MesoGen: Designing Procedural On-Surface Stranded Mesostructures

ACM Transaction on Graphics (SIGGRAPH ' Conference Proceedings)
Élie Michel
Tamy Boubekeur
Teaser image
We propose a workflow for designing rich mesostructures, with self-similarity but no repetition artifacts. Our method is based on Wang tiling to enable fast authoring and efficient real-time rendering.


Three-dimensional mesostructures enrich coarse macrosurfaces with complex features, which are 3D geometry with arbitrary topology in essence, but are expected to be self-similar with no tiling artifacts, just like texture-based material models. This is a challenging task, as no existing modeling tool provides the right constraints in the design phase to ensure such properties while maintaining real-time editing capabilities. In this paper, we propose MesoGen, a novel tile-centric authoring approach for the design of procedural mesostructures featuring non-periodic self-similarity while being represented as a compact and GPU-friendly model. We ensure by construction the continuity of the mesostructure: the user designs a set of atomic tiles by drawing 2D cross-sections on the interfaces between tiles, and selecting pairs of cross-sections to be connected as strands, i.e., 3D sweep surfaces. In parallel, a tiling engine continuously fills the shell space of the macrosurface with the so-defined tile set while ensuring that only matching interfaces are in contact. Moreover, the engine suggests to the user the addition of new tiles whenever the problem happens to be over-constrained. As a result, our method allows for the rapid creation of complex, seamless procedural mesostructure and is particularly adapted for wicker-like ones, often impossible to achieve with scattering-based mesostructure synthesis methods.


More details are available in the YouTube video.


The user provides a base macrosurface (a quad mesh) and controls the mesostructure synthesis process at the "Draw & Select" step, which creates a tile set used by a Wang tiling engine to cover the macrosurface with continuous-by-construction details.

Tile set authoring involves setting combinatorial information (interfaces) and geometric content (2D cross-sections and 3D sweeps). More details about the workflow are available in the repository's README.


The same macrosurface with different tile sets and random seeds. The tile-based apporach provides a very compressed representation), which enables real-time rendering (~1.5 ms per frame).

A screenshot of our prototype application.

Captures from our application's viewport, showing the same tile set applied to different base macrosurfaces. More results are available in the paper.


@article{michel23mesogen, title = {MesoGen: Designing Procedural On-Surface Stranded Mesostructures}, author = {Michel, Élie and Boubekeur, Tamy}, journal = {ACM Transaction on Graphics (SIGGRAPH '23 Conference Proceedings)}, year = {2023}, publisher = {ACM}, doi = {10.1145/3588432.3591496}, }