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The selection and manipulation of 3D content in desktop virtual environments is commonly achieved with 2D mouse cursor-based interaction. However, by interacting with image-based techniques we introduce a conflict between the 2D space in which the 2D cursor lays and the 3D content. For example, the 2D mouse cursor does not provide any information about the depth of the selected objects. In this situation, the user has to rely on the depth cues provided by the virtual environment, such as perspective deformation, shading and shadows. In this paper, we explore new metaphors to improve the depth perception when interacting with 3D content. Our approach focus on the usage of 3D cursors controlled with 2D input devices (the Hand Avatar and the Torch) and a pseudo-motion parallax effect. The additional depth cues provided by the visual feedback of the 3D cursors and the motion parallax are expected to increase the users' depth perception of the environment. The evaluation of proposed techniques showed that users' depth perception was significantly increased. Users were able to better judge the depth ordering of virtual environment. Although 3D cursors showed a decrease of selection performance, it is compensated by the increased depth perception.
3D User Interfaces (3DUI), 2012 IEEE Symposium on
Date of Conference: 4-5 March 2012