasets are too complex to easily visualize and understand on a computer screen. Combining digital fabrication with a discrete global grid system (DGGS) can produce physical models of the Earth for visualizing multiresolution geospatial datasets. This proposed approach includes a mechanism for attaching a set of 3D printed segments to produce a scalable model of the Earth. The authors have produced two models that support the attachment of different datasets both in 2D and 3D format.

ColorSketch: A Drawing Assistant for Generating Color Sketches from Photos

06/12/2017 2:06 pm PST

A color sketch creates a vivid depiction of a scene using sparse pencil strokes and casual colored brush strokes. The interactive drawing system ColorSketch can help novice users generate color sketches from photos. To preserve artistic freedom and expressiveness, the proposed system gives users full control over pencil strokes, while automatically augmenting pencil sketches using color mapping, brush stroke rendering, and blank area creation. Experimental and user study results demonstrate that users, especially novices, can create better color sketches with our system than when using traditional manual tools.

What Features Can Tell Us about Shape

06/12/2017 2:07 pm PST

3D shape representations are essential when storing shape information for natural and manmade objects. To make use of shape information, many applications require shape-processing functionality, such as for search, annotation, classification, modeling, restoration, or collection exploration. This article discusses feature-based approaches and how they can support such functionality.

Tiling the Bunny: Quad Layouts for Efficient 3D Geometry Representation

06/12/2017 2:07 pm PST

Ultimately, any information to be processed by computers must be represented as a plain sequence of numbers. This poses a major challenge when representing complex 3D shapes. Marcel Campen's research explores how to efficiently identify a good quad layout (a partition of a surface into simple four-sided pieces). This article shows how novel algorithmic ideas can be combined to form both automatic and interactive quad-layout generation pipelines.

Apply or Die: On the Role and Assessment of Application Papers in Visualization

06/27/2017 9:59 am PST

Application-oriented papers provide an important way to invigorate and cross-pollinate the visualization field, but the exact criteria for judging an application paper's merit remain an open question. This article builds on a panel at the 2016 IEEE Visualization Conference entitled "Application Papers: What Are They, and How Should They Be Evaluated?" that sought to gain a better understanding of prevalent views in the visualization community. This article surveys current trends that favor application papers, reviews the benefits and contributions of this paper type, and discusses their assessment in the review process. It concludes with recommendations to ensure that the visualization community is more inclusive to application papers.

Without a Plan

04/03/2017 11:33 am PST

Artist Frank Bonilla uses a photo editing program called ACDSee Pro in all of his digital artwork. His hundreds of colorful digital images were created in an ad lib, free style, random, and unplanned process that is adventurous and exploratory.

Information Visualization

03/16/2017 4:22 pm PST

In addition to many fine department contributions, this issue contains several feature articles from the CG&A general queue on information visualization and visual analytics.

The Need to Help Journalists with Data and Information Visualization

08/29/2017 9:22 am PST

As news migrates to mobile phones, media companies are turning to data visualization to wet readers' appetites for stories they can read at length on their home or work computers. Journalists are trained to write stories, not in statistics or coding, however. The big news organizations have the funds to hire computer graphics experts, but local news organizations need help.

Expanding Research Methods for a Realistic Understanding of Personal Visualization

04/03/2017 11:33 am PST

Personal visualizations have the great potential to provide the benefits of visualizations to everyone in their everyday lives. Their diverse goals combined with the personal data they contain and the contexts in which they are being used, however, make their evaluation particularly challenging and call for a wider perspective on empirical approaches. We need to devise new methods and adapt existing methods from other fields to account for the specific goals and challenges in this emerging research area. An open-minded approach to empirical methods may help us gain a more realistic understanding of personal visualizations.

Layered Graph Drawing for Visualizing Evaluation Structures

04/03/2017 11:33 am PST

An evaluation structure is a hierarchical structure of human cognition extracted from interviews based on the evaluation grid method. An evaluation structure can be defined as a directed acyclic graph (DAG). The authors propose a layer-assignment method that is part of the Sugiyama framework, a popular method for drawing DAGs, to satisfy the requirements for drawing evaluation structures. Their evaluations demonstrate that the layered graph drawing produced by the proposed layer-assignment method is preferred by users and aids in the understanding of evaluation structures.

