Friday, December 10, 2010

Using Sketch Recognition and Corrective Feedback to Assist a User in Drawing Human Faces (Dixon)

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iCanDraw is the first application that uses Sketch Recognition to assist the user in learning how to draw. Although most of the algorithms and techniques of this paper are not new there is a major contribution in opening a new field of application for sketch recognition. They show sketch recognition can have great use in this kind of applications. The results going through 2 iterations of the application reveal that such application is feasible, and although much more studies have to be done to prove this is an efficient teaching tool, the end-to-end system is now available to begin such studies. Another important result of the paper is the set of design principles obtained from the user study in this kind of applications for assisted drawing using free sketch.
For the implementation of the application the user interface is remarkably well achieved. After a first iteration and a deep analysis of it, many mistakes or weaknesses were detected and corrected such that the final version of this interface is very user oriented and can give a more much effective teaching experience. Each face template goes through a face recognizer to extract its most prominent features, and then some hand corrections are done to finally get to a template of the ideal face sketch. The recognition then is mostly template matching oriented. Some gesture recognition is also used as part of the interface for actions such as erasing or undoing.



The work presented opens a very interesting field of application to sketch recognition. In the sketch recognition class a project about how to draw an eye is one of the possible descendants of this project.  I think one of the mayor challenges in this field is to determine the appropriate amount and quality of the feedback given to the user. If the user is forced to draw too close to the template the experience can be frustrating, but if it is too loose the improvement in drawing might be poor, a solution might be having several difficulty level in different lessons.

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