A sketch-based approach to human body modelling

Chen Mao, Sheng-feng Qin, David Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we present a new approach and a novel interface, Virtual Human Sketcher (VHS), which enables those who can draw, to sketch-out various human body models. Our approach supports freehand drawing input and a “Stick Figure→Fleshing-out→Skin Mapping” modelling pipeline. Following this pipeline, a stick figure is drawn first to illustrate a figure pose, which is automatically reconstructed into 3D through a “Multi-layered Back-Front Ambiguity Clarifier”. It is then fleshed-out with freehand body contours. A “Creative Model-based Method” is developed for interpreting the body size, shape, and fat distribution of the sketched figure and transferring it into a 3D human body through graphical comparisons and generic model morphing. The generic model is encapsulated with three distinct layers: skeleton, fat tissue, and skin. It can be transformed sequentially through rigid morphing, fatness morphing, and surface matching to match the 2D figure sketch. The initial resulting 3D body model can be incrementally modified through sketching directly on the 3D model. In addition, this body surface can be mapped onto a series of posed stick figures to be interpolated as a 3D character animation. VHS has been tested by various users on Tablet PC. After minimal training, even a beginner can create plausible human bodies and animate them within minutes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-541
JournalComputers & Graphics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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