Visual Computing

University of Konstanz
IEEE Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces

Mid-Air Finger Sketching for Tree Modeling

F. Zhang, Z. Liu, Z. Cheng, O. Deussen, B. Chen, Y. Wang


2D sketch-based tree modeling cannot guarantee to generate plausible depth values and full 3D tree shapes. With the advent of virtual reality (VR) technologies, 3D sketching enables a new form for 3D tree modeling. However, it is labor-intensive and difficult to create realistically-looking 3D trees with complicated geometry and lots of detailed twigs with a reasonable amount of effort. In this paper, we explore the use of mid-air finger 3D sketching in VR for tree modeling. We present a hybrid approach that integrates freehand 3D sketches with an automatic population of branch geometries. The user only needs to draw a few 3D strokes in mid-air to define the envelope of the foliage (denoted as lobes) and main branches. Our algorithm then automatically generates a full 3D tree model based on these stroke inputs. Additionally, the shape of the 3D tree model can be modified by freely dragging, squeezing, or moving lobes in mid-air. We demonstrate the ease-of-use, efficiency, and flexibility in tree modeling and overall shape control. We perform user studies and show a variety of realistic tree models generated instantaneously from 3D finger sketching.


  author    = {F. Zhang, Z. Liu, Z. Cheng, O. Deussen, B. Chen, Y. Wang},
  booktitle = {IEEE Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces},
  doi       = {10.1109/vr50410.2021.00110},
  month     = {mar},
  publisher = {IEEE},
  title     = {Mid-Air Finger Sketching for Tree Modeling},
  url       = {},
  year      = {2021}