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Sketching in three dimensions: A beautification scheme

  • Sree Shankar (a1) and Rahul Rai (a1)

Primary among all the activities involved in conceptual design is freehand sketching. There have been significant efforts in recent years to enable digital design methods that leverage humans’ sketching skills. Conventional sketch-based digital interfaces are built on two-dimensional touch-based devices like sketchers and drawing pads. The transition from two-dimensional to three-dimensional (3-D) digital sketch interfaces represents the latest trend in developing new interfaces that embody intuitiveness and human–human interaction characteristics. In this paper, we outline a novel screenless 3-D sketching system. The system uses a noncontact depth-sensing RGB-D camera for user input. Only depth information (no RGB information) is used in the framework. The system tracks the user's palm during the sketching process and converts the data into a 3-D sketch. As the generated data is noisy, making sense of what is sketched is facilitated through a beautification process that is suited to 3-D sketches. To evaluate the performance of the system and the beautification scheme, user studies were performed on multiple participants for both single-stroke and multistroke sketching scenarios.

Corresponding author
Reprint requests to: Rahul Rai, University at Buffalo, SUNY, 318 Jarvis Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260, USA. E-mail:
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  • ISSN: 0890-0604
  • EISSN: 1469-1760
  • URL: /core/journals/ai-edam
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