31. Practical 3D User Interface Design

Full Day / Intermediate

Principles and techniques for creating 3D user interfaces (3D UIs) for modeling, animation, information visualization, multimedia, video games, and other emerging interactive systems with an emphasis on real-world 3D UI problems and practical solutions. Speakers from leading-edge companies and the research community address their design principles and processes and the results of their final implementations. Special attention is focused on: working with low-end platforms, supporting the World Wide Web, mixing 3D and 2D workspaces, and scalability. The course includes spirited roundtable discussions, live demonstrations, and case-study presentations.

Who Should Attend
UI product designers and software engineers who wish to create new 3D UIs or extend their current UIs by incorporating 3D UI techniques into production-quality applications. Researchers can also gain an understanding of the demanding 3D UI needs of real-world systems, including scalability, robustness, consistency, and breadth of functionality.

Daniel Robbins
Microsoft Corporation

Kevin Matthews
Artifice, Inc. and University of Oregon

Roman Ormandy
Caligari Inc.

Narendra Varma
Microsoft Pty Ltd

Mark Mine
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


8:30 am: Motivation: Why 3D UIs? - Robbins

limitations of 2D UIs

benefits of 3D UIs (reducing cognitive distance, easy migration to VR, more natural than 2D UIs for inherently 3D tasks, shallow learning curve)

example cutting-edge 3D UIs

9:00 am: Implementation: Keeping Simple Tasks Simple via 3D UIs - Matthews

supporting the 3D design and modeling process with "natural and transparent interaction"

picking appropriate freedoms and appropriate constraints (what is a "good tool?")

establishing spatial relationships between objects and between tool and object (non-stereographic depth cueing, etc.)

correlating 2 1/2D and 3D operational modes by seamlessly using feature-based modeling concepts

correlating object-manipulation methods with view-manipulation methods (and their potential interdependence)

working without hardware acceleration of 3D graphics (tricks of minimalism)

10:00 am: Break

10:15 am: Roundtable 1: How to Arrive at Creative Solutions - Robbins

finding, using, and dispensing with real-world metaphors
determining a base set of functionality
stretching a 3D UI design to its limit and then stretching it more
taking advantage of rapid-prototyping
using 3D designs to inform 2D implementations

11:00 am: Integration: Integrating Diverse Tasks via 3D UIs - Ormandy

presenting a consistent 3D UI for modeling, texturing, and animation
accommodating users of different levels
integrating modeling, texturing, and animation into one modeless application
blurring the difference between application objects and 3D UI elements
extending 3D interfaces beyond modeling and animation

12:00 noon: Break

1:30 pm: Ease of Use: Learning from Children - Varma

supporting children in the authoring domain
choosing the right degrees of freedom
taking advantage of sound to support 3D
relying on spatially-based events rather than time-based events
working with the constraints of low-end real-time 3D graphics rendering

2:30 pm: Roundtable 2: TBA

3:00 pm: Break

3:15 pm: The Future?: Virtual Environments Empowered via 3D UIs - Mine

determining the advantages and disadvantages of working in a virtual environment - what makes VR practical
characterizing the differences between "through-the-window" and VR
designing interaction techniques and UIs for a virtual environment
dealing with the limitations of current virtual environment technology
demonstrating and critiquing several VR interfaces

4:15 pm: Roundtable 3: Unsolved Problems - All

Speakers will be given in advance a sample unsolved 3D UI problem. Each speaker will respond, during the course, with several possible solutions to this problem. Possible "unsolved problems" are:

hierarchy: what kind of 3D UI can be used to create, edit, and display groups, parents, children, siblings, and other data relationships?

3D UIs for non-geometric qualities: what is the best way to control qualities such as color, transparency, weight, and time?

precision: how can a user be precise when using gestural controls?

3D navigation: why are there still no good methods for viewing control?

using 3D interfaces for non-traditional tasks

promoting the acceptance of 3D interfaces

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