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One of the great challenges of effective scientific visualization is visual design.

Art and Visualization

Art and Design Processes in Scientific Visualization Research

One of the great challenges of effective scientific visualization is visual design. We have complex data, and our task is to present it in a visual form that is effective for scientific analysis. How do we get the visual design right, especially in mediums such as virtual reality where guidelines for good visual depiction are less clear than they are in more traditional media, such as paper illustration.

Our approach is to collaborate with visual experts, such as artists, illustrators, and designers. These visual experts train for years to solve visual problems. An illustrator draws a picture with a goal in mind, whether it be an image to accompany a product advertisement or an anatomical illustration of a swimmer, clearly indicating the muscles in action as the swimmer's body is pulled through the water. In other words, for many artists, designers, and illustrators the visuals that they create serve to convey very specific information, and these people are skilled at using color, texture, form, composition, narrative, and metaphor to convey that information in visual form. While the underlying message may be different, conveying complex information through visuals is, after all, exactly what we want to do in scientific visualization. Thus, in both situations, effective methods for iterative visual design, critique, and refinement are likely to have much in common. We have been researching new computer tools and methodologies for bringing artists, scientists, and computer scientists together to solve visualization problems.

Sketching on top of Data

Drawing with the Flow

Drawing with the Flow is a sketch-based interface for illustrating 2D vector fields. Drawing with the Flow explores the problem of making scientific visualization tools accessible to artists and illustrators, who have a finely tuned visual design sense, but do not typically have the programming or mathematical background required to work with modern visualization algorithms and tools. Using a sketch-based interface that is accessible to illustrations, Drawing with the Flow makes it possible for illustrators to explore new visual designs for streamline placement in order to create illustrations of 2D vector fields, such as simulated fluid flows. The interface includes a method for interpreting hand-drawn marks relative to an underlying vector field, utilizing an “ink-data settling” procedure to subtly maintain an image consistent with the underlying data. A variable-density interactive streamline seeding algorithm tied to sketch-based input is also introduced.

Design in VR Visualization Environments

Scientific Sketching

Scientific Sketching is a framework for collaborative design on virtual reality visualizations enabled by new virtual reality 3D modeling tools. Artists, graphic designers, illustrators, and scientists join computer scientists and other technologists in developing new 3D data visualization schemes by literally sketching out their ideas in a 3D environment, experimenting with the use of color, texture, transparency, form, narrative, and metaphor to design new or more effective mappings from data to visual. The great advantage of the Scientific Sketching approach is that it enables these visualizaion stakeholders to create and design visualizations directly in the medium where the visualizations will be shown and to do this quickly without programming. This makes it possible for many design iterations and critiques to be conducted in a short amount of time, ultimately leading to more thoughtful and effective virtual reality visualizations.

Journal and Conference Articles

Spatial Correlation: An Interactive Display of Virtual Gesture Sculpture

Jung W. Nam, Daniel F. Keefe

Proceedings of the IEEE VIS 2014 Arts Program (also appeared as an interactive artwork in the IEEE VIS 2014 Art Show), 2014

Nailing Down Multi-Touch: Anchored Above the Surface Interaction for 3D Modeling and Navigation

Bret Jackson, David Schroeder, Daniel F. Keefe

Proceedings of Graphics Interface, 2012

Visualizing Motion Data in Virtual Reality: Understanding the Roles of Animation, Interaction, and Static Presentation

Dane Coffey, Fedor Korsakov, Haleh Hagh-Shenas, Lauren Thorson, Arin Ellingson, David Nuckley, Daniel F. Keefe

Computer Graphics Forum (Presented at EuroVis 2012), 2012

From Gesture to Form: The Evolution of Expressive Freehand Spatial Interfaces

Daniel F. Keefe

Leonardo, Journal of the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology, 2011

Drawing with the Flow: A Sketch-Based Interface for Illustrative Visualization of 2D Vector Fields

David Schroeder, Dane Coffey, Daniel F. Keefe

Proceedings of ACM SIGGRAPH/Eurographics Sketch-Based Interfaces and Modeling 2010, 2010

Scientific Sketching for Collaborative VR Visualization Design

Daniel F. Keefe, Daniel Acevedo, Jadrian Miles, Fritz Drury, Sharon M. Swartz, David H. Laidlaw

IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 2008

Tech-note: Dynamic Dragging for Input of 3D Trajectories

Daniel F. Keefe, Robert C. Zeleznik, David H. Laidlaw

Proceedings of IEEE Symposium on 3D User Interfaces 2008, 2008

Drawing on Air: Input Techniques for Controlled 3D Line Illustration

Daniel F. Keefe, Robert C. Zeleznik, David H. Laidlaw

IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 2007

Artistic Collaboration in Designing VR Visualizations

Daniel F. Keefe, David B. Karelitz, Eileen L. Vote, David H. Laidlaw

IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, 2005

CavePainting: A Fully Immersive 3D Artistic Medium and Interactive Experience

Daniel F. Keefe, Daniel Acevedo Feliz, Tomer Moscovich, David H. Laidlaw, Joseph J. LaViola Jr.

