Automatically mimicking unique hand-drawn pencil lines

Zainab AlMeraj*, Brian Wyvill, Tobias Isenberg, Amy A. Gooch, Richard Guy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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In applications such as architecture, early design sketches containing accurate line drawings often mislead the target audience. Approximate human-drawn sketches are typically accepted as a better way of demonstrating fundamental design concepts. To this end we have designed an algorithm that creates lines that perceptually resemble human-drawn lines. Our algorithm works directly with input point data and a physically based mathematical model of human arm movement. Our algorithm generates unique lines of arbitrary length given the end points of a line, without relying on a database of human-drawn lines. We found that an observational analysis obtained through various user studies of human lines made a bigger impact on the algorithm than a statistical analysis. Additional studies have shown that the algorithm produces lines that are perceptually indistinguishable from that of a hand-drawn straight pencil line. A further expansion to the system resulted in mimicked dashed lines. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)496-508
Number of pages13
JournalComputers & Graphics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug-2009
Event5th Eurographics Workshop on Sketch-Based Interfaces and Modeling - , France
Duration: 1-Jun-2008 → …


  • Non-photorealistic rendering (NPR)
  • Natural media simulation
  • Pencil rendering
  • Dynamic optimization yielding voluntary arm movement trajectory
  • Image processing

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