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Michael Glueck, Keenan Crane, Sean Anderson, Andres Rutnik, Azam Khan
ACM Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics
Multiscale 3D Reference Visualization (3:10 min.)
Video title (x:xx min.)
Reference grids are commonly used in design software to help users judge distances and understand the orientation of the virtual workspace. Despite their ubiquity in 3D graphics applications, little research has gone into important design considerations of the 3D reference grids themselves, which directly impact their usefulness. We have developed two new techniques; the multiscale reference grid and position pegs that form a consistent foundation for presenting relative scale and position information to the user. Our design of a multiscale reference grid consistently subdivides and coalesces gridlines, based on the computation of a closeness metric, while ensuring that there are neither too many nor too few subdivisions. Position pegs extend the grid so that objects that are lying above or below the ground plane can be brought into a common environmental frame of reference without interfering with the grid or object data. We provide a stable analytic viewpoint-determined result, solving several depth cue problems, that is independent of viewing projection.
While advances in computing have empowered users to design and interact with objects in virtual three-dimensional space, little effort has been made to improve or facilitate interaction with the viewpoint. Once we begin to consider this problem, we find that it effectively spans a huge problem domain with many special cases. It touches on many of the fundamental difficulties in 3D interaction: being inside an object vs. being outside, how close is the viewpoint to the object, what is the user looking at and/or is interested in, egocentric vs. exocentric thinking, parallel vs. perspective viewing projections, multiscale and level-of-detail issues, what kind of data is being examined (abstract, incomplete, photoreal, engineering, CAD, entertainment, medical, simulation, etc.), and what is the user task (authoring, inspecting, etc.). Additional technical issues include correct handling of the clipping planes and floating-point precision problems. To help understand and address some of these issues, we have an ongoing research program to improve the state-of-the-art in 3D navigation.
Designing user interfaces for interacting with 3D data involves a number of factors that are not found in traditional 2D interfaces. In this project, we explore subtle yet critical aspects of 3D control and feedback. A number of research outcomes have been integrated into several Autodesk products and we continue to explore this complex area.
This project investigates the properties and qualities of multiscale datasets in an effort to gain critical insights needed, in user experience and understanding, to make progress in increasingly complex contexts.