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2D Drawing To 3D Object Tool 81

legoburner writes, "Takeo Igarashi from the University of Tokyo has a very impressive java applet/program, called Teddy, which he describes as 'A Sketching Interface for 3D Freeform Design', and basically allows you to sketch in simple 2D and have it automatically converted to full 3D. The tool is certainly very impressive and there is a demonstration video available. The end product looks like a hand-drawn object instead of the usual clinical, perfect 3D objects that are designed using standard rendering tools." This impressive technology was presented at SigGraph 1999 (PDF); a commercial product based on it is available in Japan.
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2D Drawing To 3D Object Tool

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  • So... (Score:5, Funny)

    by O'Laochdha ( 962474 ) on Saturday September 16, 2006 @03:30PM (#16121231) Journal
    What happens if you give Escher this thing?
    • Er... it works by using the distance between the lines in a closed shape to determine the depth of the figure, so if you draw a rectangle, it comes out as a cylinder. Not that complex. Escher wouldn't do a darn thing, since it only works based on simple outlines.
      • That in itself seems like a problem; maybe it could be rectified by an algorithm based on saturation and volume indices? It would need to be corrected for continuity, since artists don't have an infinite spectrum...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Amouth ( 879122 )
      stack trace?????
    • The video said you can only draw objects with the same topology as a sphere. This severely limits the uses of this software. Hopefully someone will find a way to draw objects with a different topology, because this looks very cool as it is now.
    • What happens if you give Escher this thing?

      In a nutshell, you get forty years of darkness. Earthquakes, volcanoes. The dead rising from the grave. Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together - mass hysteria.

      Not to mention the 100-foot-tall stay-puft marshmallow man.
    • I know this is easy to say, but hard to do. I am thinking that the next step would be to be able to create/export a wire frame from the updated image.
  • Wow... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by alyawn ( 694153 ) on Saturday September 16, 2006 @03:38PM (#16121273)
    Now this seems like the 3D moldeling I've been dreaming for. I've tried blender on several occasions, but it's very difficult to get something that looks relatively close to what you're thinking. I really like the fact that you can really create complex models with a handful of simple operations. Me likee!
  • Given the types of things the guy drew in the video, I think the penis gourd design industry is about to go through a fashion revival.
  • I wonder what these objects look like when exported to an object file. Will they still look as natural if you import them into your favorite Quake map or blender world?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by hattig ( 47930 )
      You can click on the 'style' button to get a wireframe mesh rather than the rather abysmal 'sketch' front end.

      Then again it is only a prototype, hopefully the in-application rendering will improve vastly because it isn't helping the application do its thing.

      I expect that in-game potatoes, gourds, melons, coconuts and snowmen will look great in the future.
      • by HeroreV ( 869368 )
        hopefully the in-application rendering will improve vastly
        Improve? What part of "Copyright (C) 1998" don't you understand?
    • by BrynM ( 217883 ) * on Saturday September 16, 2006 @05:20PM (#16121599) Homepage Journal
      I wonder what these objects look like when exported to an object file. Will they still look as natural if you import them into your favorite Quake map or blender world?

      Here's a shot [] of a bunny rabbit I was playing with imported into Maya. I threw a sphere eye into the Teddy mesh for giggles. Teddy saves OBJ files (OBJ is a standard text file format created by Alias - now Autodesk). Almost any 3D software can import OBJ files including Blender. Teddy creates poly tris, so you might get some game tools to compile raw teddy meshes if you dared.

      It seems that the meshes it creates are pretty symetrical with a middle row of vertices. This means that what you create can be cut in half and mirrored to create truly symetrical meshes easily. In my bunny example, I only created one ear so that I can just duplicate it on the other side for matching ears (not done in the screenshot).

