Kinematic Templates

I read the paper entitled Kinematic Templates: End-User Tools for Content-Relative Cursor Manipulations by Richard Fung, Edward Lank, Michael Terry at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.

Click here to read the paper.

Kinematic templates represent an area of drawing somewhere between completely freehand and rigidly defined drawing tools. Basically, kinematic templates actively adjust cursor movement in specific ways to aid the drawing of regular shapes, such as circles and lines, while retaining the human element that is lost by using shape tools.

Kinematic templates are especially useful when drawing with an input device that is not designed for drawing, such as a mouse. However, they are also useful for cleaning up drawings done with a drawing tablet. These tools can also be used by people learning how to draw or who just want to create a simple, clear drawing. Of course, they can be used by professional artists as well, if desired.

The research team has developed several different templates to aid drawing. These include templates to guide movement parallel to an axis, along orthogonal axes, concentrically about a point, through a point, around a point, and many others which are all listed in Table 1 in the paper.

To use the kinematic templates, the user defines regions in the composition in which the templates will take effect. This is illustrated very well in the video above. Different templates can be layered to help create more complex shapes.

The following image gives an example of using kinematic templates to draw a sun:

The research team has created two types of kinematic templates: passive templates and active templates. Passive templates only affect the cursor when it is moving. Active templates can move the cursor when it is held in place. It should be noted that the templates only take affect when the mouse button is held down, so "users cannot completely lose control of the cursor when using kinematic templates" (p4).

In addition to the pre-defined templates, users can create their own templates using Python scripts.

The research team is considering several areas of future research, including automatically generating templates based on existing compositions or imported images.

Please read their paper to discover more details and how the kinematic templates work.

1 comments of glory:

John said...

I really liked this paper! Although not completely implementable on a larger scale, this kinematic display is incredibly fascinating and (as it apppears to be) fun!

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