2D/3D integration

15 Feb 2005 - 11:55am
9 years ago
4 replies
611 reads
Juan Ramón Sánc...
2005

Hello all,

Would like to meet individuals interested in integrating interaction design + design communication. Specifically, designing and programming 2D graphical user interfaces dynamically linked to real time interactive 3D model (object and space).

Thanks,

Juan Ramón

Comments

15 Feb 2005 - 1:39pm
Mal
2005

Hey Juan,

> Would like to meet individuals interested in integrating interaction
> design + design communication. Specifically, designing and programming
> 2D graphical user interfaces dynamically linked to real time
> interactive 3D model (object and space).
>
>
This is one of the major fields I have been involved with over the last
3 years, and I'd be very interested in discussing UIs and 3D.

Here are a few issues of the top of my head...

UI issues.
I'm not sure of the statistics ( lies, damn lies etc ), but I'd assume
that over 95% of general ( novice ) computer users only ever use a
single mouse button. All of the 3D solutions to date involve either the
use of 2 / 3 mouse buttons ( sometimes with the 3rd simulated by holding
down both mouse buttons at the same time, something that is definitely
not intuitive ). Some also use arrow keys for navigation, which is
again non-intuitive for anyone other than a games player, and using 4
keys to navigate is similar to walking around with a neck brace, and the
in-ability to side-step.

We had to design a single-mouse-click system for interacting with a 3D
environment or object. We also decided to extend the UI, so that it
included both object focus, and general look-around focus. One of the
interesting things we have discovered is that people find it difficult,
even with a single button solution, to click and drag, so our new
projects introduce rotation bars at the side, for auto-rotating the
camera around either an object, or for looking around a room. Another
interesting point that we found was that, as part of our offering we
include online viewing, the users expected to use a similar set of
skills for interacting with a web page as they would to interact with
the 3D environment ( seamless integration, re-use of skills and existing
metaphors etc ).

An example can be viewed here...
http://www.candointeractive.com/investni ( click on the graphic to start
the Shockwave 3D demonstration )

2D / 3D issues.
Again, a lot of the current solutions assume that you will be dealing
exclusively within a 3D environment, and won't have any surrounding 2D
UI, or they have very basic 2D UI interface support ( which seem to have
been implemented more as an afterthought ). We put in a lot of work to
design our 2D, 3D, 2D->3D, and 3D->2D drop-on behaviours that covered
99% of the interactions that are required for any interactive 3D project.

3D issues.
Modelling an object or environment in 3D is difficult. Modelling it for
real-time use is very difficult. Allowing for interactiveness is
extremely difficult. As content is very much king in this area, finding
suitable 3D artists who a) have these skills and b) want to work in this
difficult area is tough.

Performance / Available Features
If the UI / 3D environment runs slow, people won't use it. We had
looked at a number of 3D solutions and focused on Shockwave 3D, not only
due to it's huge market install base and penetration, but also because
of it's performance... if you can make an interactive 3D game using a 3D
technology, you can make any type of product presentation ( see
http://www.candointeractive.com/gamedesign for some R&D game engine
tests that ended up becoming educational products for our company )

I see from your website that you have worked on some cool interactive 3D
projects, and I look forward to discussing this topic with you and
others on the list who are involved with this exciting field!

Mal

15 Feb 2005 - 2:39pm
Juan Ramón Sánc...
2005

Hello Mal,

- UI issues -

This is the most challenging aspect of all, and like you very well say, one
can tell when a 2D GUI was designed as an after-thought. First, real time
interactive 3D spaces and products require different GUIs. Secondly, because
current / future generations have "3D minds" (thanks to video games
industry) adoption of 2D->3D interaction will be greatly facilitated, and
hopefully demanded.

- 2D / 3D issues -

Interdisciplinary teams are needed. Just because you design 2D GUIs for
websites does not guarantee you will succeed in designing 2D->3D interaction
strategies.

- 3D issues -

So far, most real time interactive 3D artists work in video game companies.
Furthermore, 3D static artists have to overcome a learning curve.

- Performance / Available Features -

We focus on Eon Studio, Quest3D and OpenSceneGraph. They are all suited for
different types of real time interactive 3D spaces and products. Overall,
all these technologies excel in real time 3D rendering, availability of 2D
GUIs and interaction capabilities. The first two focus on a "visual
programming" paradigm - very beneficial for interdisciplinary teams.

- Culture -

This is the current biggest problem. We still think in 2D to live, work and
play. The expansion and ubiquity of video games is key.

Juan Ramón

----- Original Message -----
From: "Mal" <mal at candomultimedia.com>
To: "Juan Ramón Sánchez Velar - i3Dvision" <jrsv at i3dvision.com>
Sent: Tuesday, February 15, 2005 10:39 AM
Subject: Re: [ID Discuss] 2D/3D integration

