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Virtual Reality Trend for Digital Animation and Global Success Cases Jim X. Chen, Ph.D. Director of Computer Graphics Lab George Mason University Fairfax, VA 22030 Contents Introduction to Virtual Reality and Hardware Virtual Reality Current Trend

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virtual reality trend for digital animation and global success cases

Virtual Reality Trend for Digital Animation and Global Success Cases

Jim X. Chen, Ph.D.

Director of Computer Graphics Lab

George Mason University

Fairfax, VA 22030

  • Introduction to Virtual Reality and Hardware
  • Virtual Reality Current Trend
  • Virtual Reality Software and Digital Animation Systems
  • VR Research, Applications and Global Successful Cases

intro to vr hardware



Intro to VR & Hardware

Conventional Computer

VR-based Computer



vr technologies

Virtual Reality

VR technologies

Character CRT




Graphic CRT

Mouse tablet



Virtual console

3D mouse




Video arts







TV phone



Aided Design


All technologies meet together at VR !!

a sense of of immersion
A sense of of immersion
  • Stereoscopic
  • Tracking
  • Tactile & haptic
  • Acoustic, etc.

3d graphics and stereoscopes
3D Graphics and Stereoscopes
  • 3D graphics
    • User controlled movement and view
    • Objects may respond to actions and environment
  • Stereoscopes
    • 3D graphics
    • 2 projections

head mounted displays
Head Mounted Displays



tracking systems http www polhemus com http www ascension tech com
Tracking Systems(
c ave http www fakespace com



Alternate Realities Corporation

tactile and haptic devices
Tactile and Haptic Devices


sarcos dextrous master
Sarcos Dextrous Master

  • FREFLEX is a 7 joints articulation systems that mimics human motion
  • Is an exosqueleton system allowing real-time control of robots
  • Update rate of 130Hz

exoskeleton iowa state u
Exoskeleton (Iowa State U.)
  • An other exoskeleton system developed at Iowa State University
  • Based on electromagnetic coupling


3 dof force feedback joystick
3 DoF Force Feedback Joystick


  • TouchMaster is a vibro-tactile transducer commercialized by EXOS
  • Use 6 to 10 speakers coils
  • An vibrate at a frequency of 210 Hz

virtual reality immersion
Virtual Reality - Immersion
  • Key to the VR field is “immersion”.
    • A VR environment is immersive if it gives the user the feeling of being inside a scene, rather than simply looking at the scene.
  • True VR is nonexistent, but we do what we can:
    • Create a scene that is viewed by the user as if they are in it.
    • Allow the user to interact with objects in the scene in something approximating a “natural” way.
    • Bring in as many senses as we can:
      • Sight & sound are the main ones we deal with.
      • Lots of research is begin done on touch (haptic interfaces).
      • Taste & smell: forget it, for now.

vr terminology
Virtual / Synthetic Environments





Simulator / Motion Sickness

Lag time

3D rendering / Graphics Engine



Head Mounted Display (HMD)

3D Mouse


Stereoscopic Display

Liquid Crystal Shutterglasses

Ultrasonic / Magnetic / Optical Tracking

Cyber / Power / Data Glove

Haptic Display

Position Tracking

VR Terminology

types of vr
Window on World (WoW), Desktop



Mixed Reality(head up displays)

Fishtank VR

Entry level VR

Basic VR

Advanced VR

Projected VR (maybe with shutterglasses)

Cockpit Simulators

Types of VR

output devices
Output Devices
  • Visual
    • Computer Screen, Head Mounted Display, 3D Shutter Glasses, Cyberscope, ImmersaDesk, CAVE, Spherical Projection, Big Screen Technology, Visiondome, Reality Centre.
  • Audio (Stereo)
    • Speakers, Earphones, Speech, Music
  • Tactile
    • Tactile Gloves
  • Motion
    • eg. Flight Simulators using pneumatic motion simulators

input devices
DataGlove and Bodysuit

Mouse, Joystick, Keyboard, 3D Mouse

Movement Trackers (eg Polhemus)

Gesture Recognition (with DataGlove)

Speech Recognition

Input Devices

virtual reality current trend
Virtual Reality: Current Trend
  • PC-driven VR system (
    • multi-channel synchronized PC-IG
  • Networked virtual environments with avatars (
  • Web3D immersive systems


  • Image-based/Quicktime VR

digital communication and animation active worlds aw
Digital Communication and Animation: Active Worlds (AW)
  • Universe, populated by Worlds
  • Universe server:
  • World servers:
  • anywhere on the Internet
  • Enter the Universe
  • Select and enter a world in that Universe

the virtual reality of aw

The background image

The horizontal 0 level surface of the world

The virtual reality of AW

Getting into a world in the universe ….

