Visual Computing

University of Konstanz
IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics

Animated Construction of Chinese Brush Paintings

F. Tang, W. Dong, Y. Meng, X. Mei, F. Huang, X. Zhang, O. Deussen
Teaser of Animated Construction of Chinese Brush Paintings


Paper (.pdf, 10.6 MB)


In this paper, we present a method for reconstructing the drawing process of Chinese brush paintings. We demonstrate the possibility of computing an artistically reasonable drawing order from a static brush painting that is consistent with the rules of art. We map the key principles of drawing composition to our computational framework, which first organizes the strokes in three stages and then optimizes stroke ordering with natural evolution strategies. Our system produces reasonable animated constructions of Chinese brush paintings with minimal or no user intervention. We test our algorithm on a range of input paintings with varying degrees of complexity and structure and then evaluate the results via a user study. We discuss the applications of the proposed system to painting instruction, painting animation, and image stylization, especially in the context of art teaching.


  author     = {F. Tang and W. Dong and Y. Meng and X. Mei and F. Huang and X. Zhang and O. Deussen},
  doi        = {10.1109/TVCG.2017.2774292},
  issn       = {1077-2626},
  journal    = {IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics},
  keywords   = {Painting;Brushes;Ink;Art;Animation;Videos;Education;Chinese brush painting;animation;drawing analysis;art teaching},
  month      = {dec},
  number     = {12},
  pages      = {3019--3031},
  publisher  = {Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)},
  title      = {Animated Construction of Chinese Brush Paintings},
  volume     = {24},
  year       = {2018},
  url        = {},