> Hey Juan,
>
> >Would like to meet individuals interested in integrating interaction
design + design communication. Specifically, designing and programming 2D
graphical user interfaces dynamically linked to real time interactive 3D
model (object and space).
> >
> >
> This is one of the major fields I have been involved with over the last
> 3 years, and I'd be very interested in discussing UIs and 3D.
>
> Here are a few issues of the top of my head...
>
> UI issues.
> I'm not sure of the statistics ( lies, damn lies etc ), but I'd assume
> that over 95% of general ( novice ) computer users only ever use a
> single mouse button. All of the 3D solutions to date involve either the
> use of 2 / 3 mouse buttons ( sometimes with the 3rd simulated by holding
> down both mouse buttons at the same time, something that is definitely
> not intuitive ). Some also use arrow keys for navigation, which is
> again non-intuitive for anyone other than a games player, and using 4
> keys to navigate is similar to walking around with a neck brace, and the
> in-ability to side-step.
>
> We had to design a single-mouse-click system for interacting with a 3D
> environment or object. We also decided to extend the UI, so that it
> included both object focus, and general look-around focus. One of the
> interesting things we have discovered is that people find it difficult,
> even with a single button solution, to click and drag, so our new
> projects introduce rotation bars at the side, for auto-rotating the
> camera around either an object, or for looking around a room. Another
> interesting point that we found was that, as part of our offering we
> include online viewing, the users expected to use a similar set of
> skills for interacting with a web page as they would to interact with
> the 3D environment ( seamless integration, re-use of skills and existing
> metaphors etc ).
>
> An example can be viewed here...
> http://www.candointeractive.com/investni ( click on the graphic to start
> the Shockwave 3D demonstration )
>
> 2D / 3D issues.
> Again, a lot of the current solutions assume that you will be dealing
> exclusively within a 3D environment, and won't have any surrounding 2D
> UI, or they have very basic 2D UI interface support ( which seem to have
> been implemented more as an afterthought ). We put in a lot of work to
> design our 2D, 3D, 2D->3D, and 3D->2D drop-on behaviours that covered
> 99% of the interactions that are required for any interactive 3D project.
>
> 3D issues.
> Modelling an object or environment in 3D is difficult. Modelling it for
> real-time use is very difficult. Allowing for interactiveness is
> extremely difficult. As content is very much king in this area, finding
> suitable 3D artists who a) have these skills and b) want to work in this
> difficult area is tough.
>
> Performance / Available Features
> If the UI / 3D environment runs slow, people won't use it. We had
> looked at a number of 3D solutions and focused on Shockwave 3D, not only
> due to it's huge market install base and penetration, but also because
> of it's performance... if you can make an interactive 3D game using a 3D
> technology, you can make any type of product presentation ( see
> http://www.candointeractive.com/gamedesign for some R&D game engine
> tests that ended up becoming educational products for our company )
>
> I see from your website that you have worked on some cool interactive 3D
> projects, and I look forward to discussing this topic with you and
> others on the list who are involved with this exciting field!
>
> Mal
>

17 Feb 2005 - 11:40am
Pierre Abel
2004

Hello,

I'm also very interested in discussing UI for 3D worlds. I've finished
a PhD in 2001 on the use of 3D interactive world for dynamic information
visualization .Since then I was not involved in 3D and I'm not
completely up to date about the state of art but here some of my views
(which sometimes looks like yours...). If you are aware of up to date
state of the art, please give me the links

2D versus 3D
--------------
Before speaking about 3D, I just want to say that a lot of products do
not need 3D. At best, it can be a good demo tool but it is often not an
efficient tool from a usability point of view. I saw a lot of people
coming back from 3D because it was not useful, not productive, not
usable 3D must bring something (not just the nice images). As you
outlined, the 3D interactions paradigms are not yet mature (and in
addition people are not educated), and it is sometimes why 3D fails.
The question is which products needs 3D, I mean which products can be
better and more productive thanks to 3D,and this is not always an easy
answer. 3D should allow to display more information than 2D but this
information must be understandable. 2D GUI/Interaction has so much
history that sometimes 2D is really better.

Interaction-navigation
----------------------
seems to become a standard (I saw you use it in your demo) , and it's
clear that's a major point for the usability of 3D worlds. In my
prototype, I was also using it as well as viewpoint which define where
the user can go. About constrained navigation I remember of a now
outdated paper talking about this for 3d desktop (check
http://research.microsoft.com/adapt/TaskGallery/) . The path used to go
from one viewpoint to another one is also important to prevent the lost
in the 3D world syndrome.A well organized map of viewpoints (in 2D?) is
really useful too.

A lot of 2D paradigms can be used in 3D (path history with back and
forward capabilities, tooltip,..), and it helps people to reuse their
knowledge.

Anyway, I think there is not an universal solution for interaction with
3D worlds...everything depends on the context (User-centered design!)...
For example, games do not usually need constrained navigation since
user's goal are not the same. As everybody know on this mailing list,
you have to know (or imagine at least) the needs of your users which are
not connected to 2D or 3D...

About games (as you outlined) there is a lot of innovations for 2d/3d
interactions/ navigation, and it's really worth to look how games deals
with different task (yes I know your users have not (yet?) a joystick)

About mixing 2D with 3D, it is very essential... don't bring 3D
complexity for simple task (note that games do a good job for that). The
problem is the integration of 2D with 3D world, it is not always easy
(sometimes the user may lost its orientation, its mental maps of the
world, because he has to deal with a 2D interactions)

Pierre

>
>

21 Feb 2005 - 8:00am
Mal
2005

Hi Pierre,

You have raised some great points, and I really enjoyed watching the
video of the 3D desktop that you posted the link to.

I think, with the new versions of Windows ( Longhorn ) and OS/X already
leaning to having a 3D accellerated front-end ( albiet still using a 2D
paradigm ), more and more features will be available to UI experts, and
a greater understanding of how to utilise new UI components based on the
available 3D features will become more important, something that doesn't
seem to exist at the moment in traditional UI circles.

Mal

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