Interactive Intent-Based Illustration: A Visual Language for 3D Worlds

Dorée Duncan Seligmann

Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY 1993 1993, All Rights Reserved


The objective of this work is to devise a scheme for effective visual communication. A visual presentation can be designed to solve communicative intent; that is, both convey what we want to communicate as well as elicit, from our audience, a desired action or interpretation. In this thesis we define a visual language and a methodology for its use to both design and generate automatically 3D graphics that fulfill a specified communicative intent. The visual language we have defined is used to capture the full cycle of communication: Given specific communicative goals, the system begins to create an illustration by choosing sets of visual effects that, in turn, specify the parameters that define a computer-generated picture. The system then examines the picture to determine if each effect is achieved, and thus evaluates how well each communicative goal is achieved. Our visual language represents an illustration on three levels: what is being conveyed, what visual effects are used, how these visual effects are achieved. Thus, we separate design or the set of visual effects selected to satisfy communicative goals, from style, or how each visual effect is accomplished. Computer graphics need not be static; we have exploited the dynamism of the system to support four different types of interactivity: user-navigation, changing goals, changing worlds, and self-evaluation. During all phases of interaction, the illustration remains bound to the (possible changing) communicative intent, modifying the illustration to achieve violated goals. We have implemented IBIS as proof-of-concept for our ideas. IBIS generates illustrations that explain the use, maintenance and repair of objects. IBIS generates fully shaded 3D graphics that are displayed on a high resolution display for a multimedia explanation system and IBIS also generates overlaid 3D bi-level illustrations that are projected on a see-through head-mounted display that appear over the user's view of the world for an augmented reality system.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Related Work

3. Architecture and Methodlogy

4. The Visual Language-The Prinitive and Rules

5. Composite Illustrations

6. Interactive Illustrations

7. Modifying the System for New Applications

8. Conclusions

9. References