The 3D sketch slice: Precise 3D volume annotations in virtual environments
In the oil and gas application domain, there is a need for 3D volume annotations to sketch out uncertainty regions in seismic data sets. Together with geo-science experts, we identified actual requirements for efficient annotations of volumetric areas. As a result, we introduce the 3D Sketch Slice, a novel system for volumetric annotations. Based on a 3D-tracked pen tablet, the 3D Sketch Slice works as a prop for a subsurface volume slice. Using pen input, a user can precisely sketch 3D points on a 2D volume slice while directly controlling the 3D position and orientation of that slice within a seismic volume. The points selected define 3D sketches through 3D alpha shape representations. Furthermore, we define clutching and mapping functions and we present a novel visual feedback method for multi-user annotations. Finally, we performed an informal evaluation with expert users. Despite some ergonomic concerns, they confirmed an increase in perceived precision. In general, the requirements identified had been met and it was proposed to apply the 3D Sketch Slice methodology to other scenarios.