After observing that drawing instructors spent 50% of class time making students aware of their mistakes because students were unable to identify their own errors, Japanese engineers created a way for drawing students to observe errors during the drawing process. Researchers observed 19 students enrolled in a lifelong learning school in Japan. They observed these students for five weeks and recorded conversations between tutors and students.
To enhance “error awareness”, the team of engineers created a tutoring system that creates a 3D model of a student’s drawing. Researchers hoped this tutoring system would enable students to identify their own mistakes upon seeing their drawing as a three-dimensional form.
Turning a student drawing into a 3D form did not happen with the simple click of a camera. Students had to enter twelve values pertaining to the size of the drawing subjects (in this case a plate and a mug), enter the distance between the them and the subject, and enter a handful of other measurements as well. Only after these twelve values were entered, could a student photograph his/her sketch and upload the image into the tutoring system.
Seven problem areas were analyzed in this study, each pertaining to the mistakes students made when placing shadows in their drawings. The seven problem areas of interest to engineers were:
- The dark shadow on the inside rim of the plate.
- The light shadow on the inside rim of the plate.
- The shadow cast by the plate.
- The light shadow on the beer mug.
- The shadow on the outer rim of the plate.
- The shadow along the rim of the plate.
- The reflected light underneath the plate.
- The light shadow on the handle of the beer mug.
To create a 3D form of a student’s sketch, the tutoring system evaluated three levels of shadow density in each of the seven problem areas. The features were extracted by the tutoring system and compared to the density levels of the actual drawing subjects. The 3D forms were created directly from these comparisons.
Engineers tested the effectiveness of the tutoring system by creating an experiment in which drawing students were asked to identify errors in a sketchbook drawing and then asked to identify errors in a drawing generated by the tutoring system. Students correctly identified more errors in the 3D drawing created by the tutoring system than in the sketchbook drawing. These findings suggest the tutoring system is effective in making students more aware of their mistakes.
How do you critique your placement of shadows
during the drawing process?
(please share below)
Matsuda, Noriyuki, Saeko Takagi, Masato Soga, Tsukasa Hirashima, Tomoya Horiguchi, Hirokazu Taki, Takashi Shima, and Fujiichi Yoshimoto. 2003. Tutoring system for pencil drawing discipline. Proc. of International Conference on Computer in Education (ICCE2003). pp. 1163-1170.
This research paper is freely available on the Web. A link is provided here for your convenience. Download Matsuda et al.