Thursday, September 20, 2007

Drawing on air

I learn from about a report at (see here) on a new virtual reality system called "Drawing on Air" that allows artists to create 3-dimensional objects. They say

By putting on a virtual reality mask, holding a stylus in one hand and a tracking device in the other, an artist can draw 3D objects in the air with unprecedented precision. This new system is called “Drawing on Air,” and researchers have designed the interface to be intuitive and provide the necessary control for artists to illustrate complicated artistic, scientific, and medical subjects.


... artists can stylize their curves while drawing by dynamically adjusting line thickness and color. Haptic effects enable artists to intuitively adjust line thickness by applying pressure against an imaginary 3D surface, making drawing in the air feel similar to pushing a paintbrush against paper ...


... once you have this ability to sketch in the air, there are so many different artistic directions you can go with it ...

I'm quite excited by this development because it gets us closer to having an artistic medium that has the richness of the visualisation "studio" that we each have inside our head. The system is still too expensive for everyday use, so I will use a programmatic approach to 3-dimensional art for the time being (e.g. see the sculpture here), but I already have plans in the pipeline to add a simple "Drawing on Air" type interface to enable the artist to have more intuitive control over the software that creates their artwork, e.g. a standard gamepad can be used to manipulate curved surfaces to form 3-dimensional sculptures, and lots more besides.

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