User Interactions for Scalable Freehand Sketching
Master's thesis by Menno Nijboer
Technological improvements the last decade have made digital drawing a very effective method for artistic expression. Thanks to more widely available and affordable peripheral devices such as pen tablets, an increasing number of artists are creating digital works. However, many fundamental interactions of modern day drawing systems have seen little change in over twenty years. Therefore, it is time to investigate what kind of innovation can be brought to these interactions with the computational power of today's desktop computers.
This thesis shows the development, implementation and evaluation of novel canvas and stroke interactions. A novel way to orientate the canvas through gestures is presented. This is a modeless, effective way for artists to use the canvas which takes little time to become proficient in. A new interaction tool gives the artist intuitive control over stroke shapes by utilizing the brush stroke paradigm which artists are very familiar with. The tool can be used to freely shape lines with very few restrictions.
Methods to create scalable line art from freehand drawing input are discussed. A technique to improve the visual quality of lines is also presented. A global theme of the thesis is the creation of a visually appealing interface which is minimal, yet effective. Finally, these concepts are evaluated through a case study and an informal user study. Results show that the key concepts presented here can be useful additions to the workflow of an artist.