Automatic layout techniques for 3D user interfaces


Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

View graph of relations


  • Wai Leng LEE

Related Research Unit(s)


Awarding Institution
  • Kam Wah WONG (Supervisor)
Award date3 Oct 2006


Automatic layout techniques have been used in a number of specific application domains, such as graph drawing and computer aided design. While these techniques are quite powerful, they are restricted to a particular domain and don’t address the range of applications dealt with in 3D user interfaces. This thesis presents a method for specifying the layout of objects in a 3D user interface along the techniques used to implement it. Two of the main problems facing the developers of 3D user interface are the wide range of device configurations that must be supported and the lack of software tools for constructing 3D user interfaces. The Grappl project aims to solve these problems by automatically generating 3D user interfaces that adapt to the device configurations that they encounter at runtime. Since the user interface is constructed at runtime, one of the problems confronted by Grappl is laying out of different user interface components and possibly some of the application widgets. The main objectives of this research are to develop a set of layout techniques for 3D user interfaces, add them to Grappl and evaluate them in the context of a real application. The main contributions of this research are the implementation of layout framework, policies for specifying user interface layout, and data structures and algorithms for space management. The techniques designed in this research enhance Grappl in producing acceptable layouts for more sophisticated 3D user interfaces. Evaluation of example applications shows that it simplifies the development of small to medium sized 3D applications and allows the programmer to concentrate on the application rather than the user interface.

    Research areas

  • User interfaces (Computer systems), Three-dimensional display systems