Mutable elastic models for sculpting structured shapes



In this paper, we propose a new paradigm for free-form shape deformation. Standard deformable models minimize an energy measuring the distance to a single target shape. We propose a new, “mutable” elastic model. It represents complex geometry by a collection of parts and measures the distance of each part measures to a larger set of alternative rest configurations. By detecting and reacting to local switches between best-matching rest states, we build a 3D sculpting system: It takes a structured shape consisting of parts and replacement rules as input. The shape can subsequently be elongated, compressed, bent, cut, and merged within a constraints-based free-form editing interface, where alternative rest-states model to such changes. In practical experiments, we show that the approach yields a surprisingly intuitive and easy to implement interface for interactively designing objects described by such discrete shape grammars, for which direct shape control mechanisms were typically lacking.