2011 VR Summer Workshop

This year World16 is engaged in virtual reality (VR) and computer graphics research with impacts in a variety of academic and professional fields. During this year's VR Summer Workshop, the group met at the University of Pisa, Italy to present current research endeavors and share new technologies.

The presentations at the workshop represent the middle stage of current research projects. Final results will be presented at the 5th International VR Symposium this November in Tokyo, Japan.

2011 World16 VR Research Projects:

"CityDesign - Procedural City Modeling Tools"
Prof. Yoshihiro Kobayashi,
Arizona State University

"Two 'Cloud' Technologies: Point Cloud Optimization
and VR Cloud Application for Townscape Design"
Prof. Tomohiro Fukuda,
Osaka University

Prof. Kostas Terzidis,
Harvard University

"Digital Manga in UC-win/Road"
Prof. Marc Aurel Schnabel and Dr. Inge Yingge Qu,
The Chinese University of Hong Kong

"Media Field Navigation"
Prof. Marcos Novak,
University of California SB

"Shader Graphs for UC-win/Road"
Matthew Swarts,
Georgia Institute of Technology

"Multiple Stakeholders in the Shadows of the Datascape"
Prof. Michael Jemtrud, Prof. Nik Luka, Jason Crow, and Andrew Chung,
McGill University

"Visualizing Wadi Madaiq"
Prof. Ron Hawker,
Zayed University

"From Acoustic Simulation to Form Generation - a Case Study
in Noise Simulation and Visualization"
Prof. Ruth Ron,
University of Florida

"VR in Construction Monitoring"
Prof. Wael Abdelhameed,
University of Bahrain

"Character Development"
Prof. Thomas Tucker,
Winston-Salem State University

"SIM Lucca - VR for Italian Cities"
Prof. Paolo Fiamma and Pierluigi D'Acunto,
University of Pisa

"Implementing 'Traffic Derivation Protocol' in UC-win/Road
to Avoid Traffic Jams While Visualizing VR Models"
Prof. Amar Bennadji,
Robert Gordon University

"Extreme Interaction with UC-win/Road using a
Lightweight Character Representation Method"
Prof. Taro Narahara,
New Jersey Institute of Technology


So Sleepy: an Homage to a Busy Summer Workshop

World16's VR Summer Workshop in Italy was indeed packed with a busy schedule of seminars, new product demonstrations, VR research presentations, and - of course - recreation in beautiful Tuscany.

Time for sleep also made its way into the schedule, just not in hotel rooms:


VR Tutorials: Importing 3D Buildings from Sketchup into UC-win/Road

Getting 3D buildings from Google Earth and the Google 3D Warehouse into UC-win/Road is quick and easy with SketchUp Pro.

This tutorial guides you through the process of transferring 3D data between the two platforms, and also provides several tips for optimizing your data for VR use.

A few tips to remember to make your life easier when importing 3D buildings into UC-win/road from Sketchup:
  • Export models from SketchUp Pro in the .FBX file format for the smoothest transfer to UC-win/Road. UC-win/Road can also read .3DS files, but this is only recommended if you are creating your buildings in 3D Studio Max or Maya
  • UC-win/Road renders in real-time, so the simpler your objects are (think simple geometry and small textures), the faster and smoother they will render in your project.
  • Not all models in the Google 3D Warehouse are made equal. In fact, most are made for rendering static images or animations and are extremely high-polygon and texture heavy. These models will render poorly in UC-win/Road and your fps (frames per second) will suffer.


VR Tutorials: Advanced Scenario Creation in UC-win/Road (Part 4 of 4)

This video is an overview of advanced scenario creation by seaming together all of the individual elements that were entire scenarios previously (speed, collision, pass/fail, etc). The scene has been edited to support the additional scenario.

1. The video opens by going through the 'chained' scenario to see what is to come.
2. New trigger types have been added and a chained pass fail condition.
3. Editing the 'context' is also covered and is useful to restructure the scene itself.
4. New movement types have been added, including cars and buildings.

View the video below:


VR Tutorials: MD3 character pipeline

This tutorial explains the pipeline to convert a character animation from 3dsmax, maya or motion builder (via the FBX file format) to UC-Win/Road.

