converting single-user Photoshop into a real-time collaborative image
tools for supporting the creation and use of interactive digital media have
become one of the fastest growing industries. Efficient creation and
effective use of digital contents often require collaboration among multiple
designers with different expertise and at different locations, but none of
existing digital media design
software tools in the market is capable of supporting multi-user real-time
collaboration over the Internet.
The goal of our research is to investigate and develop innovative
technologies and software tools for supporting Internet-based real-time
collaborative creation and application of interactive digital media, to
significantly increase the productivity and quality of digital media
Single-user-oriented digital media design tools have already had a
well-established multi-billion dollars market, with millions
users. Vast investment has been made by software vendors in researching,
developing and producing existing single-user design tools, and by
organizations or individual users in purchasing and learning these tools for
solving real-world problems. For any collaborative digital media design
tools to gain acceptance from the end-users, they must be able to
preserve the conventional functionalities and interface features in existing
single-user digital media design tools, while providing new advanced real-time
collaboration support over the Internet. This requirement imposes a major
constraint on our work: the collaborative technologies developed from this project
must be integrated into existing single-user digital media design tools without
making any change to the original tools.
This project builds on and extends the Transparent Adaptation (TA) technology
from prior CoWord and CoPowerPoint
projects (http:///cooffice.ntu.edu.sg). We
focus on researching advanced collaboration, graphics/images, and human
computer interaction technologies for support multiple users to jointly design shared
digital media over the Internet, and on converting a mainstream image editing
tool – Adobe Photoshop
- into a real-time collaborative image editing tool, named CoPhotoshop.
The TA-based CoPhotoshop
architecture consists of three components, as shown below:
Application (SA) provides
conventional single-user Photoshop functionalities and interface features, but has no knowledge about multi-user collaboration.
Adaptor (CA), which bridges the single-user application with the
underlying GCE (see below). The CA component uses the SA API (Application
Programming Interface) to augment the SA with collaboration capabilities
without accessing the source code of the SA.
Collaboration Engine (GCE), which provides application-independent
collaboration capabilities in consistency maintenance, concurrency
control, group awareness, interaction control, etc. The GCE component can
be shared by a wide range of TA-based
Based on this TA architecture and a reusable GCE
component, the task of converting a new single-user application is reduced into
the task of researching, designing and implementing a new CA for this new
application. For more detailed information on TA and GCE, please read the following article:
Chengzheng Sun, Steven Xia, David Sun, David Chen.
Haifeng Shen, Wentong Cai: "Transparent
adaptation of single-user applications for multi-user real-time collaboration," ACM
Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, Vol. 13, No.4, December
2006, pp.531-582. In ACM Digital Library.
(please contact us if you cannot access this
article from the ACM digital library).
Investigator: Professor Sun Chengzheng
School of Computer Engineering