Conference paper

Shadow art

"To them, I said, the truth would be literally nothing but the shadows of the images." - Plato, The Republic Shadow art is a unique form of sculptural art where the 2D shadows cast by a 3D sculpture are essential for the artistic effect. We introduce computational tools for the creation of shadow art and propose a design process where the user can directly specify the desired shadows by providing a set of binary images and corresponding projection information. Since multiple shadow images often contradict each other, we present a geometric optimization that computes a 3D shadow volume whose shadows best approximate the provided input images. Our analysis shows that this optimization is essential for obtaining physically realizable 3D sculptures. The resulting shadow volume can then be modified with a set of interactive editing tools that automatically respect the often intricate shadow constraints. We demonstrate the potential of our system with a number of complex 3D shadow art sculptures that go beyond what is seen in contemporary art pieces. © 2009 ACM.

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