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Camera Motions Improve the Sensation of Walking in Virtual Environments

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4 Author(s)

This paper investigates the use of camera motions, in order to improve the sensation of walking in a Virtual Environment. A simple model of camera motion is first proposed. This model uses: (1) oscillating motions for the position of the camera, and (2) a compensation motion which changes the orientation of the camera and simulate oculomotor compensation to keep a constant focal point when walking. Then we describe two experiments which were conducted to study the characteristics of our model and the preference of the users in terms of sensation of walking. The first experiment compared the use of oscillating camera motions along the three directions of space. The oscillating motions were all preferred to the control condition (i.e. a linear motion, as if the user was driving a car). Furthermore, the participants preferred oscillating motions along the vertical axis, compared with the two other directions of space. The second experiment was focused on the use of a compensation motion. It showed that on average participants preferred a compensated motion during the walk, as compared with a motion with a constant orientation of the camera. These results are consistent with the way our body and eyes move naturally when walking in real life. Taken together, our results suggest that camera motions can considerably improve the sensation of walking in virtual environments. Camera motions could be further introduced in numerous applications of virtual reality in which the simulation of walking is important, such as: architectural visits, training simulations, or videogames.

Published in:

Virtual Reality Conference, 2006

Date of Conference:

25-29 March 2006

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