Semantic approaches to 3D shape editing for nontechnical users

August 4, 2015 by Lisa Kulick, Carnegie Mellon University Mechanical Engineering

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Levent Burak Kara and his Ph.D. student Ersin Yumer at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a new method for exploring shape design and product customization.

This method incorporates a set of measurable, descriptive characteristics known as semantic attributes that allow a user to take an existing design and edit its and style without needing to be an expert at .

"Conventional shape design and editing technologies such as AutoCAD, Maya, and SketchUp are difficult to master," says Kara. "Our approach allows any user to 'tune up' or 'tune down' certain characteristics with a click and drag of a sliding tool."

For example, a user could alter the design of a shoe to be 'more fashionable,' a car to be 'more sporty,' or a chair to be 'more ergonomic' without the need for detailed geometric manipulations. 

"Our approach is particularly useful in scenarios where the user's desires can be expressed using a set of attributes relevant to the target product, but there is no immediate means for transforming such intentions into geometric operations," Kara says.

Kara's collaborative team also includes Carnegie Mellon Professor of Computer Science and Robotics Jessica Hodgins and Sid Chaudhuri of Cornell University. The team's paper, titled Semantic Shape Editing Using Deformation Handles, will be presented at the SIGGRAPH 2015 conference this August. (SIGGRAPH, a special interest group of the Association for Computing Machinery, fosters innovation in computer graphics and interactive techniques.)

Kara runs the Visual Design and Engineering Lab at Carnegie Mellon University's College of Engineering. His research develops new computational techniques and software to support and user interaction with tools. While founded in , his research draws upon several related disciplines including computer graphics, machine learning and human-computer interaction.

Explore further: New software to improve design tools

Related Stories

New software to improve design tools

January 13, 2009

A team of Carnegie Mellon University engineers led by Levent Burak Kara and Kenji Shimada have developed software that will let engineers design new products by simply sketching their ideas on a tablet computer.

Software systems add motion to physical characters

August 8, 2014

New 3D printing techniques have made it possible for just about anybody to fabricate fanciful plastic characters and sculptures, two new computational design methods developed by Disney Research Zurich are making it possible ...

Students update classic animation technique

November 29, 2013

( —Computer Graphics students at Victoria University have created an alternative to an animation technique used by studios such as Disney and Pixar.

Carnegie Mellon group shows iPad skeuomorphism

May 4, 2014

( —The Human Interfaces Group at Carnegie Mellon, led by the group's director Chris Harrison, an assistant professor of Human Computer Interaction, have done work that shows how traditional hand movements to perform ...

Recommended for you

Archaeologists discover Incan tomb in Peru

February 16, 2019

Peruvian archaeologists discovered an Incan tomb in the north of the country where an elite member of the pre-Columbian empire was buried, one of the investigators announced Friday.

Where is the universe hiding its missing mass?

February 15, 2019

Astronomers have spent decades looking for something that sounds like it would be hard to miss: about a third of the "normal" matter in the Universe. New results from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory may have helped them ...

What rising seas mean for local economies

February 15, 2019

Impacts from climate change are not always easy to see. But for many local businesses in coastal communities across the United States, the evidence is right outside their doors—or in their parking lots.

The friendly extortioner takes it all

February 15, 2019

Cooperating with other people makes many things easier. However, competition is also a characteristic aspect of our society. In their struggle for contracts and positions, people have to be more successful than their competitors ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.