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  • Mon 31 Jan 2011

    VR Escape – A VR Geeks’ game in 48 hours

    Published at 23:11   Category Game, Virtual Reality  

    This week-end I participated in the Global Game Jam 2011: 48h straight to create a game ! I decided to bring my VRKit-HMD to see if we could make a game with that, and we did !

    YouTube Preview Image

    (update: it seems the video is blocked in Germany because I used a song by Nine Inch Nails .. will try to modify that tomorrow!)

    (update2: i’ve updated the video, is it working now?)

    (see also the VR Escape webpage)

    We created a VR Geeks team composed of two 3D artists, two sound designers and one game artist that we met during the team building meetings, my fellow VR Geek Nicolas Conil and myself.

    We settled on a game idea, an adventure where you have to find out how to escape from a dark lab, and started to prototype the interactions: take an object, drop it on another to trigger an action, navigation. We decided it would be easier for people to just move along a predefined path with just forward/backward. After a few hours we had a first working prototype with simple cubes, and after 48h we had integrated the incredible work of our 3d artists and sound designers !

    All the people who tried it said they were really immersed in it. Although we did not create a full game we think we have some interesting basis to build on that. At least we have created an interesting experience in terms of presence and basic interactions, and can turn that into a real game with more work. We will try to have an improved version for Laval Virtual, since we have been invited there to have a booth !

    Creating a game in 2 days is a great and intense experience: it forces you to focus on what’s really the core and discard unnecessary details. We were very lucky that everything went smoothly: No fights, no hardware failure (appart from the Vuzix HMD going black when used too much and some brain cells that died somewhere between 3 and 4 am).

    It’s also a great experience to share with people you know or don’t know, and see games around you being created and finished!

    The game is compliant with the VRKit-HMD specifications so it should work on your HMD based system if you have setup a VRPN server, tracking the head, the hand, plus a two-axis joystick and four buttons. You also need one more component so if you decide to try it, drop me a mail and I’ll help you set this up. You can find more information on the VR Escape webpage.

    The game is using Unity and we will release the source code soon.

    As for interfacing VR with Unity … you’ll have to wait :)

    Tue 25 Jan 2011

    VRGeeks visit the VR Center of Mines ParisTech

    Published at 18:40   Category Virtual Reality  

    Recently the VRGeeks of Paris have visited the VR Center of the Ecole des Mines de Paris. It’s the house of Philippe Fuchs, Alexis Paljic and Laure Leroy just to name some. They have kindly accepted to make us visit their center and we had a great evening there !!

    They have one big stereoscopic wall which they’re using for :

    Immersive Modelling from Alexis Paljic on Vimeo.

    Virtual Reality for Car Interior Design from Alexis Paljic on Vimeo.

    Immersive Design from Alexis Paljic on Vimeo.

    More videos here.

    We’re looking for our next visit, so if you’re interested in hosting a VR Geek evening, let me know!

    Here’s a description of their work :

    Mines Paris Tech Robotics Centre – Virtual and Augmented Reality research

    The goal of VR is to allow one or more users to perform sensori-motor and cognitive activities in an artificial environement. This environment can be imaginary, symbolic, or simulate real objects or situations. This leads to three topics : creating an interactive virtual environment, studying the human in this environment, and finally the immersion and interaction of this person in the environment. We focus our research on the third topic : the challenge is to involve as much as possible natural human behaviours in the design of the interface. Moreover, the interface design must consider both sensori-motor and cognitive levels.

    This approach is applied in our current research and always includes evaluations. Our current works include :
    - VR for design: The industry, especially automotive and aerospace, has expressed a strong need for immersive tools to modify shapes and volumes. The challenge is twofold : 1. offer easy to use and intuitive shape deformation tools and 2. keep the data consistent with CAD description. In the VR for design topic, we also conduct our research on virtual reality immersive review of multiphysics simulations (thermal, acoustic, or mechanic simulations). To address these challenges, we offer interaction techniques and related visualization methods.

    - Visual interfacing in an immersive system: the goal is to quantify the difference between natural and immersive vision and also to offer techniques to improve visual perception in interactive systems. These improvements aim at reducing visual fatigue, improve object shapes and size perception, or propose seamless techniques to locally increase display resolution.

