This is a video presentation of our work on Napkin Sketch, a new 3D Sketching and Collaborative Design tool. The video presentation is based on Min Xin's M.Sc. defense talk.
Computer-supported 3D design tools have become increasingly popular and abundant because they offer easy editing, efficient content management, extensive sharing, and rich rendering capabilities.
However, many of these tools are focused on generating high quality, visually appealing, and detailed models of baked ideas but often seem to fail in effectively supporting the intricate process and environment which help to create and nurture these ideas in the early design stages.
Inspired by the simple yet rich interactions afforded by traditional design tools such as pencil, paper, or napkin in supporting the creative process of the early design stages, this thesis attempts to capture their essential qualities like portability, flexibility, fluidity, expressiveness, ambiguity, and sociability in Napkin Sketch, a computer supported tool which enables 3D sketching and collaborative design. Concepts such as tangible interaction and freeform interaction are explored and applied to create a sketching experience which leverages users' innate ability to physically interact with tools, media, and collaborators and provides freedom to suggest ideas and invite changes without having to commit prematurely.
The contributions of the thesis are centered around Napkin Sketch which include a hardware platform that enables users to tangibly explore the 3D design space and manipulate the sketching media, a complementary software platform that facilitates the creation of 3D sketches while maintaining the familiar paradigm of sketching on a flat physical surface, a collaborative sketching environment that supports ad hoc co-located collaboration via multiple instances of the system, and three design critiques that provide preliminary assessment of the potential effectiveness of Napkin Sketch as a useful tool for supporting creativity in the early design stages. This video report highlights the main points of the our project.