Do you feel in control of the body that you see? This is an important question in virtual reality (VR) as it highly impacts the user’s sensation of presence and embodiment of an avatar representation while immersed in a virtual environment. To better understand this aspect, we performed an experiment in the framework of the VR-Together project to assess the relative impact of different levels of body animation fidelity to presence.
In this experiment, the users are equipped with a motion capture suit and reflective markers to track their movements in real time with a Vicon optical motion capture system. They also wear Manus VR gloves for fingers tracking and an Oculus HMD. At each trial, the face (eye gaze and mouth), fingers and the avatar’s upper and lower bodies are manipulated with different degree of animation fidelity, such as no animation, procedural animation and motion capture. Each time, users have to execute a number of tasks (walk, grab an object, speak in front of a mirror) and to evaluate if they are in control of their body. Users start with the simplest setting and, according to the judged priority, improve features of the avatar animation until they are satisfied with the experience of control.
Using the order in which users improve the movement features, we can assert on the most valuable animation features to the users. With this experiment, we want to confront the relative importance of animation features with the costs of adoption (monetary and effort) to provide software and use guidelines for live 3D rigged character mesh animation based on affordable hardware. This outcome will be useful to better define what makes a compelling social VR experience.
Artanim collaborated with Entropy Studio on the shooting of the first pilot of the VR-Together project. After a short flight from Madrid to Geneva, the actors were 3D scanned with our photogrammetric scanner consisting of 96 cameras, to obtain the 3D surface of their body. Steve Galache (known for his work on The Vampire in the Hole, 2010; El cosmonauta, 2013; and Muertos comunes, 2004), Jonathan David Mellor (known for The Wine of Summer, 2013; Refugiados, 2014; and [Rec]², 2009) and Almudena Calvo were the main characters of this first experience. They were dressed the same way as in the shooting scene.
The shooting was split over two days. The first day was dedicated to shoot the actors in costumes on a complete chroma background with a stereo-camera. This will allow the creation of photoreal stereo-billboards that will be integrated in a full CG-environment. The second day of shooting was focused on full performance capture of the actors. Each equipped with 59 retro-reflective markers and an head-mounted iPhone X, the actors were able to perform the investigation plot (an interrogatory scene) with success. These data will later be used to animate the 3D models of the actors generated from the 3D scans. These full-CG models will be finally integrated in the same virtual environment.
This pilot project will thus offer two different rendering modalities for real actors (stereo-bilboard and CG characters). The impact of both techniques will be studied through user studies with an eye on social presence and immersion.
Dreamscape Immersive, the location-based VR startup using Artanim’s VR technology, today announced the public debut of a limited engagement VR experience called Alien Zoo. Taking reservations at Westfield Century City, Los Angeles, California, the multiplayer experience will be open to the public until March 14th. Below some pictures of what’s waiting for you at Westfield…
We are proud to see our tech becomes public! Read the interview of Caecilia Charbonnier and Sylvain Chagué, who are also the co-founders and co-CTOs of Dreamscape.
VR_I was selected at the 2018 Sundance’s New Frontier Festival that took place on January 18-28 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Utah. The festival is one of the world’s premiere places to debut new independent films and highlights the best in storytelling technology. Again, the contemporary dance piece in immersive VR created in collaboration with the Swiss choreographer Gilles Jobin encountered a huge success with more than 1000 visitors testing the installation during these 9 days of showcase.
The Swiss ICT Award rewards Swiss companies and individuals from the ICT industry that have distinguished themselves through outstanding achievements during the last 24 months. Artanim was selected among the five finalists for its virtual reality platform Real Virtuality. The jury was impressed by how the technology and software – developed completely in Switzerland – will allow for entirely new forms of storytelling. Aside from the entertainment industry, the VR platform is paving the way for a wide variety of applications, including museum applications, building and city tours, telepresence systems, and medical applications (anxiety therapy, rehabilitation, neurosciences, etc.).
VR_I, a contemporary dance piece in immersive virtuality created in collaboration with the Swiss choreographer Gilles Jobin, was showcased at the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma that took place on October 4-15 in Montreal, Canada. For its world premiere, the piece was welcomed with great success and was awarded the Innovation Prize presented by Prim for the most innovative work dedicated to new platforms, as well as the FNC EXPLORE Performances/Installations People’s Choice Award presented by Viveport (HTC).
Back from Montreal, VR_I has been on tour and was showcased as a Swiss premiere at the Théâtre Forum Meyrin on October 12-15, then in Basel at HeK – House of electronics Arts on October 25-29 and at the commercial center of Meyrin on November 8-11. More dates coming in 2018!
Playing the mirror game in virtual reality with an autonomous character. Work done at @artanim_mocap with Valentin Jacquat, Carmela Calabrese and @CaeciCharb , now out in @SciReports https://rdcu.be/c1i5c