A Pig, an Angel and a Cactus Walk Into a Blender: A Descriptive Approach to Visual Blending

João M. Cunha, João Gonçalves, Pedro Martins, Penousal Machado, Amílcar Cardoso

A descriptive approach for automatic generation of visual blends is presented. The implemented system, the Blender, is composed of two components: the Mapper and the Visual Blender. The approach uses structured visual representations along with sets of visual relations which describe how the elements (in which the visual representation can be decomposed) relate among each other. Our system is a hybrid blender, as the blending process starts at the Mapper (conceptual level) and ends at the Visual Blender (visual representation level). The experimental results show that the Blender is able to create analogies from input mental spaces and produce well-composed blends, which follow the rules imposed by its base-analogy and its relations. The resulting blends are visually interesting and some can be considered as unexpected.

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