Date of Award

May 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Zeyun Yu

Committee Members

Ichiro Suzuki, Seyed H. Hosseini


Computer Graphics, Image Processing, Model, Relief, Sculpture


Simplifying the process of generating relief sculptures has been an interesting topic of research in the past decade. A relief is a type of sculpture that does not entirely extend into three-dimensional space. Instead, it has details that are carved into a flat surface, like wood or stone, such that there are slight elevations from the flat plane that define the subject of the sculpture. When viewed orthogonally straight on, a relief can look like a full sculpture or statue in the respect that a full sense of depth from the subject can be perceived. Creating such a model manually is a tedious and difficult process, akin to the challenges a painter may face when designing a convincing painting.

Like with painting, certain digital tools (3D modeling programs most commonly) can make the process a little easier, but can still take a lot of time to obtain sufficient details. To further simplify the process of relief generation, a sizable amount of research has gone into developing semi-automated processes of creating reliefs based on different types of models. These methods can vary in many ways, including the type of input used, the computational time required, and the quality of the resulting model. The performance typically depends on the type of operations applied to the input model, and usually user-specified parameters to modify

its appearance.

In this thesis, we try to accomplish a few related topics. First, we analyze previous work in the field and briefly summarize the procedures to emphasize a variety of ways to solve the problem. We then look at specific algorithms for generating reliefs from 2D and 3D models. After explaining two of each type, a “basic” approach, and a more sophisticated one, we compare the algorithms based on their difficulty to implement, the quality of the results, and the time to process. The final section will include some more sample results of the previous algorithms, and will suggest possible ideas to enhance their results, which could be applied in continuing research on the topic.