Innovative Design and Creation of Visual Interfaces: Advancements and Trends

Innovative Design and Creation of Visual Interfaces: Advancements and Trends

Ben Falchuk (Applied Communication Sciences, USA) and Adérito Fernandes-Marcos (Universidade Aberta, Portugal)
Release Date: March, 2012|Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 411
ISBN13: 9781466602854|ISBN10: 1466602856|EISBN13: 9781466602861|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0285-4


Computer graphics and digital design have come a long way in recent years, and it is difficult to keep up with the latest trends in software development and output.

Innovative Design and Creation of Visual Interfaces: Advancements and Trends offers the cutting-edge in research, development, technologies, case studies, frameworks, and methodologies within the field of visual interfaces. The book has collected research from around the world to offer a holistic picture of the state of the art in the field. In order to stay abreast of the latest trends, this volume offers a vital resource for practitioners and academics alike.

Topics Covered

The many academic areas covered in this publication include, but are not limited to:

  • Aesthetics
  • color theory
  • creative direction
  • environmental graphic design
  • Industrial Design
  • information graphics
  • Interface Design
  • Marketing Communications
  • typography
  • Visualization

Reviews and Testimonials

For our first two volumes we have succeeded in arranging many interesting submissions on areas such as computer art, aesthetics, interactions techniques, and applications of graphics including visual simulation.

– Ben Falchuk, Applied Communication Sciences (Ericsson), USA and Aderito Marcos, Universidade Aberta, Portugal

Table of Contents and List of Contributors

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Computer graphics and human-computer interfaces can be paradigm-shifting fields. Computer Graphics, through the design, manipulation and processing of extremely varied types of pictographic data using computers, has provided a rich vision of innovative applications. It has fostered such diverse areas as multimedia, virtual environments, simulations and data visualisation, to mention a few.

Over the past decade we have seen incredible changes in the Web, the mobile device landscape, and software services. Of course, innovations in hardware design and performance bring us ever shrinking form-factors, storage, and ever-increasing clock-speeds, but it is the computer graphics and interfaces that confront the end user and present information. The principles of computer graphics are largely based upon mathematics while the art of human-computer interface is based, at least partly, on the sometimes quantitative effects of multimedia presentation upon the completion user tasks.

On the software side, innovation in computer graphics can take the form of new algorithms or new building blocks, or new applications of graphics to practical problems. On the human computer interface side, innovations take the form of new ways to visualization important information, new ways to navigate through information spaces (such as audio or video libraries), and new fundamentals such as new widgets and other means to help users achieve information tasks. There is a distinct artistic trend in computer graphics and interfaces as both are the basis for various digital artistic endeavors ranging from digital photography to performance art enhanced by graphics. Thus, while we see it is easy to think of computer graphics to be solely the territory of Web pages and iPhone applications, there is much more.

In assembling this Journal of Creative Interfaces and Computer Graphics (IJCICG), we strove to find a talented team of researchers who could steer us into the depths of these fields. Indeed we found folks with deep expertise and experience and a passion for graphics and interfaces. In defining the scope of this journal we allowed for a fairly wide swath of submissions in this space because we consider almost any revolutionary improvement to be viable and interesting regardless of its context. Mathematical graphics folks have an appreciation for practical innovations in visualization, for example. For our first two volumes we have succeeded in arranging many interesting submissions on areas such as computer art, aesthetics, interactions techniques, and applications of graphics including visual simulation. The following sections describe these articles.


In the Volume 1 article about NRU, authors Dahlstrom et al (UK) describe an innovative new approach to using a mobile device to mitigate the objects around you at any given time. Their system provided an advanced interface on a mobile device that was reminiscent of a radar screen. Effectively, the radar was to detect interesting places near you at any given time by searching data feeds correlated to the users’ location and the interaction technique proved novel and valuable to end-users in trials.

In the Volume 1 article about aesthetic expectations, Ursyn (USA) provides a deep analysis about the role and value of aesthetics in computer graphics research and interface design. Describing metaphors and looking back at past and current trends in visualization, Ursyn provides some experiences on conveying meaning with images and the important role of aesthetics today.

In the Volume 1 article about the system called Organix, Hendley et al (UK) describe a visually appealing way to represent textual document content using scalable organically modeled entities. These entities morph with the changing structure of the document, allow insight into its contents, and allow comparison between sets of documents by visual inspection of the graphical artifacts. The results are familiar – almost creature-like –and aesthetically pleasing.

In the Volume 1 article about computer interfaces for art restoration, Bonanni et al (USA) describe a fascinating use of table-top computing devices to allow users to explore artistic restorative processes. The computer system allows end users to engage in painting scraping to explore it, much like a restorer might scrape off layers of paints from an old canvas. In the digital version various scans comprise the layers and the human finger can be used to touch the interface to remove these layers (e.g., false color, x-ray, UV fluorescence). The system – WetPaint – takes art restoration, analysis, and exploration to a new level.

