Rapid design of articulated objects

Joon Hyub Lee

Hanbit Kim

Seok-Hyung Bae


We are a group of designers and engineers working on software tools that enable professional artists and designers to express what they want in a way that is most natural to them.

Our latest work on “3D sketching” bridges the gap between 2D sketching and 3D modeling to let artists and designers rapidly produce animated 3D concepts through interactions that closely resemble sketching on a sheet of paper or grabbing and handling a toy with bare hands.

We believe it will be particularly useful during the early stages of development, where a lot of ideas are thrown around very quickly and frequently, and a little bit of rough 3D forms and 3D movements can go a long way in communicating intentions.

Presented at SIGGRAPH '22 Vancouver, Canada, the top international academic conference in computer graphics where researchers and practitioners gather from all over the world to share their next big ideas and technologies for upcoming films, animations, games, robots, and even the metaverse.

Ed Catmull, a co-founder of Pixar and a keynote speaker at SIGGRAPH '22, mentioned that it is “really excellent work. It looks like the kind of tool that would be useful to Pixar’s creative model designers.”

🎙️ My talk @ SIGGRAPH 2022

📦 Get the supplementary material:

[1. FBX sketches]

[2. Follow-up surface modeling]

[3. Technical details]

[4. Full interviews]

[5. Usage patterns]

[6. Time-lapse footages]

🔍 View the 3D sketch examples:

Below are interactive showcases of a few selected 3D sketches that were created and animated using our system by the authors (unlabeled) or the participants of the user study (labeled P#-X).

• Orbit around: left click + drag (mouse) or one finger drag (touch).
• Zoom: scroll anywhere (mouse) or pinch (touch).
• Pan: right click + drag (mouse) or two fingers drag (touch).

Flying car


Mini electric vehicle




P1-B Self-driving shuttle (time taken: 1 hr 22 min)

P2-C Autonomous excavator (time taken: 2 hr 52 min)

P3-C Spacecraft (time taken: 2 hr 10 min)

P3-E Skeleton dragon (time taken: 55 min)

P4-D Sword-drone (time taken: 1 hr 8 min)

P4-G Holographic smartwatch (time taken: 23 min)

P5-A Mecha T-Rex (time taken: 59 min)

P5-B Transformer robot (time taken: 1 hr 11 min)

💡 Abstract:

Designing articulated objects is challenging because, unlike with static objects, it requires complex decisions to be made regarding the form, parts, rig, poses, and motion. We present a novel 3D sketching system for rapidly authoring concepts of articulated objects for the early stages of design, when designers make such decisions. Compared to existing CAD software, which focuses on slowly but elaborately producing models consisting of precise surfaces and volumes, our system focuses on quickly but roughly producing models consisting of key curves through a small set of coherent pen and multi-touch gestures. We found that professional designers could easily learn and use our system and author compelling concepts in a short time, showing that 3D sketching can be extended to designing articulated objects and is generally applicable in film, animation, game, and product design.

🔑 Keywords:

3D sketching, segmenting, rigging, posing, filming, bimanual interactions, pen, multi-touch

📰 See more from the worldwide coverage (selected):

手書きスケッチで描いたキャラやロボットの関節を自在に動かせるデザインツール 韓国チームが開発 (2022, Levtech)

符号化、UI新技術が登場 (2022, 映像新聞 第2553号)

디지털 펜으로 ´쓱쓱´ 그려 움직이는 3D 형상 ´뚝딱´ 만드는 시스템 개발​ (2022, KAIST)

펜으로 그리고, 쓱쓱 움직여주면..'10분 만에 움직이는 3D 스케칭' (2022, TJB)

움직이는 3D 형상 쉽고 빠르게! (2022, KBS대전)

'8배 빠른 3D 스케치' 기술에 세계가 주목 (2022, 대전MBC)

산업디자인학과, 성심당에 이은 대전 ‘핫플’ 등극 (2022, KAIST 공과대학 뉴스레터 제2022-1호)

디지털 펜으로 ´쓱쓱´ 그려 움직이는 3D 형상 ´뚝딱´ 만드는 시스템 개발​ (2022, KAIST 공과대학 뉴스레터 제2022-2호)

움직이는 3D 스케칭 시스템 개발 (2022, 카이스트신문 제507호)

가상 세계에 현실을 그려낸다 (2022, KAIST비전 2022 겨울)

국내 온라인 보도 통합 (2022, 17 presses)

“3D Sketch” Your Ideas and Bring Them to Life, Instantly! (2023, KAIST Biannual Engineering Research Webzine of Spring 2023)


Joon Hyub Lee

Postdoctoral researcher

Hanbit Kim

Ph.D. student

Seok-Hyung Bae

Associate professor


🏆 SIGGRAPH '22 (Emerging Technologies) - Honorable Mention

Rapid design of articulated objects: an interactive showcase

Joon Hyub Lee, Hanbit Kim, and Seok-Hyung Bae


🏆 DCEXPO Special Prize

Rapid Design of Articulated Objects: An Interactive Showcase

Joon Hyub Lee, Hanbit Kim, and Seok-Hyung Bae

🏆 2022 ID KAIST Doctoral Colloquium Fall Show (Best of the Best: Creativity)

Rapid Design of Articulated Objects

Joon Hyub Lee

🏆 SIGGRAPH '22 Emerging Technologies Honorable Mention

Rapid Design of Articulated Objects: An Interactive Showcase

Joon Hyub Lee, Hanbit Kim, and Seok-Hyung Bae

Department of Industrial Design, KAIST
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