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Olivia Brenner - 16/07/2010

Sylvain Lefebvre, winner of the Eurographics Award 2010

Sylvain Lefebvre portrait

Sylvain Lefebvre, ALICE team researcher Sylvain Lefebvre, an Inria researcher, has won the Eurographics Award in the category "Young Researcher". This award comes in recognition of his research work on texture synthesis. With wide-ranging experience at Inria, he began his career at the EVASION team in Grenoble before going on to work in the REVES team in Sophia. He recently joined the ALICE team in Nancy. He views this award as acknowledgement of the collective work carried out within these teams on algorithms and methods to facilitate the creation and display of virtual environments.

Virtual object "Gargoyle"

Originally from Saint-Etienne, Sylvain Lefebvre initially joined the IMAGIS team at Inria Grenoble to work on his postgraduate specialist diploma in "robotic imaging and vision", then to prepare his thesis under the guidance of Fabrice Neyret. After a postdoctoral stay in the US at Microsoft Research, he returned, this time as an expert engineer, to work on a graphics project in the EVASION project-team in Grenoble. Recruited as a junior research scientist in 2006, he joined the REVES team in Sophia-Antipolis, where he carried out his work for four years and developed a growing interest in geometry. It was this same interest that recently prompted him to become part of the ALICE team in Nancy, where he now intends to take the methods previously developed for textures into the field of geometry. Aged 32, Sylvain Lefebvre has the support of a network of research partners nationwide, to which he has dedicated this Eurographics award. Espousing the concepts of "interpersonal teams", "scientific complicity", "room for manoeuvre" and "rich dialogue with industry", he is a willing ambassador for Inria's project-team organisation model. This young ambassador has a bright future ahead of him.

A question of texture

Vurtual object "Mother and child"

With a passion for creating computer graphics, Sylvain Lefebvre has focused his research on textures and the creation of graphic content with the aim of improving the quality of interactive environments. "Texture" is the method used to give an appearance to the surface of virtual objects. Textures complement geometric modelling, which defines the shape of virtual objects. The principle is to design details on surfaces that create the illusion of different materials, thus making computer graphics more real. Sylvain Lefebvre and his colleagues have attempted to answer questions such as how colour points can be attached to a surface to imitate a material such as wood, and how colours can be composed to represent stone or paper, using the "example-based synthesis method". Now, bBy integrating the geometric dimension, the challenge now consists of deploying the principles developed for textures to design shapes in virtual environments. The goal is to generate ever-larger time savings in design and to achieve a richer and more immersive image. This work responds to a direct need voiced by manufacturers in several sectors, including video games and flight simulators, prompted by the fact that interactive applications require increasingly accurate details and excellent visual quality. "I adapt my research based on direct dialogue with manufacturers," says Sylvain Lefebvre. "This allows me to better define their needs and identify the scientific issues that have a good chance of resulting in applications." This adaptability recently took him into the field of business consulting.

Eurographics, the showcase for computer graphics

Eurographics is the only European business association for the promotion of computer graphics. The association supports research work in computer graphics and other areas such as multimedia, scientific visualisation and human-machine interfaces. Eurographics maintains very close ties with the US, Japan and other countries by fostering the exchange of skills and scientific and technical information on a global scale. To mark its 25th anniversary in 2004, Eurographics created the three Eurographics Awards: the Career Distinction Award, the Exceptional Technical Contributions Award and the Young Researcher Award. This programme aims to shine the spotlight on European computer graphics research.


Keywords: Eurographics Sylvain Lefebvre Virtual objects Textures REVES ALICE Award