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As a researcher, I am interested in the introduction of new artistic
concepts, styles and techniques. I find it exciting to develop
unconventional artistic approaches. For this purpose, I
continuously develop computational techniques and tools. Using
these techniques and tools, I create a wide variety of artworks as a proof of
concept. My main success in research is to organize teams that consist of people with
a wide variety of interests. I usually define the problem and have
a rough idea for solution. I have been very successful in
motivating teams of people to solve these problems in details.
My approach is also a product of limited resources.
Since I am working in a Master program with limited access to PhD students,
it is very hard to do extensive and detailed work to compete
with mainstream research. With an approach that focuses on fresh ideas and creativity,
I am able to produce interesting results with a small number of students and limited resources.
I am particularly fascinated by non-representational sculptures and unusual architectural buildings of Architects such as Frank Gehry, Santiago Calatrava or Norman Foster. These sculptural or architectural shapes are fundamentally different from engineering shapes. They are large objects that are not mass-produced. High precision is not that important for such shapes but to make them aesthetic looking is crucial for designers. I have mainly been focused on the discovery of new concepts for the development of more powerful shape modeling systems to design such unusual and aesthetic looking sculptural or architectural shapes easily and intuitively. My main goals have always been (1) to guarantee interactivity; (2) to provide topology changes (adding or deleting handles, opening and closing holes, or connecting or disconnecting objects). Unfortunately, two fundamental shape modeling methods cannot directly support these goals: subdivision methods cannot provide topology changes and implicit methods cannot guarantee interactivity. I find it fascinating that the origins of these problems come from the limitations of their underlying mathematics. Most of my influential publications in topological and implicit modeling have involved finding concepts to extend the boundaries of these limitations. My recent research is focused on finding new methods for allowing users to easily and intuitively design unusual and aesthetic looking shapes. Although, my shape modeling research is strongly related to sculpture and architecture, it is also useful in industries such as environmental design, cinema, games and web design. My interest in shape modeling is not limited to non-representational shapes. For instance, my work on artistic depiction involves finding new representational sculptural forms such as volume painting and 3D caricatures. A volume (or implicit) painting is an event in space-time, which is produced by a sampling and reconstruction process that populates three-dimensional space with different types of objects.
Caricature has always been an important part of my life. I have developed purely artistic schemes to identify the features that are different from a normal face and to exaggerate the features to create caricatures. I have recently improved these techniques to create extremely exaggerated caricatures, and have developed several artistic approaches to construct 3D faces and caricatures.
My research is usually motivated by artistic concerns like most of the computer graphics researchers. I use and develop new scientific and mathematical concepts, methods and techniques to create artworks. Recently, I have even started to use social science to create artworks.
I classified my work based on the methods I use and the type of the results I got. My most influential work is motivated for creation of new sculptural forms and, therefore, strongly related to shape modeling. Topological mesh modeling, implicit modeling and conceptual architecture can clearly be identified as topics in shape modeling. However, artistic depiction also includes some works in the direction of finding new conceptual sculptural form such as 3D caricatures (That is one reason I do not call it artistic depiction instead of non-photo-realistic rendering).
Artistic depiction also includes 3D Chinese painting, volume painting, cubist rendering, video screening. Rendering and Visualization includes visualization as well as our recent work on rendering hair with Global Illumination.