Standard Article

Surface Deformation

  1. K. C. Hui

Published Online: 14 DEC 2007

DOI: 10.1002/9780470050118.ecse681

Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering

Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering

How to Cite

Hui, K. C. 2007. Surface Deformation. Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering. .

Author Information

  1. The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 DEC 2007


Surface deformation is a fundamental tool for the construction and animation of three-dimensional (3-D) models. Deforming a surface requires adjusting the defining parameters in the representation of the surface or the use of deformation tools. This description gives an overview of the parameters that can be used for deforming different types of surfaces. Geometry-based deformation tools, namely, free-form deformation, axial deformation, and constraints-based deformation, will be discussed. These tools allow objects to be deformed by manipulating a lattice of control vertices, an axial curve, or a set of constraints. Physics-based deformation will also be discussed. Physics-based deformation associates material properties to an object such that the deformation of objects can be performed according to physical laws. Physics-based deformation provides an essential tool for generating motions of deformable objects for animation purposes.


  • surface deformation;
  • deformable surface;
  • trimmed surface;
  • geometry-based deformation;
  • physics-based deformation;
  • free-form deformation;
  • axial deformation;
  • constraints-based deformation