Media Technology
Research Centre
University of Bath logo - links to University home
  Animation, Image Representation and Compositing
  We are interested in applications of vision and graphics to animation, film and special effects, especially for image representation, high-quality rendering, non-photorealistic rendering and compositing.

This is joint work between:

  • Professor Philip Willis, MTRC, University of Bath
  • Dr Peter Hall, MTRC, University of Bath
  • Dr John Collomosse, MTRC, University of Bath
  • Dr Neil Dodgson, University of Cambridge
  • Dr John Patterson, University of Glasgow
  • Professor Frank Van Reeth, University of Limburg
  What we have done
  Movies tend to be large. Please allow time for them to download.

Drawn Animation

Apparent 3D movement in 2D animation
    Quicktime MOV file; 8.25 Mbytes
One week's work, 15 seconds of animation; 5 times the industry productivity. All in 2D. All "highly rendered" in style: no flat colours.
Animator's line test of a cartoon scene
    AVI file; 5.5 Mbytes
Animated, stable scraperboard style
    Quicktime MOV file; 2.8 Mbytes
Animated scraperboard: impossible by hand.

Re-rendering Images

No more pixels! Digital capture and display is fine but continuous representations, such as our VPI format, are better for manipulation. The problem is, how to do this with continuous tone colour images. This is how.
Our vector format in use.
Click image to see full size.

Left=original jpg; right=VPI

Our vector format for rotation.
Click image to see full size.

Left=Photoshop; right=VPI

Rotation of fine detail.
Click image to see full size.
Soft shades of grey ruthlessly reveal artifacts. Our test image has been rotated to non-pixel boundaries.

Left=Photoshop; right=VPI

Multi-resolution rendering in various styles
Web site


There is so much more you can do with digital compositing than the 20-year old standard model supports. We offer theoretical breakthroughs as well as practical results.
Preserving contrast, colour and salience in image compositing
Web site
Projective Alpha Colours and Compositing
Web site

Re-rendering Movies

Capture a movie, then change its visual style. We also show new uses for our continuous image representation.
Movie to cartoon: change style, add streak lines, squash and stretch.
AVI file; 15.5 Mbytes
Edge-sensitive interpolated zoom; photographic still original
Quicktime MOV file; 3.08 Mbytes
Our vector format used to posterise and then re-rendered back to video.
MPEG-1 video-only M1V file; 2.76 Mbytes
  Research Results
  Our papers are available for download by name or for download by year.
  • "Highly Drawn Stylized Animation", Fabian Di Fiore, Frank Van Reeth, John Patterson and Philip Willis, Computer Graphics International, 2006.
  • "Video Motion Analysis for the Synthesis of Dynamic Cues and Futurist Art", J. P. Collomosse and P. M. Hall, Graphics Models November 2007.
  • "Projective Alpha Colour" P J Willis Computer Graphics Forum. Vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 557-566. (ISSN 0167-7055) Eurographics Conference issue, Sept 2006.
  • UK Patent: P40290GB "Method for effective, easy, and low cost manipulation of light in digital imaging". Sept 2006.
  • "Generalised Compositing" P J Willis ACM Graphite 2007, pp. 129-134 and 312 (colour plate).
  Funding Agency
  Largely funded by EPSRC.