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  1. 2014-01-14

    Investigations into Velocity and Distance Perception Based on Different Types of Moving Sound Sources with Respect to Auditory Virtual Environments

    The characteristics of moving sound sources have strong implications on the listener's distance perception and the estimation of velocity. Modifications of the typical sound emissions as they are currently occurring due to the tendency towards electromobility have an impact on the pedestrian's safety in road traffic. Thus, investigations of the relevant cues for velocity and distance perception of moving sound sources are not only of interest for the psychoacoustic community, but also for several applications, like e.g. virtual reality, noise pollution and safety aspects of road traffic. This article describes a series of psychoacoustic experiments in this field. Dichotic and diotic stimuli of a set of real-life recordings taken from a passing passenger car and a motorcycle were presented to test subjects who in turn were asked to determine the velocity of the object and its minimal distance from the listener. The results of these psychoacoustic experiments show that the estimated velocity is strongly linked to the object's distance. Furthermore, it could be shown that binaural cues contribute significantly to the perception of velocity. In a further experiment, it was shown that - independently of the type of the vehicle - the main parameter for distance determination is the maximum sound pressure level at the listener's position. The article suggests a system architecture for the adequate consideration of moving sound sources in virtual auditory environments. Virtual environments can thus be used to investigate the influence of new vehicle powertrain concepts and the related sound emissions of these vehicles on the pedestrians' ability to estimate the distance and velocity of moving objects.

    JVRB, 10(2013), no. 4.

  2. 2013-12-20

    Impact Study of Nonverbal Facial Cues on Spontaneous Chatting with Virtual Humans

    Non-verbal communication (NVC) is considered to represent more than 90 percent of everyday communication. In virtual world, this important aspect of interaction between virtual humans (VH) is strongly neglected. This paper presents a user-test study to demonstrate the impact of automatically generated graphics-based NVC expression on the dialog quality: first, we wanted to compare impassive and emotion facial expression simulation for impact on the chatting. Second, we wanted to see whether people like chatting within a 3D graphical environment. Our model only proposes facial expressions and head movements induced from spontaneous chatting between VHs. Only subtle facial expressions are being used as nonverbal cues - i.e. related to the emotional model. Motion capture animations related to hand gestures, such as cleaning glasses, were randomly used to make the virtual human lively. After briefly introducing the technical architecture of the 3D-chatting system, we focus on two aspects of chatting through VHs. First, what is the influence of facial expressions that are induced from text dialog? For this purpose, we exploited an emotion engine extracting an emotional content from a text and depicting it into a virtual character developed previously [GAS11]. Second, as our goal was not addressing automatic generation of text, we compared the impact of nonverbal cues in conversation with a chatbot or with a human operator with a wizard of oz approach. Among main results, the within group study -involving 40 subjects- suggests that subtle facial expressions impact significantly not only on the quality of experience but also on dialog understanding.

    JVRB, 10(2013), no. 6.

CVMP 2010
  1. 2014-01-22

    Generating Realistic Camera Shake for Virtual Scenes

    When depicting both virtual and physical worlds, the viewer's impression of presence in these worlds is strongly linked to camera motion. Plausible and artist-controlled camera movement can substantially increase scene immersion. While physical camera motion exhibits subtle details of position, rotation, and acceleration, these details are often missing for virtual camera motion. In this work, we analyze camera movement using signal theory. Our system allows us to stylize a smooth user-defined virtual base camera motion by enriching it with plausible details. A key component of our system is a database of videos filmed by physical cameras. These videos are analyzed with a camera-motion estimation algorithm (structure-from-motion) and labeled manually with a specific style. By considering spectral properties of location, orientation and acceleration, our solution learns camera motion details. Consequently, an arbitrary virtual base motion, defined in any conventional animation package, can be automatically modified according to a user-selected style. In an animation package the camera motion base path is typically defined by the user via function curves. Another possibility is to obtain the camera path by using a mixed reality camera in motion capturing studio. As shown in our experiments, the resulting shots are still fully artist-controlled, but appear richer and more physically plausible.

