Marie-Paule Cani

(ex Gascuel)

Professor at Grenoble Institute of Technology (INPG)
Head of the research group IMAGINE
a joint team of Laboratoire Jean Kuntzmann

Physical address: INRIA, 655 avenue de l'Europe, 38330 Montbonnot
tel : (+33)476615432 ; fax : (+33)476615466

Version française

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  Research projects
  Students and colleagues
  Other activities
  Short CV


Animation of natural objects and phenomena

My main reseach topic from 1999 to 2006 has been the modeling and animation of natural objects and scenes, which raise the very interesting questions of understanding which features contribute the most to the visual appearence and of handling complexity. The applications range from virtual environments for digital entertainment to simulators (such as medical simulators) and virtual prototyping (e.g. modelling virtual hair for appications in the cosmetic industry). Some of the models were developed for real-time applications, others aimed at enhancing realism while trying to keep acceptable computationnal times.
The methodology which enabled us to conciliate efficiency and realism is the following:

  structure the phenomona to be modelled into hierarchies of submodels   ;
  use space and time adaptive simulations wherever possible   ;
  rely on adapted représentations, from physically-based modeling to geometry or textures.

Quickly creating a compelling virtual world

With the increase of the available memory and computational time, exploring very complex virtual worlds is now possible. This brings the challenge of efficiently creating and positionning the elements of these worlds, which cannot anymore be all created by hand by computer artists: how can we very intuitively create and control a free-form shape, as simply as if we were sketching or sculpting it in real? How can we accelerate the creation of complex models such as vegetation, clouds, hair or mountains, while both offering an intuitive control of the overall shape and enhancing realism through the use of a priori knowledge? These are some of the questions I am addressing in my recent work, by exploring new shape representations and the combination of procedural models, sketching and sculpting techhniques.

Some contributions (see also publications)

Animation and Simulation

Real-time animation of natural scenaries: lava-flows, ocean, prairies
Deformable models and collision processing for surgical simulators
Character animation: flesh vibration, constant volume skinning, wrinkles, virtual hair.


Skeleton-based implicit surfaces with LODs
Virtual sculpture: interaction device, real-time deformations and topological changes
Sketch-based modeling, applied to free form shapes and to complex models (clothing, clouds, trees...)


Image-based texture synthesis on arbitrary surfaces

Colleagues and PhD students

  Colleagues           PhD students           Former students

  Georges-Pierre Bonneau Prof UJF Visualization, subdivision surfaces, perception
  Eric Bruneton Corps telecom Procedural modeling and efficient rendering of large, natural scenes
  Francois Faure Assistant Prof UJF Physics-based animation, collisions, surgical simulators
  Franck Hetroy Assistant Prof INPG Geometry processing
  Olivier Palombi MCU-PH UJF Modelling of anatomical structures
  Lionel Reveret INRIA researcher Motion capture from video

  Mathieu Coquerelle MENSR Animation of fluids (co-advised with G-H. Cottet)
  Adeline Pihuit MENSR Interactive sketches for teaching anatomy (co-advised by Olivier Palombi)
  Damien Rohmer MENSR Constant volume deformations (co-advised with Stefanie Hahmann)
  Jamie Wither European project VISITOR Sketch-based modelling of complex, procedural scenes

  Olivier Palombi Thèse INPG 2006 Implicit modelling of anatomic structures
  Alexis Angelidis PhD U. Otago 2007 Space deformations (advisor G. Wyvill)
  Florence Bertails PhD INPG 2006 Hair modeling and animation
  Guillaume Dewaele PhD INPG 2005 Virtual sculpture through the video capture of hand motion (co-advised with R. Horaud)
  Laurent Favreau PhD INPG 2005 Animation of wild animals from video (co-advised with L. Reveret)
  Laks Raghupathi PhD INPG 2006 Real-time deformable models for surgery simulation(co-advised with F. Faure)
  Caroline Larboulette Thèse Rennes 2004 Real-time flesh and skin layers for virtual humans (co-advised with B. Arnaldi)
  Frank Perbet Thèse INPG 2004 Interactive animation of vegetation, procedural modeling with LODs
  David Bourguignon Thèse INPG 2003 Sketch-based interfaces for graphics
  Eric Ferley Thèse INPG 2002 Virtual sculpture (co-advised by JD Gascuel)
  Gilles Debunne Thèse INPG 2000 Levels of detail in physically-based animation
  Franck Multon Thèse IRISA 1998 Motion control for virtual humans (co-advised by B.Arnaldi)
  Mathieu Desbrun Thèse INPG 1997 Animation of highly deformable materials
  Alexis Lamouret Thèse UJF 1995 Motion control
  Philippe Limantour Thèse Paris XI 1994 Facial animation (CIFFRE chez Medialab)



  Head of first year studies at ENSIMAG
  Operational research (ENSIMAG/INPG)
  Algorithmics (first and second year ENSIMAG/INPG)
  Computer Graphics and Animation (master level)


  Head of the graduate programm "Images and Virtual Reality" at ENSIMAG/INPG 2001 to 2007
  Algorithms and Data Structures (first year ENSIMAG/INPG)
  Computer Graphics (ENSIMAG/INPG and DESS IM/UJF)
  Modeling Techniques and Computer Animation (DEA IVR)
  Mathematical Tools for Computer Graphics (DEA IVR)

Other Activities

  Steering committee member for the ACM-EG Symposium on Computer Animation (SCA)
  Steering committee member for IEEE Shape Modeling & Application (SMI)
  Director at large within ACM SIGGRAPH executive Committee

Short CV

Professor of Computer Science at the Grenoble Institute of Technology, France, Marie-Paule Cani is the head of the INRIA research group EVASION, part of Laboratoire Jean Kuntzmann, a joint lab of CNRS and Grenoble University. A graduate from the Ecole Normale Supérieure, she received a PhD from the University of Paris 11 in 1990. Assistant professor since 1991, she became full prof in 1997. In 1999, she was awarded membership in the Institut Universitaire de France. In 2007, she received the national Irène Joliot Curie award to acknowledge her action towards women in Computer Science.

Her main research interest is the creation of digital content for animated virtual worlds, which leads to developing techniques for both shape design and animation. Her contributions include algorithms for efficient physically-based animation, the use of implicit surfaces and of constant volume space deformations in interactive sculpting systems, 3D clothing design from sketches, physically-based models such as super-helices for hair animation and the design of layered models for efficiently animating natural scenes.

Marie-Paule Cani was general co-chair of IEEE Shape Modelling & Applications 2005 and paper co-chair of EUROGRAPHICS 2004, ACM-EG Symposium on Computer Animation 2006 and Sketch-based Interaction and Modelling 2008. She regularly served in the program committees of major conferences such as SIGGRAPH, EUROGRAPHICS and PACIFIC GRAPHICS. She was a topic chair for Eurographics 2003 and member of the SIGGRAPPH advisory board in 2007. She joined the editorial boards of Graphical Models from 2001 to 2005 and of IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics since 2006. An active member of the French Computer Graphics association (AFIG) since the nineties, she created and was the first president of the French Chapter of EUROGRAPHICS in 2003 and served in the Eurographics executive committee from 2004 to 2008. She was named a Eurographics fellow in 2005 and was elected at the position of "director at large" within ACM SIGGRAPH executive committee in 2008.

Last update : May 2008