Digital mosaics have usually used regular tiles, simulating historical tessellated mosaics. In this paper, we present a method for synthesizing pebble mosaics, a historical mosaic style in which the tiles are rounded pebbles. We address both the tiling problem, of distributing pebbles over the image plane so as to approximate the input image content, and the problem of geometry, creating a smooth rounded shape for each pebble. We adopt simple linear iterative clustering (SLIC) to obtain elongated tiles conforming to image content, and smooth the resulting irregular shapes into shapes resembling pebble cross-sections. Then, we create an interior and exterior contour for each pebble and solve a Laplace equation over the region between them to obtain height-field geometry. The resulting pebble set approximates the input image while representing full geometry that can be rendered and textured for a highly detailed representation of a pebble mosaic.

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Computational Visual Media
School of Computer Science

Doyle, L. (Lars), Anderson, F. (Forest), Choy, E. (Ehren), & Mould, D. (2019). Automated pebble mosaic stylization of images. Computational Visual Media, 5(1), 33–44. doi:10.1007/s41095-019-0129-0