    JVRB, 10(2013), no. 7.

  2. 2014-01-14

    A Video Database for the Development of Stereo-3D Post-Production Algorithms

    This paper introduces a database of freely available stereo-3D content designed to facilitate research in stereo post-production. It describes the structure and content of the database and provides some details about how the material was gathered. The database includes examples of many of the scenarios characteristic to broadcast footage. Material was gathered at different locations including a studio with controlled lighting and both indoor and outdoor on-location sites with more restricted lighting control. The database also includes video sequences with accompanying 3D audio data recorded in an Ambisonics format. An intended consequence of gathering the material is that the database contains examples of degradations that would be commonly present in real-world scenarios. This paper describes one such artefact caused by uneven exposure in the stereo views, causing saturation in the over-exposed view. An algorithm for the restoration of this artefact is proposed in order to highlight the usefuiness of the database.

    JVRB, 10(2013), no. 3.

  3. 2013-12-31

    Bitmap Movement Detection: HDR for Dynamic Scenes

    Exposure Fusion and other HDR techniques generate well-exposed images from a bracketed image sequence while reproducing a large dynamic range that far exceeds the dynamic range of a single exposure. Common to all these techniques is the problem that the smallest movements in the captured images generate artefacts (ghosting) that dramatically affect the quality of the final images. This limits the use of HDR and Exposure Fusion techniques because common scenes of interest are usually dynamic. We present a method that adapts Exposure Fusion, as well as standard HDR techniques, to allow for dynamic scene without introducing artefacts. Our method detects clusters of moving pixels within a bracketed exposure sequence with simple binary operations. We show that the proposed technique is able to deal with a large amount of movement in the scene and different movement configurations. The result is a ghost-free and highly detailed exposure fused image at a low computational cost.

    JVRB, 10(2013), no. 2.

GRAPP 2011
  1. 2013-12-04

    Using Opaque Image Blur for Real-Time Depth-of-Field Rendering and Image-Based Motion Blur

    While depth of field is an important cinematographic means, its use in real-time computer graphics is still limited by the computational costs that are necessary to achieve a sufficient image quality. Specifically, color bleeding artifacts between objects at different depths are most effectively avoided by a decomposition into sub-images and the independent blurring of each sub-image. This decomposition, however, can result in rendering artifacts at silhouettes of objects. We propose a new blur filter that increases the opacity of all pixels to avoid these artifacts at the cost of physically less accurate but still plausible rendering results. The proposed filter is named "opaque image blur" and is based on a glow filter that is applied to the alpha channel. We present a highly efficient GPU-based pyramid algorithm that implements this filter for depth-of-field rendering. Moreover, we demonstrate that the opaque image blur can also be used to add motion blur effects to images in real time.

    JVRB, 10(2013), no. 5.

GI VR/AR 2011
  1. 2013-07-29

    Generating and Rendering Large Scale Tiled Plant Populations

    Generating and visualizing large areas of vegetation that look natural makes terrain surfaces much more realistic. However, this is a challenging field in computer graphics, because ecological systems are complex and visually appealing plant models are geometrically detailed. This work presents Silva (System for the Instantiation of Large Vegetated Areas), a system to generate and visualize large vegetated areas based on the ecological surrounding. Silva generates vegetation on Wang-tiles with associated reusable distributions enabling multi-level instantiation. This paper presents a method to generate Poisson Disc Distributions (PDDs) with variable radii on Wang-tile sets (without a global optimization) that is able to generate seamless tilings. Because Silva has a freely configurable generation pipeline and can consider plant neighborhoods it is able to incorporate arbitrary abiotic and biotic components during generation. Based on multi-level instancing and nested kd-trees, the distributions on the Wang-tiles allow their acceleration structures to be reused during visualization. This enables Silva to visualize large vegetated areas of several hundred square kilometers with low render times and a small memory footprint.

    JVRB, 10(2013), no. 1.