3D interfaces and 2D interfaces for 3D authoring and navigation

How can new User Interfaces (UI) make 3D authoring more creative, efficient and fun? are 2D UI still able to foster innovation? Is there a necessary trade-off between complexity and efficiency? Should future interface have a learning curve? Regarding animation authoring, how should we represent the time dimension?

It’s surprisingly difficult to give a precise definition of the term “3D user interface.”: As a topic in HCI, 3D interaction has not been around very long. The most widely accepted definition for a 3D user interface would be “a UI that involves 3D interaction”, which actually delays the problem of defining 3D interaction. However, despite this apparent lack of principled background, recent years have seen an explosion of spatial input in consumer-level systems such as game consoles and smartphones. Indeed, most people today are aware of 3D UIs because of the great success of “motion gaming” systems like the Nintendo Wii, the Microsoft Kinect, and the Sony Move. All of these systems use spatial tracking to allow users to interact with games through pointing, gestures, and most importantly, natural movements, rather than with buttons and joysticks. To sum it up, there is no standard 3D UI and few well-established guidelines for 3D UI design. While general HCI principles still apply, they are not sufficient for understanding how to design a usable 3D UI.

In this seminar, we will explore the wide 3D UI landscape presented above. Each session will give the opportunity to present and discuss one of the five topics below to two students. Each presentation will be supported by reference material in relation with the topic (papers, devices and products, etc.). Students are of course encouraged to suggest their own material. Here are the general themes:

  • Design space exploration,
  • Mapping and DOFs,
  • Design for the hardware,
  • Tutorials and user training,
  • Evaluation,
  • 3D capturing and processing using laser scanning technology.

Here are the topics you might select, with their reference material (to be discussed):

Related books

General Requirements

Good command of English for understanding research papers. Most of the discussed papers are written in English.

Requirements for Certificates

A seminar certificate has the following requirements:

  • Regular attendance.
  • A talk (English, 30-35 minutes, 10 minutes discussion).
  • A report (English) that covers the facts addressed in the talk and the related discussion.
  • Participant should be in the role of the discussion manager for one talk.


Language of reports: English

Deadline: Sept 5th (first version)

Size10-15 pages

Format: file format is PDF, page style is LNCS, which can be found on the LNCS springer web page. Start with the Default Author Instructions file. This is also an example how the LNCS style looks. LaTeX is recommended if possible, write your report using the ShareLatex online app (https://www.sharelatex.com/) and add your advisor (e.g. alexis.heloir@dfki.de) as a collaborator to the project (using ShareLatex will considerably improve the feedback cycle).

General requirements – reports should:

  • be understandable and well formatted!
  • cover the individual topic of the talk, questions that have been arised during the discussions, and they should address relevant issues of other talks.

First Version of Reports reviewed untilSeptember 5th – Beginning by this date each supervisior contacts his students for individual feedback.

Final deadline10 days after feedback on the first draft of the written report is given. This ensures that everybody has the same time to finalize the report after s/he has received feedback.


  • Reports can be also submitted before the announced deadline.
  • Please remember that reports have to be in final state when submitted!


Language of talks: English

Date: every Wednesday, 16 c.t. – 18

Location: Seminar room (121) in the Computer Science building E 1 1, first floor,

 Kick-Off meeting and talk assignment: Wednesday, April 10th, 14:00 c.t, Seminar room (121) in the Computer Science building E 1 1, first floor, slides are here

Topic attributions: The Google spreadsheet is here, students are invited to contact Alexis Heloir in order to refine the topic and set up the next appointments.

Calendar (updated):

This entry was posted in Teaching and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.