Ask anyone who has tried to sketch a 3D object and they will tell you that it’s not easy. Drawing that third dimension convincingly is hard. If you have ever tired it on a tablet you know that it adds ann unwelcome level of complexity to an already challenging process. Currently there is no product on the market that tries to address this challenge. Although there are products in market like the zSpace it’s not a sketching tool but an immersive learning tool.
The team from Gravity has a new concept that they feel begins to practically addresse this sketching need and it’s called GravitySketch. Essentially it is 2d sketching on a tablet that creates a 3D representation displayed in 3D space. Opening their doors in 2013 in London they imagined drawing on a 2d tablet while using glasses and their proprietary hardware/software to allow you to see the objects depth while you draw it in two dimensions. As I understand it the idea in broad strokes is that you draw different aspects of the object and the software layers them and builds 3D geometry on the fly while displaying your 3D creation floating in space in front of you. The software will help you to modify the shapes using their proprietary tool set. For a detailed look at GravitySketch see their image gallery.
Being familiar with modelling objects in true native 3D programs as well as being the current crop of tablet based drawing solutions it sounds like a fantastic concept. The challenge for the Gravity team might be in the compromise inherent in the user experience. Make the interface and tool set too easy and it will be limited in it’s application. Make it too capable and dense and it won’t get broad traction. Time will tell whether the experience of getting a 3D object drawn into virtual form on the fly is better with GravitySketch rather than the trusty old sketchbook. Regardless it’s a fascinating step in the evolution of digital drawing tools. I for one hope the team at Gravity hits a home run and opens up a new way to capture product ideas quickly in digital form in compatible 3D geometry. Drawing might never be the same.
Follow Ted Blanchard on Twitter. Ted Blanchard is a Senior Creative Producer, Art Director and Design Practitioner. www.tedblanchard.ca