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Our app Iyan 3d, lets user to create 3d animation using their Touchscreen Mobile devices. We are targeting the casual market so we are trying to find the easiest way to allow users manipulate something in 3d.

The biggest challenge is, for every object there are 6 degrees of freedom. So we have 2 control modes.

Move:

Iyan3d move control

Rotate:

Iyan3d rotate control

When the user drags any of these control objects, the selected object moves in that axis. To toggle the controls user has a switch. So Our editor looks like this. Iyan3d editor

Is there a better way in doing this or any minor improvements that will let casual user do it without confusion.

We tried a many UI in older versions but didn't workout. Iyan3d old ui The user has to select the objects and select the axis and roll the nob to rotate or move the pin in the left to move the object.

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  • Is this exclusive to only tablets? – Swapnil Borkar Sep 24 '15 at 15:34
  • The app is available for all iOS devices both iPad and iPhones. Soon to be launched on Android. – codetiger Sep 24 '15 at 15:36
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    The current challenge I see is the limitation one can have due to the screen size of the phone. So, your Interface definitely needs to have an Edit mode and a View mode. I'll look into creating some basic mockups for you later today. – Swapnil Borkar Sep 24 '15 at 15:50
  • Why do we need edit mode? The editor is always in edit mode and when user clicks play its in view mode. Isn't it? And showing the joints within a character is another big challenge. User does not see it or don't understand it as a select-able object. – codetiger Sep 24 '15 at 15:56
  • For a fairly larger 3D Object transformation, the user might want to explore and see the area nearby it before making an edit. Also, with the assumption standard devices sizes today range around 5 inches, the UI covering the nearby objects until played might seem frustrating. Of course this will require A/B testing, but as someone who has worked on 3D transformations before I have observed this. – Swapnil Borkar Sep 24 '15 at 16:38
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Modern devices are able to detect pressure.

You can add selecting mode in interface (move or rotate), to make it more intuitive and simpler it is worth using the solutions used in the latest blender.(when object clicked - it's change mode to active - the axis shows and you can choose them)

as the immersive technologies are just crawling, there are no good design practices - it seems that a sensible solution seems to be what comes naturally (for example, zoom = pinch)

There are a lot of touch gestures - but firsly You should learn user, which to use to use what mode.

enter image description here

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When I first tried to design and develop video games with Unity3D I remember how annoying was this problem, even with a desktop computer! I don't know the exact answer, but I find this question super interesting and have some idea to share.

  • So, what if you include somehow the volume up / down buttons? To control one axis or zooming could be simpler.
  • What if you use your design effort not to create this interface better (because best as I know this problem isn't solved yet even by much bigger companies, like ArchiCAD, or Unity3D nor Microsoft Paint 3D.) Instead: Create an effective, well-iterated onboarding/tutorial process which helps to learn for the users the 3D mechanics

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