A 3D modelling system using human hand gestures to generate shapes in virtual reality using a leap motion controller

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Computer Science, Straight


Information Systems & Computer Science

First Advisor

Rodrigo, Ma. Mercedes T., Ph.D


Traditional 3D modelling software is generally optimized for designers in the middle-to-late stages of the design process, forcing those in the earlier stages to make 2D sketches first, or use the unintuitive interfaces of traditional 3D software. This can be harmful to the rapid idea flow that is characteristic of early-stage designing. A more intuitive interface would be one that uses natural movements for 3D shape generation and manipulation. Past applications that have tried to use hand gestures as an intuitive interaction method for 3D modelling usually have boundaries preventing these from mass use (e.g. specialized hardware setups). This study looked into the design process of people with 3D modelling experience and the gestures people commonly made for certain shapes to determine what gestures should correspond to what application features. Using these, this study designed and developed a system that helps visualize and solidify early ideas through an interface that detects hand gestures and interprets them to generate and manipulate three dimensional shapes. While user testing participants were able to use the proposed system to create 3D models, the tests showed that users performed faster and with better accuracy using the traditional 3D software---effectively showing that the system in its current form, while capable of creating quick and simple 3D models, still requires more work in order to be an efficient 3D idea visualization tool.


The C7.M38 2017