This is an interface for “clay-like” conceptual 3D modeling that tracks passive markers on the user’s fingers in conjunction with a deformable physical prop to allow for very direct creation and manipulation of virtual model. In a style akin to working with physical deformable media, the user sculpts the virtual model by moving his/her fingers on, into, and around the physical prop which serves as a proxy to the virtual model and thus as a frame of reference to the user’s fingers.
Techniques commonly used in clay modeling, such as smoothing, deforming, pasting, and extruding are implemented and extended to leverage the capabilities of the virtual realm. Command input is enabled via a small set of finger gestures in conjunction with onscreen widgets, allowing all interaction to be achieved without additional input devices. Our goal is not to create a 3D modeler per se, but rather to explore the design space of this new style of direct finger and prop based interaction that more closely approximates the fluid manipulations that are possible with physical media, while retaining the many benefits of the digital form. Our interface is intended to support the quick creation of rough models, but not for precision modeling. We focus on the interaction issues, in particular on using the physical prop as a bridge between the physical and virtual worlds, and not on the geometric representations. We envisage our ideas can be used to drive a variety of different virtual clay formulations

Credits: Sheng et al. 2006


Jia Sheng, Ravin Balakrishnan, and Karan Singh. 2006. An interface for virtual 3D sculpting via physical proxy. In Proceedings of the 4th international conference on Computer graphics and interactive techniques in Australasia and Southeast Asia (GRAPHITE ’06). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 213-220. DOI=

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