3DStudio Max is used as a middleware to convert the FBX to MD3 (which UC uses). The downloadable zip  includes the full size 720p mp4 video tutorial as well as the md3 exporter beta.ms max script (written by Yoshihiro Kobayashi) which automates this task inside 3DSmax.

The direct download link for the HD video is here
To download only the .ms maxscript file, click here

The video is also available on youtube:


VR Tutorials: Scenario Creation and Editing in UC-win/Road (Part 3 of 4)

Part 3 of this series discusses two primary methods for creating scenarios in UC-win/Road and demonstrates common situations. The goal is to divide the creation into individual scenarios, layering in new information with reinforcing previous information so you can take the concepts into broader situations.

1. Moving objects along a flightpath
2. Collision-based event exit conditions
3. Travel speed based on event exit conditions
4. Event exits that are determined by a pass or fail condition, including returning points

Part 3 is broken into two videos shown below:

Part 3a:


Tutorial materials:

Part 3, Scenario Modes (.WMV) can be downloaded directly HERE


VR Tutorials: Scenario Creation and Editing in UC-win/Road (Part 2 of 4)

Part 2 of this series discusses two primary methods for creating scenarios in UC-win/Road and demonstrates both by showing how to launch a vehicle, provide instructions to the driver, and queue events to occur as the driver navigates the road surface

1. Learn the structure types of creating scenarios in UC-win/Road
2. Add checkpoints and waypoints to trigger various events in scenarios.
3. Learn about event exits and conditions that can be applied to enhance a driver's interactive experience when driving along a road.
4. The tutorial finishes with two complete scenarios made using both types of structure methods.

Tutorial materials:
Part 2, Scenario Structures (.WMV) can be downloaded directly HERE


VR Tutorials: Scenario Creation and Editing in UC-win/Road (Part 1 of 4)

This tutorial series will guide you through basic scenario creation in UC-win/Road. Scenarios are interactive simulations that guide the user through a series of events. Using UC-win/Road's robust tool set for creating driving scenarios, these tutorials will allow you to:

1. Trigger events that provide information/instructions to users as they drive through a 3D environment
2. Learn the basics of the UC-win/Road Scenario Editor
3. Establish waypoints for audio/visual cues that users will experience as they navigate a scenario
4. Change weather/environmental conditions

Part 1 of this series acclimates the user to the UC-win/Road scenario editor interface by teaching you how to launch a vehicle and trigger a simple text message at a waypoint along a road.

Tutorial materials:
Part 1, Scenario Basics (.WMV) can be downloaded directly HERE


VR Tutorials:Terrain Generation for UC-Win/Road

This tutorial shows Forum8AZ's pipeline for creating XML terrain based on free download-able DEM data and associated satellite imagery.

click here to download fullsize video tutorials (plus xml terrain maker)
or here to download just the xml terrain maker and terrain calculator

software needed:
web browser
google earth pro
adobe photoshop
Microsoft excel (terrain calculator (blank).
XML terrain maker (included in the download)

1: terrain generation part 1
create Google Earth centerpoint
create lat-long placemarks on whole degrees around centerpoints, and measure the distance
download the DEM data from http://www.gdem.aster.ersdac.or.jp/
begin filling out terrain calculator excel sheet
clip DEM to UC's 20km by 20km size
use XML terrain maker java program (courtesy of Yoshihiro Kobayashi) to generate terrain.

2: terrain generation part 2
create Google Earth placemarks for the satellite image bounds (top left and bottom right)
export imagery for 4km and 20 km grid
tile imagery in Photoshop

3: terrain generation part 3
create specific location settings in UC
create a new user defined project
import xml terrain patch (then delete and chose not to restore original data)
import satellite imagery into UC

for now, these can be streamed on my picasa album, found here


VR Tutorials: Creating and Editing Intersections in UC-win/Road

This series of VR tutorials will guide you through creating and editing road intersections in UC-win/Road. Each video will cover the following topics:

1: Create road intersections with UC-win/Road
  • Draw two roads to create a simple intersection
  • Use the vertical profile editor to adjust road height
  • Generate traffic on roads

2: Create road intersections with UC-win/Road
  • Place traffic light models at the intersection
  • Use the intersection editor to activate traffic controls
  • Become familiar with the signal phase editor

3: Advanced intersection editing techniques
  • Add/edit textures to intersection components
  • Edit drive paths and stopping points
  • Adjust queue lengths