Collaborative 3D content created in Hyve-3D

Collaborative 3D sketching is now possible through Hyve-3D, a system developed by researchers at the University of Montreal.

‘Hyve-3D is a new interface for 3D content creation via embodied and collaborative 3D sketching,’ said lead researcher Prof Tomás Dorta, of the university’s School of Design. ‘The system is a full-scale immersive 3D environment. Users create drawings on hand-held tables. They can then use the tablets to manipulate the sketches to create a 3D design within the space’.

The 3D images are said to be the result of an optical illusion created by a widescreen high-resolution projector, a specially designed 5m-diameter spherically concave fabric screen and a 16-inch dome mirror projecting the image onto the screen.

The system is driven by a MacBook Pro laptop, a tracking system with two 3D sensors, and two iPad mini tablets. Each iPad is attached to a tracker.

‘The software takes care of all the networking, scene management, 3D graphics and projection, and also couples the sensors input and iPad devices,’ Dorta said in a statement. ‘The iPads run a Satellite application, which serves as the user interaction front-end of the system. Specialised techniques render the 3D scene onto a spherical projection in real-time’. The Hyve-3D software works also on conventional 2D displays.

Up until now, 3D design required complicated or expensive equipment.

‘Our system is innovative, non-intrusive and simple,’ said Dorta. ‘Beyond its obvious artistic applications, Hyve-3D clearly has industrial applications in a wide range of fields, from industrial or architectural design to engineering, medical 3D applications, game design animation and movie making. My team is looking forward to taking the product to market and discovering what people do with it.’

Univalor, the university’s technology commercialisation unit, is supporting the market launch Hyve-3D (Hybrid Virtual Environment 3D), which was presented yesterday, August 11, at the SIGGRAPH 2014 conference in Vancouver.