Hongbo Fu: 2D/3D Content Creation Tools for Non-Professional Users

HCI & Computer Graphics
EZ-Sketching is a patented image-guided drawing interface, which automatically corrects sketch lines roughly traced over an image.

With a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Hong Kong Univ. of Science & Technology Professor Hongbo Fu has excelled in his research field which lies at the intersection of computer graphics and human computer interaction (HCI), and he is one of the very few researchers who have been actively working in both fields. Hongbo's father was an active artist who made large-scale wooden and stone Buddhas for temples. So it is not such a stretch to see why his scientist son would seek to perfect the creation of 3D forms in computer graphics and design, and develop methods and systems to make 2D/3D content creation tools more intelligent and easier to use.

Hongbo is part of a team that presented and patented a new image-guided drawing interface called EZ-Sketching, which uses a tracing paradigm and automatically corrects sketch lines roughly traced over an image by analyzing and utilizing the image features being traced. Hongbo is also interested in making novel 3D authoring tools for mobile Augmented Reality (AR). With his collaborators, he has developed SweepCanvas, a sketch-based interactive tool for rapid exploratory 3D modelling on top of an RGBD image of a real world scene, and Mobi3DSketch, which enables the creation of complicated 3D sketches using a single AR­enabled mobile device and he has applied for a patent. With the support of a further GRF Hongbo has developed a part assembly approach for automatically recovering high-quality structures from low-quality data acquired by consumer-level scanning devices, a new support­induced part-level structural representation, a new tool for structure-adaptive editing of man-made objects, and a novel pose-inspired shape synthesis approach.

Hongbo's current research is supported by an ongoing GRF grant: "Towards Bridging the Gap between Freehand Sketches and 3D Models,” and an ongoing SRG project entitled, "Constructing a Collection of Sketch-model Pairs via Crowdsourcing and Its Application.” He has also started putting more research effort into pure HCI topics, in part motivated by the interests of the undergraduate and postgraduate students under his supervision at SCM. They have developed the BezelCursor, a novel one-handed thumb interaction technique for target acquisition on mobile touch screens of various sizes, and FingerT9, which enables text entry by using one-handed thumb­to-finger gestures. 

Hongbo has recently been a Visiting Professor at Tsinghua University where he has been working closely with Prof. Shi-Min Hu, who is an internationally renowned scholar in the field of computer graphics. Through multiple collaborative projects, they are tackling challenges in semantic scene understanding and reconstruction. Their recent findings will be soon presented in the best graphics journal and at the best robotics conference. Hongbo has received many Best Paper and Honourable Mention Awards, and received the President's Award in 2016 at CityU. With his research team he has earned a patent for "Group-Aware Command-Based Arrangement of Graphic Elements” as well as for "Facilitation of Error Tolerant Image Tracing Optimization.