Draco: Bringing Life to Illustrations with Kinetic Textures (CHI 2014)


Updates: I’m thrilled to share that Draco is now available as Sketchbook Motion (iPad app), and recognized by Apple as the best iPad app of the year 2016! See some of the amazing contents created by our beta users.

Draco is a sketch-based interface that allows artists and casual users alike to add a rich set of animation effects to their drawings, seemingly bringing illustrations to life. While previous systems have introduced sketch-based animations for individual objects, our contribution is a unified framework of motion controls that allows users to seamlessly add coordinated motions to object collections. We propose a framework built around kinetic textures, which provide continuous animation effects while preserving the unique timeless nature of still illustrations. This enables many dynamic effects difficult or not possible with previous sketch-based tools, such as a school of fish swimming, tree leaves blowing in the wind, or water rippling in a pond.  A user study with professional animators and casual users demonstrates the variety of animations, applications and creative possibilities our tool provides.



Draco: Bringing Life to Illustrations with Kinetic Textures
R H Kazi, F Chevalier, T Grossman, S Zhao, G Fitzmaurice CHI 2014 (PDF)
Best Paper Honorable Mention Award**
Golden Mouse Award for Best Video**
People’s Choice Best Talk Award**


CHI 2014 Interactivity
SIGGRAPH 2014 Studio Installation
Autodesk University 2014 (Las Vegas) 
Autodesk Gallery Design Night 2015 (San Francisco)


How Design: Bring Illustrations to Life FastCoDesign: Autodesk’s Draco Lets You Animate Illustrations In Seconds
Animation World Network (AWN): Draco brings illustrators to life with Kinetic Textures
Digital Tutors: Autodesk’s Draco makes animating 3D kinetic textures easier
3DVF: Draco : Autodesk Research donne vie aux illustrations


  1. Hello Bhaiya,

    It’s wonderful to learn about Draco. I am wondering if the program would be publicly available to try for a 10 year old artist who is willing to animate his imaginary world over this summer vacation. 🙂


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