In the Volume 1 article about video, Wei (Canada) describes his vision for the incorporation of primitive physical things like flow, water, and smoke into digital interfaces to help us create and use them in new ways. Real-time visual displays were used with subjects whose motion was captured and fused with computer graphics to create dramatic installations.

In the Volume 1 article about World in Miniature (WIM) and Virtual Reality (VR), Trueba et al (Spain) devise an improved method to allow users immersed in VR settings to see the context of their position through a 2nd miniature virtual model of the setting called a WIM. The authors have come up with an algorithm to automatically decompose VR settings (e.g., rooms) into cells such that navigation and tasks within the VR setting are simplified for the user.

In the Volume 1 article about Tag Cluster-based visualizations the authors Chen et al (Germany, Spain) propose a clustered view of tag clouds in which font-size, color, and other semantics better inform the user of the cluster’s meaning and where visual distance between tags represents semantic similarity between tags. The authors perform a user-study to determine the effectiveness of this visualization using a realworld tag set from Website.

In the Volume 1 article about Magnet Mail the authors Castro et al (Portugal) describe an email visualization technique in which novel magnet-metaphor is activated within email inboxes to better help users sort and keep track of email messages. Different magnets attract or repel messages in custom ways and the overall effect, according to the authors, is an improved email management experience.

In the Volume 1 article about popup cards the authors Okamura et al (Japan) describe a fascinating application of graphics in which the visual interactions are used to convey to users the technique to make pop-up cards (the cards that reveal themselves when opened). The authors base their work conceptually upon some of Andrew Glassner’s pioneering work and create a functional interface that they run users studies on; the studies show that their automatic protrusion and collision detection are effective.

In the Volume 1 article about classical instrument augmentation Jacquemin et al (France) describe a project that comprised an audio and visual augmentation of a historical church organ. Part of an immersive interactive presentation in France the exhibit featured visual projections upon the organ’s pipes and periphonic sound created from live organ sounds. The expo was performed in France and the project comprises an interesting intersection of performance art and multimedia.


In the Volume 2 Dehlinger (Germany) presents an article about generative line drawings that hold the characteristic to appear fully or partially unsharp when displayed. The author explores some computing strategies based on systematic experiments with geometric transformations to achieve them. The work has been implemented taking into account the artist’s point of view which focuses on the generative and algorithmic concerns adopted and less on the computing efficiency. Some exemplary results are presented.

In the Volume 2 article about the process of communication and data mapping, Evans (USA) examines the materials and mechanisms of receiving messages while following the process of data mapping that starts with signals of the world and moves towards our experience and engagement with that world via those signals. The author argues that the process of data mapping a portrayal of the complexity is a point of leverage and can be adopted as the basis of visualization and sonification in information design and in digital art.

In the Volume 2 article about the digital images generated by CCTV webcam systems, Perin and Matthews (Australia) discuss how these open-source digital software can be explored to process and interpret raw virtual qualitative data to generate again a formal response to civic space. The conversion of the webcam’s generated images of the real world into the virtual provides the viewer with a facility to convert the surveillant role these webcam systems into a qualitative and experiential intervention within both virtual and urban space.

In the Volume 2 article about creative interfaces through the integration of new visual solutions, Arminano (Sweden) discusses the adoption of 3D interactive technologies in training applications and learning environments. These new approaches are rapidly changing the landscape for education. The author presents some approaches aimed to provide effective visual communication and knowledge transfer in cooperation, models prototyping, among others, in several major areas such are: learning and training, medical and pharmaceutical industries, design studios, urban planning, etc.

In the Volume 2 Peters (Germany) presents a survey for scientist about criteria for the creation of aesthetic images for human-computer interfaces. This survey provides a system of criteria for the aesthetic design of images, motivated by principles of visual information processing by the human brain as well as inspired by considerations of the visual arts. This article is a theoretic disquisition aimed at establishing a framework for the evaluation of images in terms of aesthetics, serving also as a guideline for the interface designers.

In the Volume 2 Faure Walker (UK) presents some thoughts about digital drawing in a form of an essay. The essay is illustrated by the author’s own works and personal comments on his own venture in digital drawing. He delves into the queries often discussed: why it was that fine art drawing has been so little affected where new tech replaces old technology? Or, are we a de-skilled society when it comes to handicrafts compared with a hundred years ago? The author recounts the story of the connections and disconnections between traditional and digital drawing.

In Volume 2 Fonseca et al (Spain) analyze user experiences and differences detected in viewing architectural images in various interfaces. The authors propose an empirical approach to the visualization of architectural images based on established concepts, methodologies and measurements techniques found in media psychology and user-centered studies. It explores psycho-physiological measures to capture the affective component of the image quality experience facilitated by different displays, including immersive and non-immersive displays. The approach allows also for empirically evaluating the experiential aspects of an architectural space.

In Volume 2 Puig-Centelles et al (Spain) propose a fully-GPU rain simulation based on particle systems. The solution presented explores CUDA flexibility in order to include, aside from the rainfall simulation, also a system for detection and handling the collision of the particles against the scenario. The collision detection permits to further simulate the splashes at the same time. Through this solution the potential of CUDA in terms of its capabilities for hardware programming is tested into its limits allowing obtaining results of very high performance in rain simulation.

