Transactions on Machine Learning and Data Mining (ISSN: 1865-6781)

Volume 4 - Number 1 - July 2011 - Pages 17-29

Learning Primitive Shapes in Cartoon Designs

Md.T. Islam, K.Md. Nahiduzzaman, W.Y. Peng and G. Ashraf

National University of Singapore, Singapore-117417


Character design is a key ingredient to the success of any comic-book, graphic novel, or animated feature. Artists typically use shape, size and proportion as the first design layer to express role, physicality and personality traits. In this paper, we propose a knowledge mining framework that extracts primitive shape features from finished art, and trains models with labeled metadata attributes. The applications are in shape-based query of character databases as well as label-based generation of basic shape scaffolds, providing an informed starting point for sketching new characters. It paves the way for more intelligent shape indexing of arbitrary well-structured objects in image libraries. Furthermore, it provides an excellent tool for novices and junior artists to learn from the experts. We first describe a novel primitive based shape signature for annotating character body-parts. We then use support vector machine to classify these characters using their body partís shape signature as features. The proposed data transformation is computationally light and yields compact storage. We report substantial improvement in the learning performance of our shape representation compared to a low-level point feature representation using five popular machine-learning techniques.

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