Modeling by example

Thomas Funkhouser, Michael Kazhdan, Philip Shilane, Patrick Min, William Kiefer, Ayellet Tal, Szymon Rusinkiewicz, David Dobkin

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

144 Scopus citations


In this paper, we investigate a data-driven synthesis approach to constructing 3D geometric surface models. We provide methods with which a user can search a large database of 3D meshes to find parts of interest, cut the desired parts out of the meshes with intelligent scissoring, and composite them together in different ways to form new objects. The main benefit of this approach is that it is both easy to learn and able to produce highly detailed geometric models . the conceptual design for new models comes from the user, while the geometric details come from examples in the database. The focus of the paper is on the main research issues motivated by the proposed approach: (1) interactive segmentation of 3D surfaces, (2) shape-based search to find 3D models with parts matching a query, and (3) composition of parts to form new models. We provide new research contributions on all three topics and incorporate them into a prototype modeling system. Experience with our prototype system indicates that it allows untrained users to create interesting and detailed 3D models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 2004
EventACM SIGGRAPH 2004, SIGGRAPH 2004 - Los Angeles, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 8 2004Aug 12 2004


Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLos Angeles, CA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Human-Computer Interaction


  • 3D shape matching
  • Databases of geometric models
  • Interactive modeling tools


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