Animated Construction of Line Drawings

ACM Transaction on Graphics (Proceedings of SIGGRAPH Asia 2011)

  Hongbo Fu1    Shizhe Zhou2     Ligang Liu2      Niloy J. Mitra3  

1City University of Hong Kong        2Zhejiang University           3KAUST/UCL


Guided by sketching principles, we derive a plausible stroke order of an input vectorized line drawing (left) to automatically animate the sketching (right top). A user study shows that the inferred order is comparable to the order used by an artist (right bottom).

  • The results have been selected to include in the SIGGRAPH Asia 2011 papers video trailer.
    They will also be shown during the Computer Animation Festival.
Revealing the sketching sequence of a line drawing can be visually intriguing and used for video-based storytelling. Typically this is enabled based on tedious recording of artists' drawing process. We demonstrate that it is often possible to estimate a reasonable drawing order from a static line drawing with clearly defined shape geometry, which looks plausible to a human viewer. We map the key principles of drawing order from drawing cognition to computational procedures in our framework. Our system produces plausible animated constructions of input line drawings, with no or little user intervention. We test our algorithm on a range of input sketches, with varying degree of complexity and structure, and evaluate the results via a user study. We also present applications to gesture drawing synthesis and drawing animation creation especially in the context of video scribing.
Slides Fast Forward, Paper Presentation

Download the video (.mp4; 86M)


Viewer for animated construction of line drawings (Windows executable; source code)

Note: the code for estimating drawing orders from line drawings is not ready to distribute yet. It will be released here once it is ready.

        author = {Hongbo Fu and Shizhe Zhou and Ligang Liu and Niloy Mitra},
        title = {Animated Construction of Line Drawings},
        journal = {ACM Trans. Graph. (Proceedings of ACM SIGGRAPH ASIA)},
        year = {2011},
        volume = {30},
        number = {6},

We thank the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments, the many participants of the user studies for their time, Gail Redman for video narration, Kanlun Cen for the line drawings used in this paper, and Wilmot Li for his many suggestions and insightful comments. Hongbo Fu is partly supported by grants from CityU (No. SRG7002533), and the HKSAR Research Grants Council (No. 9041562); Ligang Liu is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (61070071) and the 973 National Key Basic Research Foundation of China (2009CB320801); Niloy J. Mitra was partially supported by KAUST research network.

Video Scribing References