Research in computer graphics at Yale includes sketching and alternative design techniques, material and texture models, the role of models of human perception in computer graphics, and recovering shape and reflectance from images. Applications that drive this work are architectural design, cultural heritage documentation and analysis, and the study of biological forms. Computer graphics is one of the disciplines within Yale C2 (Creative Consilience of Computing and the Arts).
Computer graphics is used extensively in a wide range of domains—from feature film and games to medical visualization and financial analysis. However impressive the growth of computer graphics applications has been over the past forty years, the goal of easily authoring computer graphics models input remains elusive. At Yale, the research in modeling includes sketching systems for early conceptual design and the capture and editing of digital models of existing physical objects at a range of scales—from entire buildings to individual objects.
Computer graphics models need to include material appearance properties as well as geometry. Unfortunately, the models widely used in computer graphics assume that the materials are both pristine and immutable, even though real materials are neither. The goal of research on material and texture models at Yale is to devise new material representations and expressive interfaces for editing such representations, to develop novel methods to simulate materials and the processes that affect their appearance, and to physically measure the input required for material models.