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Describing a scene to a computer is an inherent task of computer graphics applications. Modeled scenes are typically built with direct placement techniques or specialized scripting languages. The scene description task could be greatly eased if natural language were an interactive control option. However, natural language understanding is notoriously difficult for computers. This difficulty is exacerbated in the case of computer graphics by the need for geometric output, not just "conceptual understanding" or high-level inferencing. General text-understanding techniques have not been successfully applied to scene generation. Typically, a few task-specific commands, such as "walk," are implemented as an ad-hoc collection of procedures. Our approach aims to separate the expressive power of fundamental natural concepts from the difficult task of text understanding. We are developing a 3D object placement system based on a combination of natural commands and interactive techniques. Guided by research in cognitive linguistics, we use basic spatial relationships--such as in, on, and at--and fundamental scene parameters--such as viewer location and object dimensionality--to identify regions of placement for objects in a scene. These natural commands can be used to quickly prototype a complex scene and constrain object placement.
interactive 3D graphics, linguistic interfaces to computers, scene building, object placement

J. Wilhelms and S. R. Clay, "Put: Language-Based Interactive Manipulation of Objects," in IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, vol. 16, no. , pp. 31-39, 1996.
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