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A stencil is a thin sheet of material, such as paper, plastic, or metal, with certain patterns cut from it. Applying a pigment through the cut-out holes produces a design on an underlying surface. Using multiple overlapping stencil layers, artists can create intricate, yet reproducible imagery on a variety of surfaces. Traditionally, artists have to design not only the final appearance, but also each individual stencil layer. A stencil layer needs to be connected, geometrically simple, and physically stable. Taking all these constraints into account during the design process is difficult and unintuitive even for skilled artists.
In this paper, we propose a system which separates the artistic design stage from the complex and tedious task of stencil creation. For a given user design, our algorithm automatically generates a set of stencil layers satisfying all required properties. The task is formulated as a constrained energy optimization problem and solved efficiently. Experiments, including a user study, are carried out to examine the complete algorithm as well as each individual step.

     author = {Jain, Arjun and Chen, Chao and Thorm\"{a}hlen, Thorsten and Metaxas, Dimitris and Seidel, Hans-Peter},
     title = {Multi-layer Stencil Creation from Images},
     journal = {Comput. Graph.},
     issue_date = {May 2015},
     volume = {48},
     number = {C},
     month = may,
     year = {2015},
     issn = {0097-8493},
     pages = {11--22},
     numpages = {12},
     url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cag.2015.02.003},
     doi = {10.1016/j.cag.2015.02.003},
     acmid = {2779608},
     publisher = {Pergamon Press, Inc.},
     address = {Elmsford, NY, USA},
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