de Youngsters Draw in 3D, No Headsets Required

de Youngsters Draw in 3D, No Headsets Required
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What would it be like to free your painting from its canvas and create it all around you, in thin air? Can you imagine moving through your own art, experiencing it in 3D? That’s exactly what we invited kids to do at this year’s de Youngsters Art Party at San Francisco’s de Young Museum. The party is an annual celebration designed to get young people engaged with art while raising funds for children’s programs at both the de Young and Legion of Honor museums.

To celebrate our fourth year sharing cutting-edge Adobe magic with the de Youngsters partygoers, we brought an immersive drawing and painting technology to the museum.

Lisa Temple, head of community innovation and collaboration at Adobe, was there to watch the kids jump right in. “I’m fascinated by how kids grab onto new technology and start exploring with such ease,” says Lisa. “Little kids instantly filled the screen with giant scribbles while older kids mastered drawing 3D shapes over their heads. Everyone was all in.”

The Story Behind the Experience

Erik Natzke, Adobe’s principal artist-in-residence, is the inventor behind the immersive experience. Bringing this project to kids at the de Young gave Erik an especially exciting view into the possibilities: “Kids are great testers for technology because they haven’t been inhibited by existing design patterns. To them, everything is a touch screen; everything is interactive. When you watch them explore, you learn what true intuition is.”

The kids’ experiences will help shape where the team heads next. Erik says, “We learned a lot by watching what the kids wished they were able to do with it: duplicating, manipulating, having the technology intelligently understand their gestures and strokes. These are all things we can come back to as our research continues.”

Teaming Up with the de Young

Our partnership with the de Young is a great way to connect with, and nurture, the creative community around us. “Our work with the de Young gives us the chance to inspire the next generation of creatives, which is something that’s really important to us at Adobe,” explains Lisa. “In the process, we get to help young people discover the museum’s collections, and raise funds for much-needed programs. It’s a win-win for all of us.”

Sheila Pressley, the director of education for the de Young, watched as kids at this year’s Art Party explored: “The Adobe activation project was the perfect blend of artistic imagination and technology. Kids were able to experience technology as an artist tool and had plenty of ‘ah-ha’ moments experimenting. The Adobe project allowed even the youngest visitors to have a full-body experience and interact at their own developmental level.”

 You can read more about our work with the de Youngsters here and check out another one of our favorite projects in the art community, The Minnesota Street Project.

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