April 26, 2010

About My Master's Thesis

This post might well be the first that has any connection at all to my everyday life.

I haven't written anything here for a very long time. I have been busy enough with other things. On my spare time I have been finishing my long overdue master's thesis at the Helsinki University of Technology, which is nowadays a part of the Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland.

My thesis concerns digital texturing of solid objects, and in it I describe how texture mapping, as it is understood in computer graphics, can be used for designing objects with custom low-level surface details. The work is based on an old project in which we produced highly accurate laser-machined details into the surfaces of plastic injection molds, based on ordinary bump map images and 3D models of the mold cavities. The point of my thesis is that digital texture mapping is a viable tool for the design and manufacturing of (embossed) surface details, as long as the right tools are made available.

As one part of the work I developed a new method for adaptive displacement mapping of triangular meshes that is specifically aimed at well-specified tolerances at an optimal number of output primitives. It can be readily used to produce textured geometries for rapid prototyping or laser machining.

It's applicability is not necessarily limited to manufacturing, but could be used for visualization as well. At least it easily beats the adaptive displacement in 3dsMax.

Here is a flat shaded rendering of a sample model from the algorithm, along with the tileable displacement texture. (It's an old concept design, not any actual phone model.)

If anyone is interested in asking more, please feel free to email me at vtt.fi (firstname.lastname).

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