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Presence AR

Project Description:

We examine and measure the presence in Augmented Environments. For this task, a virtual pit will be augmented in a real life indoor environment and experienced by a Head Mounted Display.
This experiment will reveil the factors which have an impact on the presence and measures the degree of it.

Schematic of the pit:

External Image

Application Specs:

The application is built using an open source 3D engine, which is capable to make use of current graphics hardware. The engine is extended to support AR features as background video, tracking, and z-buffer rendering. The virtual objects will be rendered either as realistic as possible or in a non-photorealistic way (i.e. cartoon shading). To achieve a convincing visual quality, the ambient lighting is based on a surrounding image of the real scene, in combination with ambient occlusion texture maps. Additional effects such as video noise, blurring or High Dynamic Range Effects may me applied.
The majority of the virtual objects will be static, but animations might be introduced as well.
User interaction consists of camera tracking and moving virtual balls. For realistic behavior, the movement of the balls is also driven by physical simulation. To further expand the plausibility of the experience, green screen keying is used to prevent the virtual objects hiding the persons arms and legs.

Necessary equipment / materials:

  • Green Screen Material to cover the floor, in the size of the pit
  • 4 Lights to lighten the scene
  • Wood for the edge of the pit
  • Plausibel decoration, such as toolbox, rocks/bricks, dust, steel
  • Rail
  • Bookshelves to hide the pit
  • Bowl to drop virtual balls in


The participant will enter the test environment, wearing a head mounted display. To get used to the system, the first task will be to pick up virtual balls, and dropping them into a real bowl. After that, the participant enters the stage, and looks in the pit.

Changing factors:
  • plausibility of the environment
  • graphics quality
  • lag / registration error
  • camera speed, resolution, image quality

To Do List:

  • Build custom nebula2 application, based on nApplication class - Tobias: done
  • Add video wrapper support, and display background video - Tobias: done
  • Add simple green screen keying - Tobias: done
  • Add z-buffer rendering for physical objects - Tobias: done
  • Add VRPN support for camera tracking Tobias: done
  • Add VRPN support for object tracking, button support Tobias: pending
  • Dynamic Lightprobe lighting Tobias: in progress
  • GUI and scripting Tobias: pending
  • Animation Tobias: pending
  • Shadows (waiting on engine update)
  • examine techniques for better keying (spill removal, blurring etc.)

  • Build Static prototype pit Tobias: pending
  • Design pits for environment Maribeth, Blair, Tobias: pending
  • Model and texture pits according to design Tobias: pending
  • Design possible animation
  • Program effects like fire, smoke, water Tobias: pending

Physical Environment:
  • Design stage
  • Green screen material on floor Maribeth: pending
  • Wooden edge around pit
  • Lights on every corner Maribeth: pending

Link to this Page

  • Old Projects last edited on 12 May 2008 at 5:33 pm by