      The meshes Teddy creates do need cleanup though as it wastes a lot of polys where things converge (look at the bottom tip of the bunny's nose). I would consider Teddy a decent tool to brainstorm ideas, however there will still be plenty of work to do inside your 3D software of choice. Using it as a tool to create organic primitives is another option. I'm going to keep it in the toolbox, but it's not a replacement for other software.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Drawing a hypercube causes a stack overflow.
  • by Clipper ( 547339 ) on Saturday September 16, 2006 @03:52PM (#16121331) Homepage
    As the headline points out, this was demoed at SIGGRAPH 1999. Umm, maybe someone could tell me why Slashdot is featuring news from 7 years ago on the front page. Igarashi's work was novel at the time (in fact, he won the Significant New Researcher Award at this year's SIGGRAPH partly because of it), but let's remember that it's 2006 and a lot has been done in the world of sketch based interfaces. SmoothSketch3D [] is just one example from this year alone.
  • Damn that one I think got Slashdotted before it was posted. The Slashdotting effect seems to work on a quantum level. Websites are begining to antiscipate being Slashdotted so they are able to exceed their usuage before a story is even posted. I have to wonder if a site exists in an exceeded and unexceeded state? If you try to log on will it come up quota exceeded half the time and the other half the time load up properly? Okay we need to test this puppy. I need a cat and a pistol and a box. My room mate ha
  • I can't help but feel that this may be treading on ground somewhat already covered by zbrush, a modeling program in which the user paints in shape, mixing 2D and 3D funcitonality. [] []
    • by grumbel ( 592662 ) <> on Saturday September 16, 2006 @04:18PM (#16121400) Homepage
      Teddy is a different beast then ZBrush. ZBrush, as far as I know, allows you do model primitve 3D shapes in a relativly normal way and then to paint displacement maps on top of those base shapes, so you basically get an object with extreme detail. Which is great whe you want extremly detailed 3D models. Teddy on the other side isn't really about detail at all, its about making 3D modeling a 2D task and mainly about making it an trivially task so as in a 6 year old could do it. You can't really create detailed models with Teddy as it is, but you can create a 3D Teddy by simply drawing a 2D Teddy, all the 3d expansion is done automatically.
  • I reviewed Shade v5 for a CG web site a couple of years back. Teddy, known therein as Magical Sketch, is fun to play with, but ultimately pretty useless. The range of sketch tools is pretty narrow and incomplete. The tesellation of objects is less than ideal, often requiring artists to hand optimize. That alone negates the time saved by using a stroke-based system. The actual mapping of 2D strokes into 3D space isn't quite as predictable or powerful as it could be, often leading to funky results. Sculpting
    • by mink ( 266117 )
      From what I have sen of Smooth Teady it is not meant for "serious professionals to get work done".
      It has been used in two PS2 games (mentioned elsewhere in the discussion) and IMO works well for those aplications.
  • I remember seeing this many years ago, as a proposed modeler for the educational programming tool Alice []. A later version called SmoothTeddy adds the ability to paint your object after you model it. The demonstration video for the original Teddy was perhaps the best ground-up demonstration of the technology, and has cute Japanese kids drawing things with a touch screen.

    As others have posted, this is a rather old program and a lot has changed since then. Even Alice has gone through a few iterations. But

  • must be a slow nerd news day

  • And then imagine what one could do if connecting it to a machine that physically builds what you draw that easily. :-)

    Damn, I forgot what that machine was. You gave it a blueprint file and it simply created it as a solid block? I.e. it wasn't made for a predetermined design. Maybe a Slashdotter remembers it because I recall it was featured in a story here a few years ago.
  • great... (Score:2, Funny)

    by biscon ( 942763 )
    yet another 3d penis modeller..
  • by Tofof ( 199751 )
    We've already hammered this poor server once. 7/1351221&mode=thread&tid=134 []
  • by rubberbando ( 784342 ) on Saturday September 16, 2006 @05:46PM (#16121691)
    This program has been out for some time now and looks to be much more advanced than Teddy/Smooth Teddy/Magical Sketch. l []
    • Very much more advanced. In fact it fails the "can you figure it out in 30 seconds?" test.

      Teddy is FAR simpler to use, and I think if you are targeting non-3d/tech users, that's hugely important. Put a "Teddy like" application in the hands of kids and let them create new game content in a Spore-like game. Put it in something like Second Life. Put it in a game so people can customize their multiplayer characters.
  • Mid 80's (Score:3, Informative)

    by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Saturday September 16, 2006 @05:54PM (#16121724) Journal
    In the mid-late 80's I took a 3D graphics course in college where we built a 3D rendering engine from scratch (with Pascal). Our primary rendering technique was to first draw a 2D shape. It was then "extended" in 3D to produce a 3D shape. Think of it as making 2 copies of a 2D shape and then putting toothpicks on the outside between each "slice". One then puts a paper skin around the toothpicks to make a solid object. (The toothpicks were automatic, they were simply extended points from the original shape polygon.)

