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BlueGrotto is a system that makes freehand sketching of solid primitive geometrical shapes possible just by sketching in the air. BlueGrotto also, like SKIT, uses FSCI as a sketch identification engine.


It is possible to draw precise solid shapes using conventional CAD. But for this, the user has to repeat the process of switching between planes and drawing, while also heavily depending on indirect menu operations. Because of this, it is not easy to advance the drawing process in a direct sense of drawing in 3 dimensional space. Recently efforts are done to achieve direct drawing by using pen-tablets and Virtual Reality environments. But as there are no serious sketch identification involved, problems have arisen such as no uniform methodology in the input of solids and limits in free form solid generation. For these reasons, we considered that a non-conventional method is needed to achieve a "Multipurpose sketch identification interface for input of various geometrical solid objects"

Therefore in this laboratory, we are developing BlueGrotto by realizing full scale identification of sketch by FSCI in VR environment so that the input of various geometrical solid objects is possible by uniformed method of sketch drawing.

Moreover, developing of BlueGrottoFEP that is a system that turns BlueGrotto into a 3D sketch input front-end processor is also being carried on. This provides direct 3D sketch input abilities of BlueGrotto as a service to existing CAD systems. By the development of BlueGrottoFEP, we intend to realize an environment that enables the user to use direct sketch input of BlueGrotto in combination with the abundant editing commands of CAD.

Poster (Interaction2012)
pdf version is here
Poster (Innovation Japan 2007 , September 2007 , Tokyo)
pdf version is here

Immersive virtual reality environment of BlueGrotto

BlueGrotto is realized by constructing a user interface using FSCI inside a immersive virtual reality environment. Head mounted display (HMD), stylus, space mouse and transmitter is used to realize a virtual reality environment.

The HMD consists of displays with electro-magnetic sensors and show the virtual space to the user as a stereoscopic video. Stylus is a pen shaped electro-magnetic sensor with a switch that is used to draw in the virtual space. The space mouse is an input device for shifting and rotating the 3D shape. The transmitter is for sensing the position and the posture of the HMD and the stylus, and it is used fixed to a drawing board.

Head mount displayStylus
Head mounted display(HMD)Stylus
Space mouseHow BlueGrotto is used
Space mouseHow BlueGrotto is used
Image seen on the head mounted displayCompletion
Input exampleImages seen from HMD

Input of geometric solid shapes using BlueGrotto

BlueGrotto uses "sweeping" as the method for input of solid shapes. Sweep is a method in that a certain shape (sweep profile) is pushed along a certain path (sweep path) to generate a solid shape.

In BlueGrotto, the sweep profile and the sweep path is sketched and identified by FSCI in order to realized sketching of geometrical solid shapes. The basic input operations required in BlueGrotto are the sketch of sweep profile and sweep path and as a result, the consistency of input operations is achieved. Regardless of these limitations, generation of various geometric solid shapes is made possible. The reason behind this is the possibility of input of 7 primitive geometric shapes as sweep profile and sweep path, and the freedom of positioning them in 3 dimensional space.

Example of input using sweep (cylinder)

Sweep profileSweep path
(1)Sketch of sweep profile (circle)(2)Sketch of sweep path(line)
Generated solid shape
(3)Generated geometric solid shape (Cylinder)

Input examples of various solid shapes using sweep


Example of modelling using sketch input


Example of collaborative use of BlueGrottoFEP and practical CAD(AutoCAD).

By the collaborative use of BlueGrottoFEP and a practical CAD system (AutoCAD for example), a user can do 3D modelling enjoying both the direct sketch input interface of BlueGrotto and abundant editing commands of the CAD system.



Poster (Interaction 2005 , March 2005 , Tokyo)Poster (6th Conference for Industry-Government-Academic Cooperation ,
June 2007 , Kyoto)
Poster (6th Conference for Industry-Government-Academic Cooperation , June 2007 , Kyoto)
pdf version is here

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