Sederberg and Parry introduced the concept of a free-form deformation in [#!Sederberg86!#]. This technique defines a free-form deformation of space by specifying a trivariate Bézier solid, which acts on a parallelpiped region of space. The deformation procedure proceeds as follows:
The coordinates of any point can be found by solving the above system of equations or by direct calculation
In the case that the object is defined by Bézier or B-spline solids, three methods are possible to represent the deformed object. (We note that any B-spline object can be refined into a set of Bézier objects, and will henceforth assume that we are only dealing with Bézier objects.)
This is not a correct solution to the problem and could exhibit artifacts that are worse than those possible in the first method. In fact, the deformation process forces a composition of the two defining functions and the resulting deformed object is of higher degree that the original object. Thus this method approximates a deformed Bézier object by another of lower degree - not the best solution.
The Sederberg-Parry deformation method has had wide use in the computer graphics/modeling/animation fields (see [#!Chadwick89!#]). The simplicity of the method is that it utilizes parallelepipedidal regions of 3-dimensional space, resulting in a simple calculation for the coordinate of any point and a direct substitution into a trivariate Bézier function.
It was recognized by Coquillart [#!Coquillart90!#] that it was the calculation of the coordinate that was the primary difficulty in the algorithm and if one wanted to sacrifice additional time in solving for these coordinates, one could consider non-parallelepipedidal regions. This method, called the extended free-form deformation (or EFFD) method, utilized non-parallelepipedical lattices and calculated the coordinate by utilizing numerical methods (in this case, Newton's method).
For example, a cylindrical lattice can be formed by expanding the control points of a standard lattice representing a cube to approximate the sides by Bézier representations of a circle. The figure below illustrates this process
Thus, the EFFD method recognized that it was the calculation of the coordinates that is the fundamental part of the deformation process. Sederberg/Parry utilized a parallelepipedical lattice which allows easy calculation of the coordinates. The calculation is more difficult with other lattice structures, but not so much to make it impossible.
Coquillart also discusses the piecing together of the lattice structures to make much more complex deformations. For example, one could define a toroidal deformation by piecing together four EFFDs that were based upon the Bézier definition of a quarter-section of a torus.
Coquillart and Jancéne's subsequent paper [#!Coquillart91!#] discusses the animation of the deformation lattices. Two lattices, the initial and final lattices, are defined and the animation proceeds by interpolating the corresponding lattice points between the initial and final lattices.
Lazarus, et al. [#!Lazarus!#] discusses axial deformations. This is similar to the EFFD method except that the final deformation function is not defined as a trivariate Bézier function.
The axial deformation process is done as follows. Let be an object that is to be deformed and let be an axis. Attach each vertex of to a point on the axis . Calculate the local coordinates of in the local coordinate system of . The deformed vertex is obtained by computing the associated local coordinate system at (which is the deformed point analygous to ) and transforming the points from this coordinate system back to the world coordinate system.
Most of the applications of this technique define a local coordinate frame, or frames on the axis . The deformation of these frames then allows the reconstruction of the transformation to get the points back into world space.
For example, let the axial curve be the Bézier curve,
Let , , , be the deformed points and frame respectively. Then the deformed point is given by
Where we have done this with parametric curves, the same methods can be applied to arbitrary curves and frames - and the basic problem is still the same, calculation of the local coordinates
Griessmair and Purgathofer [#!Griessmair89!#] discuss the Sederberg/Parry deformation of B-spline curves and patches. They do not treat this problem any differently that others, but give a set of criteria to utilize in tesselation of a surface in order to minimize the distortion in the deformation process (Remember that a polygon can be nonplanar under deformation, which implies that it must be approximated by many polygons before the deformation takes place in order to get an accurate model of the deformed surface.).
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