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We propose a novel example-based approach to synthesize scenes with complex relations, e.g., when one object is ‘hooked’, ‘surrounded’, ‘contained’ or ‘tucked into’ another object. Existing relationship descriptors used in automatic scene synthesis methods are based on contacts or relative vectors connecting the object centers. Such descriptors do not fully capture the geometry of spatial interactions, and therefore cannot describe complex relationships. Our idea is to enrich the description of spatial relations between object surfaces by encoding the geometry of the open space around objects, and use this as a template for fitting novel objects. To this end, we introduce relationship templates as descriptors of complex relationships; they are computed from an example scene and combine the interaction bisector surface (IBS) with a novel feature called the space coverage feature (SCF), which encodes the open space in the frequency domain. New variations of a scene can be synthesized efficiently by fitting novel objects to the template. Our method greatly enhances existing automatic scene synthesis approaches by allowing them to handle complex relationships, as validated by our user studies. The proposed method generalizes well, as it can form complex relationships with objects that have a topology and geometry very different from the example scene.
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