SandCanvas: A Multi-touch Art Medium Inspired by Sand Animation

Rubaiat Habib Kazi, Kien-Chuan Chua, Shengdong Zhao, Richard C. Davis, Kok-Lim Low

Sand animation is a performance art technique in which an artist tells stories by creating animated images with sand. Inspired by this medium, we have developed a new multi-touch digital artistic medium named SandCanvas that simplifies the creation of sand animations. SandCanvas also goes beyond traditional sand animation with tools for mixing sand animation with video and replicating recorded free-form hand gestures. In this paper, we analyze common sand animation hand gestures, present SandCanvas‘s intuitive UI, and describe implementation challenges we encountered. We also present an evaluation with professional and novice artists that shows the importance and unique affordances of this new medium.

Additionally, SandCanvas enhances the physical sand animation by incorporating portability, preservation and other digital capabilities. It is also able to capture characteristics of real sand with unique techniques like pouring sand from a cup. Thanks to Rubaiat (a PhD candidate in the HCI lab) and Chris (an undergrad in SoC), we can now draw freely in the comforts of the HCI lab without the need for a complicated setup of a physical sand animation table.


CHI 2011 Honorable Mentioned Award

CHI 2011 Golden Mouse Awards for Best Video Design

Apple Application: SandCanvas

Paper: SandCanvas: a Multi-touch Art Medium Inspired by Sand Animation.