Chinese Ink-and-Brush Painting with Film Lighting Aesthetics in 3D Computer Graphics



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This thesis explores the topic of recreating Chinese ink-and-brush painting in 3D computer graphics and introducing film lighting aesthetics into the result. The method is primarily based on non-photorealistic shader development and digital compositing. The goal of this research is to study how to bing the visual aesthetics of Chinese ink-and-brush painting into 3D computer graphics as well as explore the artistic possibility of using film lighting principles in Chinese painting for visual story telling by using 3D computer graphics.

In this research, we use the Jiangnan water country paintings by renowned contemporary Chinese artist Yang Ming-Yi as our primary visual reference. An analysis of the paintings is performed to study the visual characteristics of Yang's paintings. These include how the artist expresses shading, forms, shadow, reflection and compositing principles, which will be used as the guidelines for recreating the painting in computer graphics. 3D meshes are used to represent the subjects in the painting like houses, boats and water. Then procedural non-photorealistic shaders are developed and applied on 3D meshes to give the models an ink-look. Additionally, different types of 3D data are organized and rendered into different layers, which include shading, depth, and geometric information. Those layers are then composed together by using 2D image processing algorithms with custom artistic controls to achieve a more natural-looking ink-painting result.

As a result, a short animation of Chinese ink-and-brush painting in 3D computer graphics will be created in which the same environment is rendered with different lighting designs to demonstrate the artistic intention.