Glyph Visualization: A Fail-Safe Design Scheme Based on Quasi-Hamming Distances

09/13/2017 1:42 pm PST

In many spatial and temporal visualization applications, glyphs provide an effective means for encoding multivariate data. However, because glyphs are typically small, they are vulnerable to various perceptual errors. This article introduces the concept of a quasi-Hamming distance in the context of glyph design and examines the feasibility of estimating the quasi-Hamming distance between a pair of glyphs and the minimal Hamming distance for a glyph set. The authors demonstrate the design concept by developing a file-system event visualization that can depict the activities of multiple users.

Visualizing Rank Time Series of Wikipedia Top-Viewed Pages

04/03/2017 11:33 am PST

Visual clutter is a common challenge when visualizing large rank time series data. WikiTopReader, a reader of Wikipedia page rank, lets users explore connections among top-viewed pages by connecting page-rank behaviors with page-link relations. Such a combination enhances the unweighted Wikipedia page-link network and focuses attention on the page of interest. A set of user evaluations shows that the system effectively represents evolving ranking patterns and page-wise correlation.

VisAdapt: A Visualization Tool to Support Climate Change Adaptation

09/13/2017 1:45 pm PST

The web-based visualization VisAdapt tool was developed to help laypeople in the Nordic countries assess how anticipated climate change will impact their homes. The tool guides users through a three-step visual process that helps them explore risks and identify adaptive actions specifically modified to their location and house type. This article walks through the tool's multistep, user-centered design process. Although VisAdapt's target end users are Nordic homeowners, the insights gained from the development process and the lessons learned from the project are applicable to a wide range of domains.

Spatial Analytic Interfaces: Spatial User Interfaces for In Situ Visual Analytics

04/03/2017 11:33 am PST

As wearable devices gain acceptance, we need to ask, What will user interfaces look like in a post-smartphone world? Will these future interfaces support sophisticated interactions in a mobile context? The authors draw from visual analytics concepts to address the growing need for individuals to manage information on personal devices. Spatial analytic interfaces (SAIs) can leverage the benefits of spatial interaction to enable everyday visual analytics tasks to be performed in-situ, at the most beneficial place and time. They explore the possibilities for such interfaces using head-worn display technology and discuss current developments and future research goals for the successful development of SAIs.

Interactive Exploration of Cosmological Dark-Matter Simulation Data

03/16/2017 4:09 pm PST

The winning entry of the 2015 IEEE Scientific Visualization Contest, this article describes a visualization tool for cosmological data resulting from dark-matter simulations. The proposed system helps users explore all aspects of the data at once and receive more detailed information about structures of interest at any time. Moreover, novel methods for visualizing and interactively exploring dark-matter halo substructures are proposed.

Solid Mathematical Marbling

04/03/2017 11:34 am PST

Years of research have been devoted to computer-generated 2D marbling, whereas 3D marbling has yet to be explored. The proposed mathematical marbling of 3D solids supports a compact random-access vector representation, creating solid marbling textures by composing closed-form 3D pattern tool functions. The resulting representation is feature-preserving and resolution-independent, and it consumes very little memory. To facilitate the solid-marbling texture authoring process, the authors also developed an intuitive user interface and a genetic algorithm.

STRAD Wheel: Web-Based Library for Visualizing Temporal Data

04/03/2017 11:33 am PST

Recent advances in web development, including the introduction of HTML5, have opened a door for visualization researchers and developers to quickly access larger audiences worldwide. Open source libraries for the creation of interactive visualizations are becoming more specialized but also modular, which makes them easy to incorporate in domain-specific applications. In this context, the authors developed STRAD (Spatio-Temporal-Radar) Wheel, a web-based library that focuses on the visualization and interactive query of temporal data in a compact view with multiple temporal granularities. This article includes two application examples in urban planning to help illustrate the proposed visualization's use in practice.

The Case for Teaching Computer Graphics with WebGL: A 25-Year Perspective

04/03/2017 11:33 am PST

OpenGL has been the standard API for teaching computer graphics. There are now multiple versions of the standard, including WebGL. which is the JavaScript implementation of OpenGL ES 2.0. The author argues that WebGL is the version best suited for an introductory course in computer graphics.