    One could make a lot of interesting and recognizable shapes with this technique alone. It would make a cool product for kids with a more polished interface. My final project was a dog wizzing on a fire hydrant, rendered with shading. (I was one of the few who finished the shading part, most only got to wire-frame stage. This was partly because I sacrifaced other classes to gain time and because I bothered to learn the Pascal debugger while others skipped it.)

    Another technique discussed (but not implimented in the class) was "lathing" whereby you draw a curve around a center line. The software would then rotate this curve to create a rounded shape.

    These techniques would probably not be sufficent for heavy commercial use, but for recreation and drafts they were quite effective.

    I don't know if this tool has it, I only saw part of the demo before the server froze. But the "blob" rendering like this tool has would make a nice addition to extending and lathing. Thus, we have:

    1. Extending
    2. Lathing
    3. Blobbing (this tool)

    Any more that anyone knows about?
    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )
      I skipped boolean operations, such as intersection, union, and difference that can be used on existing shapes. The "bite" tool shown in the demo is sort of a variation on that.
      • After thinking about it, the earlier toothpick analogy is a bit confusing. A better analogy would be cookie cutters where the dough can be arbitrarily thick. You make the 2D "cookie" shape, and then "press" it into dough that can be 1/4 thick or 30 feet thick.

        Also, an edge-smoother tool would also be a nice addition to listed features.
  • I'm sure this was covered before on /. some check the mag-tape.
  • we used it at the Design and Technology Academy in San Antonio, Texas as part of our 3d curriculum. []
  • I'd like to see what it does with a blivet [].
  • They should try drawing a Trog Dor with that thing.
  • This has been I think in Squeak Alice for a long time.

    Also in OpenCroquet via TPainter [] []

    and Impara has a beautiful commercial 2D/3D drawing program based on similar technology: []
  • 1999? Try 1996. The computer graphics group at Brown University had software at that time that did the same thing. It was called Sketch, it rocked then, and it rocks now: []

    People complain about how this is "old news" but there's lots of great tech that has been around for decades and still hasn't been adopted. Hopefully with the rise of free software it's getting easier to keep old software, maintained, and improving.
  • by Ceriel Nosforit ( 682174 ) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @02:11PM (#16125380)
    Make this vector based and we might have a winner! Imagine editing these shapes with vectors, and we're getting close to sculpting. =)
    • by WWWWolf ( 2428 )

      Ummmm.... Teddy + inkscape = not really much. However, I'd terribly appreciate Teddy + Blender. (There's open-source clones of Teddy too, like OpenTeddy []. Not sure if it helps from Blender's PoV.)

      If you mean "boy, wouldn't it be neat if Inkscape could do something like Flash, i.e., a 2D vector art program that works like a bitmap program", let me remind you that Inkscape can already automagically trace bitmaps with potrace [], and potrace rules. Now, if only someone could port Ink9000 [] to Linux to do what Tedd

      • Well, my idea was simply that instead of having Teddy drawing with rasters, you have it draw with vectors. Do that and you can easily edit the shapes until you think they are just right. Add some ability to 'cut off' pieces of your sculpure according to the same vectorish principles and you have a very advanced, yet simple tool at your disposal.
        And yes, Inkscapes vectorizer rocks. I've in the past used it to sketch crudely by hand and thus get a head-start in the creation process.

        Ink9000 seems to do a good
  • most of these sketching tools are not intended to replace pro tools such as Maya 3D. The main point is to give end-users access to tools allowing them to make very simple 3d models in just seconds/minutes. Inflatable Icons is another example technology. Draw an icon (using a pixel editor) and turn that into a 3D model: []
  • It's a hell of a fun program, especially when you convert the created forms over to Bryce3D or some other renderer, and instruct it to ray-trace the polygon in glass.

    Teddy is really one of those lovely things useful for organic shapes in 3D modeling. Love it!

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