Animating Chinese Paintings through Stroke-Based Decomposition

Songhua Xu, Yingqing Xu, Sing Bing Kang, David Salesin, Yunhe Pan, and Heung-Yeung Shum

This work proposes a technique to animate a "Chinese style" painting given its image. We first extract descriptions of the brush strokes that hypothetically produced it. The key to the extraction process is the use of a brush stroke library, which is obtained by digitizing single brush strokes drawn by an experienced artist. The steps in our extraction technique are first to segment the input image, then to find the best set of brush strokes that fit the regions, and finally to refine these strokes to account for local appearance. We model a single brush stroke using its skeleton and contour, and we characterize texture variation within each stroke by sampling perpendicularly along its skeleton. Once these brush descriptions have been obtained, the painting can be animated at the brush stroke level. In this paper, we focus on Chinese paintings with relatively sparse strokes. The animation is produced using a graphical application we developed. We present several animations of real paintings using our technique.

Keywords: Animating paintings, non-photorealistic rendering, segmentation


·         S. Xu, Y. Xu, S.B. Kang, D.H. Salesin, Y. Pan, and H.-Y. Shum. Animating Chinese paintings through stroke-based decomposition, Technical Report, MSR-TR-2006-33, Microsoft Research, 2006.

·         S. Xu, Y. Xu, S.B. Kang, D.H. Salesin, Y. Pan, and H.-Y. Shum. Animating Chinese paintings through stroke-based decomposition, ACM Transactions on Graphics, 25(2):239-267, April 2006. [Bitex]


·         "Animating Paintings through Stroke-Based Decomposition"--A Video on the Algorithm: 5:09     [AVI 29M] [ZIP 21M]

·         "Making a Painting Come to Life"--A Video on the System:  2:33     [VOB (MPEG DVD) 160M] [ZIP 60M]

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