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We introduce novel interactive techniques to simulate the sensation of walking up and down in immersive virtual worlds based on visual feedback. Our method consists in modifying the motion of the virtual subjective camera while the user is really walking in an immersive virtual environment. The modification of the virtual viewpoint is a function of the variations in the height of the virtual ground. Three effects are proposed: (1) a straightforward modification of the camera's height, (2) a modification of the camera's navigation velocity, (3) a modification of the camera's orientation. They were tested in an immersive virtual reality setup in which the user is really walking. A Desktop configuration where the user is seated and controls input devices was also tested and compared to the real walking configuration. Experimental results show that our visual techniques are very efficient for the simulation of two canonical shapes: bumps and holes located on the ground. Interestingly, a strong Â¿orientation-height illusionÂ¿ is found, as changes in pitch viewing orientation produce perception of height changes (although camera's height remains strictly the same in this case). Our visual effects could be applied in various virtual reality applications such as urban or architectural project reviews or training, as well as in videogames, in order to provide the sensation of walking on uneven grounds.
3D User Interfaces (3DUI), 2010 IEEE Symposium on
Date of Conference: 20-21 March 2010