Constructing Virtual 3D Models with Physical Building Blocks

  • Ricardo Jota ,
  • Hrvoje Benko

CHI 2011-Extended Abstracts, Vancouver, BC, Canada |

Virtual 3D models today are created with specialized desktop modeling tools (e.g., CAD tools), which, while very powerful, tend to require a lot of precision, time, and expertise from the user. We present StereoBlocks, a system that combines a Kinect depth camera with 3D stereoscopic projector to allow the user to build complex virtual 3D models by building them up from available physical objects. By treating the camera information as a continuous 3D digitizer, we are able to capture the details of the real world and re-project virtual objects side-by-side to real objects. The user is able to visualize such mixed reality model through stereoscopic projected imagery tightly aligned with the real world. In our system, it is literally possible to build the entire virtual castle, using only a single physical brick piece. We discuss our prototype implementation and report on early feedback from the four users that evaluated our system.