[SIGGRAPH23] “Project Butterfly” - Live Drawing by Feather Team

About our live drawing show

At the exhibition we were live streaming how our team is drawing with Feather on a large LED screen. Anyone could come and take a sit and watch and ask about it. From rough 3D sketches to the final rendering, every step of using Feather will be showcased on the screen at the booth.
The Feather team shared the process of designing the (fictional) most popular construction 3D-pen-robot team of the future using Feather.
Banner at the booth [Demonstrators] Jun | Lead Designer (CDO) Kwan | Director (CEO) Yun | Guest Artist (Engineer)
Showing the hands and pen together on the screen was crucial. The audience could understand what’s happening more quickly and experience Feather indirectly, even if they haven’t seen it before.
Putting physical objects together on the scene gave a creative look to the live drawing and drew visual attention from the audience (especially kids).
Participation from the audience was highly encouraged. One could stand and watch from a distance or sit up close and chat with our team.
When we felt the ideas ran out, we stopped drawing and took a rest. Keeping the live drawing real was the key concept of the show.

3D drawings finished in the show

 These are the “3D-pen-robot team of the future.” by Jun and Kwan.

Main character: No.3 - Sketcher

Sketcher is responsible for the overall design and architecture of the building. Sketcher uses a special material that vaporizes and disappears over time. Every team member needs a sketch to get started, so speed is of the essence for the Sketcher. Sketchers cannot modify, collect, or transform, which other teammates have by default for quick maneuverability, and they have the least amount of material to work with. Below is an early 3D concept sketch of No.3 and its garage.

More 3D sketches of the No.3


Sketcher will need the help of its teammates, who can fill different roles to complete the building. We could imagine a variety of roles, including measuring, framing, demolition, plumbing, and more.
Before assigning roles to each teammate and assembling the team, we sketched various candidates for teammates, inspired by existing industrial equipment and technologies for 3D printing and architecture. Below are early 3D concept sketchs of candidates for teammates.
Imagining cutting a gigantic 3D printer cooler into halves and attaching them to robot arms (image source)
Importing a rough 2D sketch of a plasma cutting bot into Feather to use it as a reference to create a 3D sketch.

More 3D sketches of the teammates

 This is one of the drawings (fan-art) by our guest artist Yun. There are more you can view in 3D after!

More about the “3D-pen-robot team of the future.”

Interested in what the “3D-pen-robot team of the future.” are about? Below we share full detail of our concept design project “3D-pen-robot team of the future.” beyond the booth exhibition. The project will go on! Stay tuned for updates.


World of 3D pen robots

In a distant future, the evolution of 3D printing technology and advancements in robotics has brought a world where anything can be created. The last challenge of this world was 'architecture', the largest and the most complicated one. Designing, planning, constructing, finishing, and even demolishing were all performed by 3D pen robots.

Project "Butterfly"

This creative and powerful 3D pen robots were too good to be just productivity tools. Moreover, these super expensive machines lost their job as humanity no longer needed new buildings. Eventually, architecture studios and constructing companies found out ways to expand their fields to entertainment business using these surplus resources.
Did you know? The origin of the word “pavilion is linked to “butterfly! That explains our project name.

Reference images collected

We searched for reference images in 3 categories. Robots, characters, and sports. Of course it was important to make the robot realistic and structurally, but each robot needed to be a character and we wanted this crew look like a sports team.
* All images in the Reference section are from various online sources (not our works) and used as visual references to get inspiration only. This information was also delivered at the exhibition.

Early 2D sketches before the exhibition

Some sketches on the flight from Seoul to Los Angeles

3D drawing of the characters with Feather (Live drawing at SIGGRAPH 2023)

Based on the references and rough sketches, our team began to create 3D sketches of the 3D printing robot characters at the live drawing desk of the Feather booth at SIGGRAPH 2023.
Check above for all the 3D drawing results.

Drawing by special guest: 3D fan art by Yun

Our engineer Yun, a special guest, drew 3D fan art of beloved characters occasionally (mostly when Jun and Kwan ran out of ideas XD.) One of Yun’s main projects for Feather was developing a mode for drawing neatly, and she has held several in-house tutorials for drawing volumetric characters with Feather.
Here, we share some photos and 3D drawings Yun showed at the exhibition.
Carl Fredricksen, the main character of Pixar's animation ‘Up’

FAQ at the booth

Here are some of most frequently asked questions from the audience.
Q. What is this for? Who is it for?
This is Feather, a 3D drawing app that you can create 3D curve artwork with 2D input such as pen & touch on a tablet. This is for everyone who wants to express and communicate 3D ideas, including artists and designers in product design, architecture, animation, games, and film.
Q. What data is exported in what form, and where can I use it?
Every 3D stroke drawn is a triangular mesh. We support exporting this as OBJ and GLTF (and USD soon), so you can use this in your favorite 3D tools such as Blender, Maya, Unreal, etc.
Q. Can I import reference files?
Yes, you can import images and 3D model files into Feather.
Q. How does this SW set the depth information?
The computer cannot recognize 3D depth from a single 2D input, indeed. So we made two steps: the first pen input defines a surface along the line of sight, and the following pen input from a different viewpoint is projected onto the surface to create 3D curves. That’s behind the magic.
Q. What is the difference with Grease Pencil (Blender)?
The same thing is that both use 2D pen input on 3D sketching surfaces. The difference is that we offer more flexible ways to create & modify sketching surfaces by pen input and a more intuitive and simpler user interface. Also, our web-based app supports a cross-device environment so you can continuously work on mobile, tablet, laptop, desktop, etc.
Q. How much does it cost?
It’s free now, and we plan to release a paid plan with advanced features.
Q. Is it out now? Where can I use it? (Is it still in development?)
Yes, you can download Feather right away from our website or App Store for free
Q. Did you make the HW as well?
No. (This was because we installed lots of tablets at the exhibition.)
Q. How long have you been developing this?
The company was founded in 2020, and we officially released Feather in November 2022.
Q. I think I saw it last year/5 years ago...?
Yes, this product is rooted in 3D sketching research. You might have seen previous research by me (CEO) or my former colleagues at the lab.
Q. Where is the company located?
We are based in Seoul, South Korea.

More photos of the live drawing show

Check the others