Manufacturing Layered Attenuators for Multiple Prescribed Shadow Images

1Disney Research Zürich 2ETH Zürich

In Computer Graphics Forum (Proceedings of Eurographics), 2012

A single manufactured multi-layer attenuator, consisting of three transparencies separated by acrylic, casts different shadows depending on the angle of the sun. The shadows match the target Van Gogh paintings, shown as insets.


We present a practical and inexpensive method for creating physical objects that cast different color shadow images when illuminated by prescribed lighting configurations. The input to our system is a number of lighting configurations and corresponding desired shadow images. Our approach computes attenuation masks, which are then printed on transparent materials and stacked to form a single multi-layer attenuator. When illuminated with the input lighting configurations, this multi-layer attenuator casts the prescribed color shadow images. Alternatively, our method can compute layers so that their permutations produce different prescribed shadow images under fixed lighting. Each multi-layer attenuator is quick and inexpensive to produce, can generate multiple full-color shadows, and can be designed to respond to different types of natural or synthetic lighting setups. We illustrate the effectiveness of our multi-layer attenuators in simulation and in reality, with the sun as a light source.


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Text Reference

Ilya Baran, Philipp Keller, Derek Bradley, Stelian Coros, Wojciech Jarosz, Derek Nowrouzezahrai, Markus Gross. Manufacturing Layered Attenuators for Multiple Prescribed Shadow Images. Computer Graphics Forum (Proceedings of Eurographics), 31(2):603–610, May 2012.

BibTex Reference

    author = "Baran, Ilya and Keller, Philipp and Bradley, Derek and Coros, Stelian and Jarosz, Wojciech and Nowrouzezahrai, Derek and Gross, Markus",
    title = "Manufacturing Layered Attenuators for Multiple Prescribed Shadow Images",
    journal = "Computer Graphics Forum (Proceedings of Eurographics)",
    volume = "31",
    number = "2",
    year = "2012",
    month = "may",
    pages = "603–610",
    issn = "0167-7055",
    doi = "10.1111/j.1467-8659.2012.03039.x"

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© The Author(s). This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of The Eurographics Association for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive version is available at