the virtual reality of aw33
The virtual reality of AW

… later there was:

  • an avatar
    • virtual embodiment of person in AW
  • building blocks (objects)
    • the building material in AW
    • the blocks are active - they can respond with some action, or provide additional information.

the window to an aw universe world
The window to an AW universe/world

3D area

Web area

Multifunction area

Synchronous communication area

what is web3d
What is Web3D?
  • The term Web3d describes any programming or descriptive language that can be used to deliver interactive 3D objects and worlds across the internet.
  • Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML), Java3D and X3D (under development) - also any proprietary languages that have been developed for the same purpose come under the umbrella of Web3d.
  • : web3d consortuim

3d for the web
3D for the Web
  • Exploring web-based 3D environments requires the use of a Plug-in
  • Formats/architectures include:
    • The Virtual Reality Modelling Language (VRML): viewers include Blaxxun Contact, Cosmo Player and Cortona
    • X3D
    • Superscape e-Visualizer and Viscape
    • Cult 3D
    • Biovirtual 3DMeNow
    • Active Worlds
    • Shout3D
    • Shockwave 3D

history of web3d
History of Web3D

java3d class
Java3D - Class

web3d games
Web3D games

image based virtual reality
Image-based Virtual Reality
  • VR system using Image-based Rendering
  • Presence + Interaction + Autonomy

image based virtual reality41
Image-based Virtual Reality
  • Characteristics of Images
    • Fixed scene geometry
    • Fixed camera movement
    • Fixed light condition
    • Limitation on image resolution

image based virtual reality42
Image-based Virtual Reality
  • QuickTimeVR was introduced in 1994
    • photorealistic virtual reality type effectswith limited interaction
  • Applications : Museum, Gallery, Sightseeing, Model House, Cyber Shopping Mall

virtual reality software and digital animation systems
Virtual Reality Software and Digital Animation Systems
  • Low-level graphics libraries
  • Visualization
  • Modeling and Rendering
  • Animation and Simulation
  • VR Software/Web3D: inventor, VRML, X3D, WTK, WUP, etc.

virtual reality software and digital animation systems44
Virtual Reality Software and Digital Animation Systems
  • Book: Guide to Graphics Software Tools:
    • A shortcut to graphics programming: shortest textbook that covers all
    • A list of all graphics related tools, including Web3D and Virtual Reality
    • Rich online sources to all different tools

vr research applications and global successful cases
VR Research, Applications and Global Successful Cases








VR application







vr research
VR Research
  • Better, Faster VR with less side-effects.
  • The long-term effects of VR.
  • Applications of VR (eg for assessment of brain damage and rehabilitation)
  • New VR machinery.
  • VR (and 3D) as the interface to a process.
  • Presence (what is it and how do we measure it)

vr research47
VR Research
  • Problems
    • VR still costly for good system
    • Still seen as “research” by most companies
    • Gap between promise and delivery
  • Applications
    • Demonstrating products, Sales, Design, Manufacturing, 3D modelling, Walk through, Visualisation, Training, Process control...

  • A couple of companies using VR
    • VOLVO
      • to test car interior designs and to demonstrate new cars on virtual roads.
      • Combined VR and real car cockpit, gives tactile, visual and audible information.
    • Nokia
      • VR + PHANToM, to test new and potential telephone designs.
    • British Telecom
      • For visualisation of extremely complex telephone network in England and isolation of faults using 3D visual cues.

training education
Cockpit Simulation (flight simulators)

Complex Machinery - manipulate parts and see into difficult areas with on-line help

In dangerous Situations, eg. Nuclear Reactor - quick in and out, get used to the layout before entering for real toreduce the chance for human error.

With Complex Procedures,eg. Surgical Operations, can practice onvirtual patients first, or have the patientscanned and made into a virtual model - complete with force feedback on the surgical instruments.

Patient teachers of real-world situations

Safer and Cheaper environment, no lives at risk.

People with special needs

Training / Education

augmented telepresence
(Augmented) Telepresence
  • VR overlaid onto real-world with see-through HMD.
    • eg: Heads-up display in fighter plane
    • eg: Surgeon operating on a patient with overlays from CAT scans to highlight critical nerves, tendons etc.


Users with special needs

Specialized requirements which are often well-served by VR systems

• visual impairment - screen readers, SonicFinder

• physical disability - speech input, gesture recognition,

predictive systems (e.g. Reactive keyboard)

• learning disabilities (e.g. dyslexia) - speech input, output