2D design still has a place in a world with 3D, AR & VR
With the great advancements experienced through 3D, AR and VR one may wonder if 2D design still has a place in this world. The answer to this question relates to the use of these technologies and how good or bad are in different applications.
Designing vs. drawing
Google and Magic Leap apps are for creative artists and have chosen a different approach from concepts like those of Elon Musk. Musk believes it is not natural for people to design in 2D like computer screens since we live in a 3D world.
There is a potential for a completely new way for artists in designing industry brought by these great artistic creations and utilisation of AR/VR. A very important difference exists between artistic creations and industrial designs, however. One doesn’t have to care about precision in artistic creations and you can dance with your designs. In industrial and enterprise designs on the other hand, there exist millimetres and pixel accuracy. Designers in these sectors have to be very precise in their designs.
Designing in Tilt Brush and in 3D CAD software and other applications proves challenging when one tries to grab an object while wearing a Meta 2 AR headset. It is very hard to have all 3D parameters at hand and be precise. Even if right now enterprise companies in industrial fields have adopted AR and VR technologies, they have not completely shifted from their 2D methods in their current procedures.
Big companies like Ford, Boeing, Audi use AR/VR as a way to showcase and review designs already created in their traditional 3D designing software. The reviewing is meant to get a more tangible feel of the final product before the production process. This doesn’t replace previous processes, it augments them to realise a range of advantages. So 2D technologies still exist in these companies.
A difference on the input devices
Mouse or stylus and keyboard are used in 2D and on flat screens for designing. Designers in AR and VR environments use controllers and hand gestures. Precision while using a mouse is controllable down to a pixel but it’s very hard to achieve precision in HTC Vive controller, for instance. A mouse has two axes but a Vive controller has a third axis and a depth that you need to become aware of.
It is believed AR/VR input tools, even if are very fast and could get more accurate, their nature of designing or working in 3D surroundings will never be as accurate as 2D. So AR/VR may be suitable for prototyping but not the whole design due to precision issues discussed.
There is the idea is that 2D suits models which humans use to describe phenomenon and theories by reducing the parameters at hand. 3D is doing more which is not always the best.
There is no way 3D CAD software and other applications, as well as AR and VR technologies, will completely replace 2D even in the coming years. 2D screens and applications will still exist in the new era of 3D, AR and VR technologies. What will certainly happen is that people will use these mediums to complement each other. A combination of both technologies is what is seen as something that will bring out the best in the two.