Generating Digital Painting Lighting Effects via RGB-space Geometry

Lvmin Zhang, Edgar Simo-Serra, Yi Ji, Chunping Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


We present an algorithm to generate digital painting lighting effects from a single image. Our algorithm is based on a key observation: Artists use many overlapping strokes to paint lighting effects, i.e., pixels with dense stroke history tend to gather more illumination strokes. Based on this observation, we design an algorithm to both estimate the density of strokes in a digital painting using color geometry and then generate novel lighting effects by mimicking artists' coarse-to-fine workflow. Coarse lighting effects are first generated using a wave transform and then retouched according to the stroke density of the original illustrations into usable lighting effects. Our algorithm is content-aware, with generated lighting effects naturally adapting to image structures, and can be used as an interactive tool to simplify current labor-intensive workflows for generating lighting effects for digital and matte paintings. In addition, our algorithm can also produce usable lighting effects for photographs or three-dimensional rendered images. We evaluate our approach with both an in-depth qualitative and a quantitative analysis that includes a perceptual user study. Results show that our proposed approach is not only able to produce favorable lighting effects with respect to existing approaches, but also that it is able to significantly reduce the needed interaction time.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3372176
JournalACM Transactions on Graphics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Apr


  • Relighting
  • color
  • convex hull

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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