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Rapid prototyping of virtual environments

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4 Author(s)

The goal of virtual reality is to fully or partially immerse a human in a visually coupled environment. By tracking the position and orientation of the user with sensors designed for this purpose and by coupling these measurements with a high-performance computer graphics system, we can generate a computer-synthesized view of a virtual environment that responds to the user's movements. Thus, the user does not just see a visual display on a terminal but is immersed within the display. VR also allows natural real time interaction with the VE. Scientific visualization is the process of displaying scientific data with computer graphics in a way that facilitates understanding and analysis. At the US Naval Research Laboratory, we have been developing advanced visualization software that eases the transition between desktop and VR visualization. Our aim has been to reduce the work and time needed to port a desktop visualization to a VE. Our software is a general system for rapidly prototyping VR visualizations, and users do not require any knowledge of VR. Once researchers are satisfied with the desktop visualization, they can port it to the VE in a very short period of time, ranging from a few minutes to a few hours, depending on the complexity of the visualization and on the size of the data sets

Published in:

Computing in Science & Engineering  (Volume:2 ,  Issue: 3 )