    - VR for therapy : We conduct immersion and interaction research in a project meant to implements VR applications for the rehabilitation of stroke patients, and also treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. The objective is to develop a tool for the evaluation and the rehabilitation of individual’s functional capabilities and for his return to autonomy. Different set-ups are proposed, ranging from a VR rehabilitation platform in hospitals, functional and motor rehabilitation VR centres, to portable low-cost systems in people’s residence.

    recent publications on these subjects :
    - “A study of Perception of volumetric rendering for immersive scientific visualization”
    Nan Wang, Alexis Paljic, Philippe Fuchs. ICAT 2010, International Conference on Artificial Reality and Telexistence, December 1-3, 2010

    - “High Resolution Insets for Stereocopic Immersive Displays : a Method for 3D Content Dependent Inset Boundaries”
    Alexis Paljic, Caroline de Bossoreille, Philippe Fuchs, and Gabriel Soubies. VRST 2009 – 16th ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology. Wed, Nov. 18 – Fri, Nov. 20, 2009

    - “D3: an Immersive aided design deformation method”
    Vincent Meyrueis, Alexis Paljic, Philippe Fuchs. VRST 2009 – 16th ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology. Wed, Nov. 18 – Fri, Nov. 20, 2009

    - “Some experiments about shape perception in stereoscopic displays”
    Leroy L., Paljic A., Fuchs P., Moreau G. IS&T/SPIE Symposium on Electronic Imaging, Number 7237-45, 18-22 January 2009, San Jose, California USA.

    - “Study of stereoscopic shape perception for virtual design”
    Leroy L., Fuchs P., Paljic A., Moreau G. 18th International Conference on Artificial Reality and Telexistence, December 1-3, 2008, Keio University, Yokohama, Japan

    Fri 14 Jan 2011

    Quick Links #7

    Published at 0:07   Category Virtual Reality  

    Don’t worry I’m also preparing some real articles.

    In the meantime, here’s what I said on Twitter :

    - Bino is a video player that supports 3D videos and multi-display videos (using Equalizer) - http://bit.ly/dToCqk

    - PSA’s iV success story using 3DVIA Virtools in their Design Center http://www.3ds.com/fileadmin/COMPANY/DS-MAGAZINES/CM-US/PDF/nam_cm_nov2010.pdf

    - The very first CG animation in 1972, Ed Catmull’s handhttp://vimeo.com/16292363

    - Ahhhh RT @remanences: How #Kinect works – stereo triangulation? http://bit.ly/h4dptg

    - In Cybertherapy, Avatars Assist With Healing - http://nyti.ms/hrSLe4

    - Big VR week : AFRV’s conference (talking there), Hands-on VR for engineering students and intro to VR to business students at La Sorbonne

    - #Afrv2010 Doug Bowman about simulating mixed reality systems with high end systems and limitating their fidelity to make controlled studies

    - #afrv2010 Nice talks, on and off stage, my talk about low-cost VR systems went well and I’ve been elected to the steering comittee of AFRV !

    - Head-Tracking with Kinect http://t.co/W

    - Really nice holographic maps - http://t.co/Z7xNZ4F via @dvice

    - @remanences#PSMove #MoveOnPC Color detection for real-time 3D positioning of 2 spheres http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVvQqOBGFEs

    - @remanences#MoveOnPC Wiimote/PSMove/SixAxis Head-to-head comparison of three popular motion controllers on PChttp://bit.ly/eRilIY

    - #AFRV2010#FR – Atelier Humains Virtuels - http://bit.ly/gLfG3Z

    - I’ve updated my online VR introduction - http://slidesha.re/eLkmYg

    - The VR Geeks will be at the GlobalGameJam !!!http://www.mekensleep.com/GGJ-Paris/

    - INRIA – Salle de réalité virtuelle “Gouraud-Phong”http://t.co/5B1iCOD via @youtube

    - Architecture Research in a Cave http://t.co/kOsaLLB via @youtube

    - Telepresence with Kinect - http://aol.it/dSuoFV

    - At last some real VR+Kinect hack ! But as Kinect is still worthless for headtracking, they use the gyro from the HMD http://t.co/dUVXhcH

    - How to Use Any 3D DLP Projector Together with 3D Vision -http://bit.ly/ezqGui

    - CES: Nvidia unveils site for 3D video, photos, sportshttp://t.co/HfP76xl via @cnet

    - It’s just a prototype but … RT @lavalvirtual#CES, Sony unveiled a new personal HMD for Virtual Reality at home: http://bit.ly/hbQLIk

    - Arduino The Documentary http://vimeo.com/18539129

    - #VR offre d’emploi à Laval sur le site de l’#AFRV http://bit.ly/ftyyd5

    - New Vuzix VR HMD !! 852×480, 35° diag fov, side-by-side stereo, release in spring, no price yet : http://bit.ly/eNZIZs

    - Almost a Cave (without 3D..) with only flat panels — CES 2011: Sharp Electronics i3Wall http://t.co/UrbUsTI via @youtube

    - Object Tracking Robust to Occlusion and Size Changehttp://t.co/tXwoKqg via @youtube

    - ProVision VR System and Demo Reel (1991) -http://bit.ly/bundles/vrgeek/2