November 24, 2007
Reading for November 27th, are now posted. Enjoy!

October 2, 2007
To upload your thoughtless acts, create a new assignment page like any other lab. You'll see "Thoughtless Acts" listed as one of the assignment options.

May 24, 2008
This site has been archived and is no longer editable. Stay tuned for the next version, coming in the fall!


Project Members: 
Joshua Gomez
Travis Pinnick


We propose a TUI that can help
filmmakers prepare for movie shoots by depicting what each frame of a movie would
look like. Traditionally this is done by a storyboard artist who draws out each
scene of the film on paper, kind of like a comic book. This process can be time
consuming, and does not allow for very much collaboration between the numerous
members of the creative team: director, assistant directors, producers,
cinematographer, etc. What would be desired is a way to depict the sketch
dynamically, so that the positions of the actors, sets, lighting and cameras
could be moved around at will. This would allow for more collaboration and more

To achieve this goal we propose a
tabletop TUI, similar to the workbenches we learned about in class, especially
Urp and metaDESK. The surface of the workbench would be sensitive to the
positions and heights of phycons that are placed upon it. The phycons would
represent actors, props, lights and cameras. The information from the table
would feed into software that can render what the frame would look like from
the camera’s position and this 3-D image would be displayed on a separate


We have not come to a conclusion
on how this proposal should be implemented. Options we have considered include
the I/O Bulb used in the Urp system, or embedded RFID chips in the phycons.
Both of these solutions would enable detection of the positions (and possibly
directions) of the phycons, but still leaves the problem of detecting the
height and angle of the camera. A possible solution to this problem would be a
special tool for the camera, similar to the activeLENS of the metaDESK, though
much smaller in size.

Alternative Uses

As technology becomes cheaper this
concept could be adapted for other uses; for instance, as a toy in which
children can make up a story with their dolls or action figures on the table.
The software would make a comic book of their story, which they can print out
and share with their friends or family.

i290project.jpg229.7 KB


Group Observation -- Looks

Group Observation -- Looks like you guys are trying to improve collaboration and the speed of iterations in the storyboarding process when filmmakers prepare for movie shoots. Iterations and collaboration are two common themes that people generally try to improve upon in new system designs and is generally a worthy goal. Nice observation!

System -- We'd really like you guys to address how you see how the tangible user interface (both the tangibility of interaction and the digital nature of the data) affects the interaction in ways that you could not achieve with simpler artifacts like paper or clay. In other words, what is the role of tangibility in your system? What is the role of computation? How does it help the interaction and make it unique? Additionally, your system as presented will have a focus of user-user interactions in a collaborative task. How do you see your system supporting collaboration?

Use-Case scenarios -- Often times it is really helpful to consider specific use-cases for your system. Imagine your system being used in a very specific context but for a very common task and see how that helps your thinking!

Related Works -- There's been quite a lot of work on storytelling and digital media. You may want to tap into those resources. Additionally, Lora (in class) is familiar with research for sketching. She may have some insight for you as the role of sketching and designers may be similar to storyboarding and filmmakers

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