Energy-Brushes: Interactive Tools for Illustrating Stylized Elemental Dynamics

Jun Xing, Rubaiat Habib, Tovi Grossman, LiYi Wei, Jos Stam, George Fitzmaurice

ACM Symposium on User Interface Software & Technology

Energy-Brushes: Interactive Tools for Illustrating Stylized Elemental Dynamics (6:43 min.)


Dynamic effects such as waves, splashes, fire, smoke, and explosions are an integral part of stylized animations. However, such dynamics are challenging to produce, as manually sketching key-frames requires significant effort and artistic expertise while physical simulation tools lack sufficient expressiveness and user control. We present an interactive interface for designing these elemental dynamics for animated illustrations. Users draw with coarse-scale energy brushes which serve as control gestures to drive detailed flow particles which represent local velocity fields. These fields can convey both realistic and artistic effects based on user specification. This painting metaphor for creating elemental dynamics simplifies the process, providing artistic control, and preserves the fluidity of sketching. Our system is fast, stable, and intuitive. An initial user evaluation shows that even novice users with no prior animation experience can create intriguing dynamics using our system.

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