SCIENTIA SINICA Informationis, Volume 49 , Issue 2 : 216-228(2019) https://doi.org/10.1360/N112018-00198

Generation of Thangka relief from line drawings

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  • ReceivedJul 29, 2018
  • AcceptedOct 18, 2018
  • PublishedFeb 15, 2019


Line drawings lack the three-dimensional (3D) information of the depicted objects, which is present in 3D models and photographs based on relief-generation techniques. Therefore, creating relief surfaces from line drawings presents special research challenges. This paper creates a 3D relief model of Thangka, the Intangible Cultural Heritage of China and UNESCO, from line drawings. To obtain the relief surfaces, our approach solves Poisson equations under the constraints of gray-scale control pictures and boundary seeds of the object regions. The Thangka relief is divided into low-frequency, mid-frequency and high-frequency components. The low- and mid-frequency components respectively correspond to the height of the human body and the limbs in the relief model, and are obtained by solving the Poisson equations constrained by distance transformations. The high-frequency components correspond to the heights of local details such as eyebrows, flowers, clouds, and mountains in the relief model, and are obtained by solving the Poisson equations with boundary constraints. Finally we add the height maps of the three components and transform the resultant height map into a mesh model of the relief. The effectiveness of our approach is demonstrated in several examples.

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  • Figure 1

    System overview

  • Figure 2

    (Color online) Shadakshari Avalokiteshvara. (a) Line drawing; (b) color labeling

  • Figure 3

    (Color online) Low frequency component processing of the relief model. (a) Human figure region in Thangka; (b) distance transform of human figure region; (c) low frequency component of the relief model

  • Figure 4

    (Color online) Limb regions processing. (a) Drawing arm and leg shapes; (b) arm and leg masks; (c) arm and leg control pictures; (d) result of Poisson diffusion

  • Figure 5

    (Color online) Improved limb regions processing. (a) Body figure mask; (b) distance transform of limbs; (c) result of Poisson diffusion

  • Figure 6

    (Color online) Fingers and toes enhanced processing. (a) Positions to be enhanced; (b) result of Poisson diffusion; (c) enhanced relief

  • Figure 7

    Gray-scale control pictures of local face regions and generated relief. (a) Eyelid; (b) nose; (c) ala nasi; (d) left and right sides of bridge; (e) left and right sides of philtrum; (f) philtrum; (g) upper lip; (h) relief generated

  • Figure 8

    (Color online) Adding black and white seeds in cloth regions. (a) Mask of region of interest; (b) drawing lines interactively; (c) adding black and white seeds; (d) relief generated

  • Figure 9

    (Color online) Jewel ornaments processing. (a) Jewel ornaments mask; (b) gray scale control picture; (c) relief generated

  • Figure 10

    Shadakshari Avalokiteshvara. (a) and (b) Two views of generated relief

  • Figure 11

    Sakyamuni Buddha. (a) Line drawing; (b) relief generated

  • Figure 12

    Green Tara. (a) Line drawing; (b) relief generated

  • Figure 13

    Greek goddess Athena. (a) Line drawing; (b) relief generated

  • Table 1   Computational time and interaction time spent on different regions
    Region size (pixel) Solving Poisson Interactive operations Interaction
    equations (s) time (min)
    Body region 1030$\times$1194 48.8 Delete lines inside body region $<5$
    Limbs 1030$\times$1194 42.73 Add lines of arms and legs $<10$
    as well as control picture
    Face 241$\times$276 16.05 Select eyes and mouth interactively $<1$
    Left side 502$\times$1135 1.78 Assign white and $<1$
    background light black seeds interactively
    Light around head 762$\times$723 2.33 Assign white and black $<1$
    seeds interactively
    Hair and 694$\times$819 2.42 Select hair and $<3$
    jewel ornaments jewel ornaments
    Clouds, mountains 2008$\times$2799 46.12 Add boundary $<3$
    and water waves constraints interactively

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