Real-time generation of digital bas-reliefs

Jens Kerber, Art Tevs, Alexander Belyaev, Rhaleb Zayer, Hans Peter Seidel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Bas-relief is a form of sculpture where carved or chiseled forms protrude partially and shallowly from the background. Occupying an intermediate place between painting and full 3D sculpture, bas-relief sculpture exploits properties of human visual perception in order to maintain perceptually salient 3D information. In this paper, we present two methods for automatic bas-relief generation from 3D digital shapes. Both methods are inspired by techniques developed for high dynamic range image compression and have the bilateral filter as the main ingredient. We demonstrate that the methods are capable of preserving fine shape features and achieving good compression without compromising the quality of surface details. For artists, bas-relief generation starts from managing the viewer's point of view and compositing the scene. Therefore we strive in our work to streamline this process by focusing on easy and intuitive user interaction which is paramount to artistic applications. Our algorithms allow for real time computation thanks to our implementation on graphics hardware. Besides interactive production of stills, this work offers the possibility for generating bas-relief animations. Last but not least, we explore the generation of artistic reliefs that mimic cubism in painting. © 2010 CAD Solutions, LLC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-478
Number of pages14
JournalComputer-Aided Design and Applications
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Bas-relief
  • Bilateral filtering
  • Feature enhancement
  • Range compression


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