Generating sample looks for geometric objects in a visual design language


Omid Banyasad
Philip T. Cox

Author Addresses: 

IBM Ottawa Software Lab
Kanata, Ontario, Canada
K2V 1C8

Faculty of Computer Science
Dalhousie University
6050 University Ave.
PO Box 15000
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
B3H 4R2


A major application of visualisation is to the design of structured objects such as buildings, machinery and electronic circuits, as in Computer-Aided Design (CAD) systems. Complex designs are frequently parameterised so that they represent families of objects rather than single artifacts, and building them requires design environments that support both the concrete visualisation and manipulation of components, and the abstract specification of how they are related. CAD systems usually separate these two aspects, providing the abstract programming capability via a textual programming language grafted on to a 3D object editor and solid modeler.

A recently proposed design language merges these two activities by embedding representations of solid objects in a visual logic programming language. A practical issue that arises is how to automatically generate a “sample look”, a reasonable representation for a parameterised object which can be displayed during execution (assembly) of a design. We present a solution to this problem based on “factoring”, which separates the constraints on a solid object from its geometric properties.

Tech Report Number: 
Report Date: 
March 17, 2008
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