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Visual realism enhances realistic response in an immersive virtual environment – Part 2

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4 Author(s)
Yu, I. ; University College London, London ; Mortensen, J. ; Khanna, P. ; Slater, M.

Does realistic lighting in an immersive virtual reality application enhance presence, where participants feel that they are in the scene and behave correspondingly? Our previous study indicated that presence is more likely with real-time ray tracing compared with ray casting, but we could not separate the effects of overall quality of illumination from the dynamic effects of real-time shadows and reflections. Here we describe an experiment where 20 people experienced a scene rendered with global or local illumination. However, in both conditions there were dynamically changing shadows and reflections. We found that the quality of illumination did not impact presence, so that the earlier result must have been due to dynamic shadows and reflections. However, global illumination resulted in greater plausibility - participants were more likely to respond as if the virtual events were real. We conclude that global illumination does impact the responses of participants and is worth the effort.

Published in:

Computer Graphics and Applications, IEEE  (Volume:PP ,  Issue: 99 )