Creating complex 3D models is a challenging process. One of the main reasons for this is that 3D models are usually created using software developed for conventional 2D displays which lack true depth perspective, and therefore do not support correct perception of spatial placement and depth-ordering of displayed content. As a result, modellers often have to deal with many overlapping components of 3D models (e.g. vertices, edges, faces, etc.) on a 2D display surface. This in turn causes them to have difficulties in distinguishing distances, maintaining position and orientation awareness, etc. To better understand the nature of these problems, which can collectively be defined as 'focus and context awareness' problems, we have conducted a pilot study with a group of novice 3D modellers, and a series of interviews with a group of professional 3D modellers. This article presents these two studies, and their findings, which have resulted in identifying a set of focus and context awareness problems that modellers face in creating 3D models using conventional modelling software. The article also provides a review of potential solutions to these problems in the related literature.
- empirical studies in HCI
- Empirical studies in visualization
- graphics systems and interfaces
- visualization systems and tools