Scientific Objectives


Since the beginning of the industrial era, prototyping has been an important stage for manufacturers as a preliminary step before mass production. With the rise of Computer Science and recent advances of intensive computation, industry is progressively shifting from tangible prototypes to fully numerical and virtual prototypes, with the goal of reducing costs and time during the R&D phase. Over recent years, the emergence of 3D printers has enabled virtual prototyping methods to take into account, at an early stage, some degree of fabricability, especially regarding the shape of a manufactured object. However, beyond its shape, predicting the final appearance of a virtual prototype remains a challenge of great importance in many domains (e.g., furniture, textile, architecture). The challenge resides mainly on the fact that the final appearance of an object is dependent on its shape, the material(s) applied on its surface, as well as the viewing and lighting conditions. The VIDA project aims at removing several scientific locks related to appearance prediction in the context of fabrication, by establishing a framework for the direct and inverse design of material appearance for objects of complex shapes. Because the manufacturing processes are constantly evolving, our goal is to establish a framework that is not tied up to a single fabrication stage.