Painterly Rendering with Curved Brush Strokes of Multiple Sizes

Aaron Hertzmann

Media Research Laboratory
Department of Computer Science
Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences
New York University

Tomato painting


We present a new method for creating an image with a hand-painted appearance from a photograph, and a new approach to designing styles of illustration. We paint an image with a series of spline brush strokes. Brush strokes are chosen to match colors in a source image. A painting is built up in a series of layers, starting with a rough sketch drawn with a large brush. The sketch is painted over with progressively smaller brushes, but only in areas where the sketch differs from the blurred source image. Thus, visual emphasis in the painting corresponds roughly to the spatial energy present in the source image. We demonstrate a technique for painting with long, curved brush strokes, aligned to normals of image gradients. Thus we begin to explore the expressive quality of complex brush strokes.

Rather than process images with a single manner of painting, we present a framework for describing a wide range of visual styles. A style is described as an intuitive set of parameters to the painting algorithm that a designer can adjust to vary the style of painting. We show examples of images rendered with different styles, and discuss long-term goals for expressive rendering styles as a general-purpose design tool for artists and animators.

SIGGRAPH 98 paper:
PDF (400kb)

Project Page: Painterly rendering

Project Page: Non-photorealistic rendering

Copyright © 2000 Aaron Hertzmann