Material Design in Augmented Reality with In-Situ Visual Feedback


Material design is the process by which artists or designers set the appearance properties of virtual surface to achieve a desired look. This process is often conducted in a virtual synthetic environment however, advances in computer vision tracking and interactive rendering now makes it possible to design materials in augmented reality (AR), rather than purely virtual synthetic, environments. However, how designing in an AR environment affects user behavior is unknown. To evaluate how work in a real environment influences the material design process, we propose a novel material design interface that allows designers to interact with a tangible object as they specify appearance properties. The setup gives designers the opportunity to view the real-time rendering of appearance properties through a virtual reality setup as they manipulate the object. Our setup uses a camera to capture the physical surroundings of the designer to create subtle but realistic reflection effects on the virtual view superimposed on the tangible object. The effects are based on the physical lighting conditions of the actual design space. We describe a user study that compares the efficacy of our method to that of a traditional 3D virtual synthetic material design system. Both subjective feedback and quantitative analysis from our study suggest that the in-situ experience provided by our setup allows the creation of higher quality material properties and supports the sense of interaction and immersion.