Proceedings of I3D 2001, 2001

Art Exhibits

Interactive Virtual Reality 3D Drawing: An Artist's Process. Video (Invited Exhibit)

Daniel F. Keefe

Rochester Institute of Technology Digital Arts Competition and Exhibition, with Gallery r, Rochester, NY, 2007

La Guitarrista Gitana. Dye-sublimation print of virtual sculpture

Daniel F. Keefe

Viento y Agua Gallery, Long Beach, CA, 2004

Wedding Day, Walking Away. Dye-sublimation print of virtual sculpture

Daniel F. Keefe

Viento y Agua Gallery, Long Beach, CA, 2004

La Guitarrista Gitana: A Cave Painting. Immersive body-controlled virtual reality environment with sound

Daniel F. Keefe

Boston CyberArts Festival, Bell Gallery and Creative Arts Council at Brown University, Providence, RI, 2003

Sailing a Dhow in Tanzania: A Cave Painting. Immersive body-controlled virtual reality environment with sound

Daniel F. Keefe

Boston CyberArts Festival, Bell Gallery and Creative Arts Council at Brown University, Providence, RI, 2003

The Making of La Guitarrista Gitana

Daniel F. Keefe

SIGGRAPH 2002 Art Gallery Catalogue, 2002

Workshop Papers

Immersive VR Touch Workbenches: Applications in Engineering and Art

Dane Coffey, Bret Jackson, Daniel F. Keefe

The 3rd Dimension of CHI (3DCHI) Touching and Designing 3D User Interfaces Workshop at CHI 2012, 2012

Free-Form VR Interactions in Scientific Visualization

Daniel F. Keefe

IEEE Visualization 2008 Workshop on Scientific Workflow with Immersive Interfaces for Visualization, 2008

Posters

Poster: A User Study to Understand Motion Visualization in Virtual Reality

Dane Coffey, Fedor Korsakov, Haleh Hagh-Shenas, Lauren Thorson, Daniel F. Keefe

Virtual Reality Conference, IEEE, 2012

Poster: Analysis of Performance in Precise 3D Curve Input Tasks in Virtual Reality

Daniel F. Keefe, David H. Laidlaw

IEEE Visualization (Best Posters Session), 2007

Poster: Teaching Science in Virtual Reality with a Freehand 3D Illustration

Jadrian Miles, Daniel F. Keefe, Daniel Acevedo, Fritz Drury, Sharon M. Swartz, David H. Laidlaw

IEEE Information Visualization, 2007

Poster: A Haptic Interface for Creating Smooth 3D Curves with Varying Line Weight

Daniel F. Keefe, David H. Laidlaw

SIGGRAPH 2005 (Student Research Award), 2005

Poster: Using CavePainting to Create Scientific Visualizations

David B. Karelitz, Daniel F. Keefe, David H. Laidlaw

IEEE Visualization 2003, 2003

Art Poster: Hiding spaces: A cave of illusive immateriality

Cynthia B. Rubin, Daniel F. Keefe

The 11th International Symposium on Electronic Art, 2002

Book Chapters

The Visualization Handbook. Painting and Visualization

Michael M. Kirby, Daniel F. Keefe, David H. Laidlaw

Charles D. Hansen and Christopher R. Johnson editors, Elsevier Inc., 2005

Misc

Course: 3D Spatial Interaction: Applications for Art, Design, and Science

Joseph J. LaViola Jr., Daniel F. Keefe

SIGGRAPH 2011 Courses Program, 2011

Designer-critiqued Comparison of 2D Vector Visualization Methods: A Pilot Study

Cullen Jackson, Daniel Acevedo, David H. Laidlaw, Fritz Drury, Eileen Vote, Daniel F. Keefe

ACM SIGGRAPH 2003 Sketches and Applications, 2003

Hiding Spaces: A Cave of Elusive Immateriality

Cynthia B. Rubin, Daniel F. Keefe

ACM SIGGRAPH 2002 Conference Abstracts and Applications, 2002