Seeing in 3D

Full Conference  One-Day Full Conference

Friday, 12 December, 08:30 - 17:30
Room 313, 314
Level: Beginner

Most people, even technical draftsmen, designers and computer graphics programmers, find it very difficult to visualise 3D shapes well enough to reason about them. This course demonstrates the problem and takes attendees through a series of exercises that help them acquire this important practical skill.

"Stand a cube on its corner. What is the shape of a horizontal cross-section taken at half the height of this object?" About four percent of human beings can reason about 3D space well enough to answer this question easily and with confidence. Most of us enter a state of panic when confronted by 3D problems. Yet it is possible to train yourself to think and visualize in 3D. This course helps attendees start thinking in 3D. Once they have the basic principles, they can develop the skill independently.

Familiarity with some basic geometric ideas (for example, two planes meet in a straight line). Also helpful: awareness of how to find distances with Pythagoras' theorem, but this is used for only a few exercises, and the course can be understood without mathematics.

Intended Audience
Graphic artists, engineers, designers, computer graphics programmers, and students interested in graphics, drawing, or sculpture.

Geoff Wyvill
University of Otago

Bob Parslow
Independent Consultant

Instructor Bios

Geoff Wyvill
Well known in SIGGRAPH circles, Geoff Wyvill has contributed technical presentations, artworks, and animation to many conferences. He is director of computer graphics research at the University of Otago and a director of Animation Research Limited, which makes commercial animation and animation software for sports. He has a BA in physics from Oxford University and an MSc and PhD in computer science from Bradford University. Over many years, he has encouraged scientists to develop artistic pursuits and artists to learn science. He has published over 100 technical articles and papers, and given numerous invited talks and courses.

Bob Parslow
Bob Parslow was senior lecturer in the Computer Science Department at Brunel University, where he ran early international conferences on computer graphics and started "On-line" with Richard Elliott Green. It was his discovery that 96% of us cannot visualize 3D objects without training that led to the creation of this course. A Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the British Computer Society, he has served on the BCS council, and he is a member of their technical board. He has presented seminars on this topic worldwide.