UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Digital micrography Maharik, Ron Israel


This work is concerned with computer-assisted generation of text art. Specifically, we consider an artistic style known as micrography, in which complex images are constructed from lines of tiny, readable text. Traditionally created by trained scribes and requiring immense amounts of effort, micrography has in recent years crossed over into the digital domain, with modern artists adapting the style in various ways and using it to convey their own message. Unfortunately, creating micrography with standard digital graphic design techniques remains a tedious and frustrating exercise. The method proposed here is capable of automating the work-intensive aspects of micrography, while still keeping the designer in control of the overall look and feel of the result. For artists, this means they can now rapidly experiment with different designs in a way that would be infeasible using traditional digital techniques. We begin with an analysis of the aesthetic properties of text flow that make for a visually appealing micrography. Observing that some of these requirements are shared with well-studied problems in computer graphics such as parameterization and quadrangulation, we base our solution on the popular framework of smooth fields, augmenting it with a novel approach to boundary constraint design for planar shapes. The result is a system that lets artists generate beautiful micrography in a matter of minutes, automatically optimizing for aesthetic appeal and readability while also allowing for intuitive manual intervention.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International