Sketching: Past, Present, and Future

John Hughes, Brown University, Computer Graphics Group

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University November 22, 1996


I'll be describing SKETCH, a system for rapid conceptual modeling of simple 3D geometries, intended to be used when the final idea of something being modeled is still vague and imprecise. SKETCH uses gestural inputs and deliberately "sketchy" rendering to try to achieve the informality and fluidity of paper-and-pencil sketching. I'll show some videotape of the system at work, and then discuss some of the nitty-gritty details of how it's done, where the difficult choices arose in the design, and how we addressed them.

SKETCH is still just a prototype and has not been used in any production work. But major modeling-software developers are collaborating with us to try to integrate it into more conventional modeling software. I'll also discuss some ideas about how it might fit into such software, and spend a good deal of the talk describing where the project is headed in the future.


John Hughes is assistant professor of Computer Science at Brown, and co-direct the Brown Computer Graphics Group with Andy van Dam.


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