Stippling, or, a Voronoi Stippler

I've been teaching computers to stipple. It's fun stuff.

Stippling: The production of continuous graduations of light and shade through the use of small, discrete dots or strokes. In painting the technique is more commonly called pointillism.

New! You can now download executables and source code.

A stippled corn plant with 20000 stipples

An example of a corn plant stippled with 20000 simulated dots of ink.
A stippled corn plant with 5000 stipples

An example of a corn plant stippled with 5000 simulated dots of ink.

The work started as a course project with Prof. Thomas Strothotte and Dr. Stefan Schlechtweg, who were visiting at Simon Fraser University. The original algorithm I came up with is related to rejection sampling of a probability distribution function, but the images it produced were quite noisy. You can look at the course project page which was completed around January, 2001 for examples. Ken Chidlow was working on a more physically-inspired method for stippling which produced interesting results.

A newer algorithm based on Voronoi diagrams ended up working much better, and this turned into a paper that was published at NPAR 2002. The corn plant image is an updated verison of the one in this paper. You can get the paper on my publications page.


Amy, an example of mixing stippling with other formats.


I have received slow but steady feedback from readers about stippling with weighted Voronoi diagrams.

If you would like to compare your results to those in the NPAR paper or my Master's thesis, you can download the original images.