The Future of 3D Modeling

Current 3d modeling systems use 2d graphical user interfaces. New innovations like Oculus Rift or Microsoft Hololens facilitate 3d user interfaces for 3d modeling.

Currently, there is no way to use a 3d input device for modeling operations in a commercial 3d modeling system. Furthermore the extra dimensionality of 3d input devices gives the user more freedom but may lead to additional complexity in the user interface.

Artist3D demonstrates how to use 3d finger tracking by using constraints in the 3d modeling process.
It provides modeling planes and modeling lines. Modeling operations are chosen by selecting vertices of objects. The modeling operation can be executed by using a 2d or a 3d input device.

Using a 2d input device (touch screen, mouse) the 2d position is projected onto the 3d modeling plane. Modeling operations are started by pressing a mouse button or touching the screen. They are finished by releasing the mouse button or lifting the finger from the screen.

Using a 3d input device (finger tracking) the modeling operation is started by approaching the vertex to select. Users can modify the shape of an object by moving their fingers within a 3d layer surrounding the modeling plane. They can finish the modeling operation by leaving the 3d layer.

- Modeling planes reduce the complexity of the user interface by providing constraints.
- Modeling planes provide an easy way of integrating a 3d input device into a commercial 3d modeling system.
- Modeling planes improve learnability by using the same modeling operations with either a 2d or a 3d input device.
- Starting operations with touching in 3d is more precise than using finger gestures to start operations.

Compare both versions in the videos:

  3D Finger tracking (Oculus Rift and Leap Motion)   2D User Interface (Desktop or iPad)

More information: Jung T., Three-Dimensional Modeling Interface for Augmented Realities, In Proc Kultur und Informatik: Augmented Reality, C. Busch, J. Sieck Eds., vwH Verlag, Berlin, Germany, May 2016, pp 79-87

Thomas Jung, November 2015