In Volume 2 Amador and Gomes (Portugal) present a novel solution to water surface tracking and simulation. The traditional navier-stokes-based methods for liquid simulation are computationally intensive and require rendering the water surface at each step of the simulation process, which is usually inappropriate for real-time scenarios. The authors’ novel approach does not compromise the overall simulation performance since it differs from previous solutions in that it directly classifies and annotates the density of each 3D grid cell as either water, air, or water-air (i.e., water surface), allowing for an easier reconstruction of the water surface at an interactive frame rate.

In Volume 2 Gaspar et al (Portugal) describe the theoretical foundations and engineering approach adopted in the development of an infrared-optical tracking system designed for large scale immersive Virtual Environments (VE) or Augmented Reality (AR) settings. The system is capable of tracking independent retro-reflective markers arranged in a 3D structure in real time, recovering all possible 6DOF. The article presents in great detail all the hardware and software settings, calibration of the solution, 3D reconstruction as well as tests and final results.


In the coming months and years please look toIJCICGfor continued coverage of these and other related fields in computer graphics and interfaces.

Ben Falchuk
Telcordia Technologies Inc., USA

Aderito Marcos
Universidade Aberta, Portugal

Author(s)/Editor(s) Biography

Ben Falchuk has a long and diverse background in computer systems and middleware, human computer interaction, multimedia systems, and graphical and creative applications. He has over twenty US patents pending and sixty publications, including peer-reviewed conferences, journals, and textbooks, including an entry for Wiley-Blackwell titled The Fabric of Mobile Services. He sits on the committees of prestigious international conferences and journals. Dr. Falchuk holds a Bachelor's of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science degree from the University of Waterloo, a Master's of Science degree from Carleton University, and a PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Ottawa. He also holds certificates in computer animation and HCI from Sheridan College and Rutgers, respectively. Thanks to his Sheridan experiences, his studies in the Fine Arts Studio, and many years of evaluating and devising novel creative systems, he brings a unique perspective. Dr. Falchuk is currently Senior Scientist in the Applied Communication Sciences subsidiary of Ericsson (New Jersey). In this role, he develops new technologies, software, systems, and services. He architects and implements innovative software and develops intellectual property revolving around communications, multimedia, and creative applications.

Adérito Fernandes-Marcos graduated in Computer Science Engineering from the Nova University of Lisbon; got a PhD suma cum laude in Computer Graphics and Information Systems from the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany; and Habilitation, an academic degree for Full Professorship (Agregação) in Technology and Information Systems from the University of Minho. Between November 1997 and October 2005 he has been a Departments Head, then Executive Director of the Computer Graphics Centre (CCG), an Interface Institute of the University of Minho. On behalf of CCG he received the European IST Prize 2000: Grand Prize Winner for the TeleInViVo project and also the LAVAL Virtual 2002 – “Science et education” and “GRAND PRIX DU JURY 2002”, by the Laval Academy, Mayenne França, for the European project ARCHEOGUIDE.

He is Full Professor at the Portuguese Open University (Universidade Aberta), Lisbon, Portugal. He is the principal mentor and founder of the Doctoral Program in Digital Media-Art, being its current Director. Previously, he was an Assistant Professor at University of Minho, where he was responsible for the design of a variety of curricula in the fields of Multimedia, Information Systems and Computer Graphics, Technology and Digital Art for undergraduate and post-graduate courses. At this university, he was co-founder of the Masters Course in Computer Graphics and Virtual Environments (with three editions) and founder and first director of the Masters Course in Technology and Digital Art, actually in its fourth edition. He integrated the Executive Board of Eurographics from January 2002 until August 2005 and again since October 2008 until February 2013. He was the President of the Executive Board of the Eurographics Portuguese Chapter and reelected for a second term in 2010 until 2013. He is chairman of Artech-International Association for Computer Arts, an initiative in the field of digital/computer arts, that is responsible for the Artech - International Conference on Digital Arts. Since 2000, he is working as a regular consultant of Agency for Innovation, the European Association INTAS, European Commission and ZGDV (German Institute for Computer Graphics, Darmstadt, Germany). He is a member of Artech-International, Eurographics, ACM, IEEE and SIGRAPH. He is author and co-author of more than six dozen articles in refereed magazines, conference proceedings and book chapters.


Editorial Board

  • Russell Beale, University of Birmingham, UK
  • Jörn Loviscach, University of Applied Sciences, Germany
  • Sus Lundgren, Chalmers University at Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Santosh Mathan, Honeywell, USA
  • David Mould, Carleton University, Canada
  • Anton Nijholt, University of Twente, The Netherlands
  • Claudio Pinhanez, IBM Research, USA
  • Mateu Sbert, University of Gerona, Spain
  • Anna Ursyn, University of Northern Colorado, USA
  • Sha Xin Wei, Concordia University, Canada
  • Nelson Zagalo, University of Minho, Portugal