Virtual brush : a model-based synthesis of Chinese calligraphy

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

130 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations


Related Research Unit(s)


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-113
Journal / PublicationComputers and Graphics (Pergamon)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2000


This paper describes the Virtual Brush, a model-based approach to synthesizing realistically Chinese calligraphic writings. This approach simulates the physical process of brush stroke creation using a parameterized model which captures (a) the writing brush 3D geometric parameters, (b) the brush hair properties and (c) the variations of ink deposition along a stroke trajectory. An analysis of some well-known Chinese brush writing styles is given, with a view to establishing the relationship of these writing styles and the modeling process of simulating these different writing styles. We present here our model formulation and the implementation of a software which is capable of simulating some typical calligraphic writing styles on a PC platform. This parameterized model allows a compact representation for brush-written characters which can be used to synthesize characters at different levels of detail, with various brush effects. The result is applicable for very high-quality publishing purpose. Additionally, by appropriately transforming and scaling the stroke trajectories which define a virtual brush character, this technique can be used as a novel approach for scalable font design and generation, in comparison with traditional vector fonts or imaging techniques. More interestingly, with suitable interfacing techniques Virtual Brush would allow users to 'practice' calligraphy electronically.