An Overview of Procedural Modeling in Academia and Industry
Tom Kelly, University College London
Room: 3A07
Time: Fri 31 Mar 2017 at 11:00-12:00
Host: Jes Frellsen

Manually creating objects to fill our virtual 3D worlds can be tedious and time consuming; ‘procedural modeling’ is the study of programs to do this for us. Tom is currently a postdoc under Niloy Mitra at UCL in London, and is particularly interested in urban procedural modeling - creating systems to automatically generate cities. Previously he has worked as a transport system modeler, video game developer, and was a engineer for Esri’s CityEngine (a procedural system nominated for a Technical Academy Award, and widely used in the video game and architectural industries).

Procedural modeling is a relatively new discipline, but intersects with many existing fields including User Interfaces, Geometry, and Perceptual Studies. For example, users are easily confused by the many parameters that 3D procedural models have, and are unable to effectively interact with them. Presenting these parameters to users requires advances in User Interfaces. Another field is Geometry - here the problem is finding geometric primitives that can be used to create realistic models; ideally these should be simple, yet useful, when modeling a wide range of objects. Finally, it is important to understand what makes a procedural model realistic. This is a challenging perceptual problem because a single urban procedural model can create many different buildings. We present and discuss our research into each these problems, and how our results have been used in industry.