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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Modelling of feather coat morphogenesis for computer graphics Streit, Lisa Marie

Abstract

This thesis addresses the problem of modelling realistic looking feather coats and their morphogenesis over the lifespan of the bird, for computer graphics. Modelling of feather coats is interesting aesthetically simply because of the prominence of birds in our daily 'lives', as well as the texture, pattern and shape diversities of feathers and feather coats. From a computer graphics point of view it becomes an interesting problem due to the shear detail and complexity of the model that must be managed in a changing environment. Not only is it desirable to simulate changes in the feather coat, but there is also a need for the feathers to respond appropriately when the skin surface moves or is animated. In this thesis three aspects which adversely affect the feather coat's appearance are explored and modelled: feather structure, follicle distribution and feather arrangement. Each aspect takes its basis from attributes of real feather coats, and the results created are compared with real feather coats. In addition to the static creation of feather coats, their change over time (morphogenesis) is also explored and shown to have an adverse affect on the resulting appearance of the coat. The results of feather moulting are included in the morphogenesis and the methodology is both based on real feather coats and the results compared with real feather coats. The focus of this thesis is on modelling the structure of the feather coat, rather than rendering. However, since an adequate rendering methodology is required to assess to results of the structural model a rendering methodology is also investigated. Synthesis of the patterns in feathers is also an interesting problem and is an entire area of research in areas such as Chemistry, Mathematics and Mathematical Biology [Har93]. Since pattern synthesis in feathers is currently an active area of research in these fields, it is deemed outside the scope of this thesis. In order to preserve the realism of our results, acquired patterns are used in this work.

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