M.Sc Thesis

M.Sc StudentShain Starovoitov Olga
SubjectImmersive Freehand 3D Sketching on Air in Full Body Scale:
System Development and User Studies
DepartmentDepartment of Architecture and Town Planning
Supervisors ASSOCIATE PROF. Noemi Bitterman
PROF. Alon Wolf
Full Thesis textFull thesis text - English Version


A design process generally begins with a stage called conceptual design, in which new, initial ideas for a design problem are created. During this stage free sketches are usually made. These sketches can be characterized as open-ended, imprecise, and ambiguous and may be regarded as visual thinking tool that aids one in the creation of new ideas. The current study has a two phase approach. At first, we focused on developing an immersive 3D sketching system to facilitate the conceptual design stage. The creation of 3D sketches on air is controlled through a specifically tailored multimodal user interface using free hand gestures, taking advantage of one's full body scale, and voice commands. Gesture-based interactions support mental processes in a spatial oriented tasks and recent technological progress allow it to be integrated in various applications. Two novel 3D cursors, 'HelpingPlanes' and 'HelpingLines', were designed as part of the 3D UI of the sketching system. Although there is a growing popularity of immersive 3D sketching and gesture-based interfaces, not much research has been devoted to cognitive considerations and user requirements of such. The second phase of the current work focused on conducting a thorough set of user studies under specially designed evaluation methods. The two 3D cursors developed in the current study were compared by measuring performance of the overdraw task under several spatial conditions. The free sketching methods of five objects: a bench, a pair of glasses, a hat, a tree, and a freestyle sketch were evaluated through observations and spatial measures. In addition, questionnaires were applied to access personal user's opinions, needs and preferences. Significantly better performance was found for the 'HelpingPlanes' 3D cursor; however, the 'HelpingLines' cursor was the most preferred one. Tree and freestyle were significantly different in almost all spatial measures from other objects and by the amount of special sketching methods that participants expressed. The importance of human body scale and ergonomics factors was evident through multiple measurements of the current study and they should be carefully considered in systems alike. The overall experience was very enjoyable and its level was ranked highly by the participants. Based on the findings of the current study, we believe that the proposed system could serve as a platform to support creative process and will especially leverage the creation process of objects in human-body scale or larger and objects characterized by free curvatures.