Creating Personalized Jigsaw Puzzles

  Cheryl LauYuliy SchwartzburgAppu ShajiZahra SadeghipoorSabine Süsstrunk


International Symposium on Non-Photorealistic Animation and Rendering


Our tool creates custom jigsaw puzzles that are aesthetically interesting and challenging to assemble. Taking as input a user-defined curve, our method optimizes for puzzle cuts that follow the main color lines of the image, subject to interlocking, intersection, and minimum width constraints. The resulting puzzle is physically realizable; it can be fabricated by current laser cutters and assembled and disassembled multiple times.  Original image courtesy of Flickr user OutdoorPDK.


Designing aesthetically pleasing and challenging jigsaw puzzles is considered an art that requires considerable skill and expertise. We propose a tool that allows novice users to create customized jigsaw puzzles based on the image content and a user-defined curve. A popular design choice among puzzle makers, called color line cutting, is to cut the puzzle along the main contours in an image, making the puzzle both aesthetically interesting and challenging to solve. At the same time, the puzzle maker has to make sure that puzzle pieces interlock so that they do not disassemble easily.

Our method automatically optimizes for puzzle cuts that follow the main contours in the image and match the user-defined curve. We handle the tradeoff between color line cutting and interlocking, and we introduce a linear formulation for the interlocking constraint. We propose a novel method for eliminating self-intersections and ensuring a minimum width in our output curves. Our method satisfies these necessary fabrication constraints in order to make valid puzzles that can be easily realized with present-day laser cutters.


Paper [pdf]

Poster [pdf]

Slides [pdf]


 @inproceedings{Lau14,   author    = {C. Lau and Y. Schwartzburg and A. Shaji and Z. Sadeghipoor and S. S\"{u}sstrunk},   title     = {Creating Personalized Jigsaw Puzzles},   booktitle = {Proc. 12th International Symposium on Non-Photorealistic Animation and Rendering},   pages     = {},   year      = 2014 } 

Video (short)

Video (long)


Original images courtesy of Wikipedia, Flickr users Arches National Park (Neal Herbert), blmiers2, Ed Yourdon, Nattu, outdoorPDK, pelymo 05, R. J. Malfalfa, Sebastiàn Dario, skoeber.