Section: Overall Objectives

Overall Objectives

Computer-generated pictures and videos are now ubiquitous: both for leisure activities, such as special effects in motion pictures, feature movies and video games, or for more serious activities, such as visualization and simulation.

Maverick was created as a research team in January 2012 and upgraded as a research project in January 2014. We deal with image synthesis methods. We place ourselves at the end of the image production pipeline, when the pictures are generated and displayed (see figure 1 ). We take many possible inputs: datasets, video flows, pictures and photographs, (animated) geometry from a virtual world... We produce as output pictures and videos.

These pictures will be viewed by humans, and we consider this fact as an important point of our research strategy, as it provides the benchmarks for evaluating our results: the pictures and animations produced must be able to convey the message to the viewer. The actual message depends on the specific application: data visualization, exploring virtual worlds, designing paintings and drawings... Our vision is that all these applications share common research problems: ensuring that the important features are perceived, avoiding cluttering or aliasing, efficient internal data representation, etc.

Computer Graphics, and especially Maverick is at the crossroad between fundamental research and industrial applications. We are both looking at the constraints and needs of applicative users and targeting long term research issues such as sampling and filtering.

Figure 1. Position of the Maverick research team inside the graphics pipeline.

The oject-team aims at producing representations and algorithms for efficient, high-quality computer generation of pictures and animations through the study of four Research problems:

  • Computer Visualization, where we take as input a large localized dataset and represent it in a way that will let an observer understand its key properties,

  • Expressive Rendering, where we create an artistic representation of a virtual world,

  • Illumination Simulation, where our focus is modelling the interaction of light with the objects in the scene.

  • Complex Scenes, where our focus is rendering and modelling highly complex scenes.

The heart of understanding what makes a picture useful, powerful and interesting for the user, and designing algorithms to create these pictures.

We will address these research problems through three interconnected approaches:

  • working on the impact of pictures, by conducting perceptual studies, measuring and removing artefacts and discontinuities, evaluating the user response to pictures and algorithms,

  • developing representations for data, through abstraction, stylization and simplification,

  • developing new methods for predicting the properties of a picture (e.g. frequency content, variations) and adapting our image-generation algorithm to these properties.

A fundamental element of the oject-team is that the research problems and the scientific approaches are all cross-connected. Research on the impact of pictures is of interest in three different research problems: Computer Visualization, Expressive rendering and Illumination Simulation. Similarly, our research on Illumination simulation will gather contributions from all three scientific approaches: impact, representations and prediction.