A Perceptually-Supported Sketch Editor

UIST '94

Eric Saund and Thomas P. Moran
Xerox Palo Alto Research Center


The human visual system makes lots more of images than the elemental marks on a surface. In the course of viewing, creating, or editing a picture, we actively construct a host of visual structures and relationships as components of sensible interpretations. This paper shows how some of these computational processes can be incorporated into {\it perceptually-supported} image editing tools, enabling machines to better engage users at the level of their own percepts. We focus on the domain of freehand sketch editors, such as an electronic whiteboard application for a pen-based computer. By using computer vision techniques to perform covert recognition of visual structure as it emerges during the course of a drawing/editing session, a perceptually supported image editor gives users access to visual objects as they are perceived by the human visual system. We present a flexible image interpretation architecture based on token grouping in a multiscale blackboard data structure. This organization supports multiple perceptual interpretations of line drawing data, domain-specific knowledge bases for interpretable visual structures, and gesture-based selection of visual objects. A system implementing these ideas, called\\ PerSketch, begins to explore a new space of WYPIWYG (What Your Perceive Is What You Get) image editing tools.

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