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  1. 2007-10-11

    3-D Audio in Mobile Communication Devices: Methods for Mobile Head-Tracking

    Future generations of mobile communication devices will serve more and more as multimedia platforms capable of reproducing high quality audio. In order to achieve a 3-D sound perception the reproduction quality of audio via headphones can be significantly increased by applying binaural technology. To be independent of individual head-related transfer functions (HRTFs) and to guarantee a good performance for all listeners, an adaptation of the synthesized sound field to the listener's head movements is required. In this article several methods of head-tracking for mobile communication devices are presented and compared. A system for testing the identified methods is set up and experiments are performed to evaluate the prosand cons of each method. The implementation of such a device in a 3-D audio system is described and applications making use of such a system are identified and discussed.

    JVRB, 4(2007), no. 13.

ACE 2006
  1. 2007-04-25

    Why Death Matters: Understanding Gameworld Experience

    This article presents a study of the staging and implementation of death and the death penalty in a number of popular MMOGs and relates it to players general experience of gameworlds. Game mechanics, writings and stories by designers and players, and the results of an online survey are analysed and discussed. The study shows that the death penalty is implemented much in the same way across worlds; that death can be both trivial and non-trivial, part of the grind of everyday life, or essential in the creation of heroes, depending on context. In whatever function death may serves, it is argued that death plays an important part in the shaping and emergence of the social culture of a world, and in the individual players experience of life within it.

    JVRB, 4(2007), no. 3.

EuroITV 2006
  1. 2007-07-31

    Methods and Applications in Interactive Broadcasting

    Interactive TV technology has been addressed in many previous works, but there is sparse research on the topic of interactive content broadcasting and how to support the production process. In this article, the interactive broadcasting process is broadly defined to include studio technology and digital TV applications at consumer set-top boxes. In particular, augmented reality studio technology employs smart-projectors as light sources and blends real scenes with interactive computer graphics that are controlled at end-user terminals. Moreover, TV producer-friendly multimedia authoring tools empower the development of novel TV formats. Finally, the support for user-contributed content raises the potential to revolutionize the hierarchical TV production process, by introducing the viewer as part of content delivery chain.

    JVRB, 4(2007), no. 19.

  2. 2007-07-24

    Exploiting OSGi capabilities from MHP applications

    In this paper we introduce a cooperative environment between the Interactive Digital TV (IDTV) and home networking with the aim of allowing the interaction between interactive TV applications and the controllers of the in-home appliances in a natural way. More specifically, our proposal consists of merging MHP (Multimedia Home Platform), one of the main standard frameworks for IDTV, with OSGi (Open Service Gateway Initiative), the most widely used open platform to set up Residential Gateways. To overcome the radically different nature of these specifications the function-oriented MHP middleware and the service-oriented OSGi framework , we define a new kind of application, coined as XbundLET. Although this software bridge is suitable to enable the interaction between MHP and OSGi applications in both directions, we concretely focus on exposing our implementation experience in only one direction: from MHP to the OSGi world.

    JVRB, 4(2007), no. 16.

  3. 2007-07-04

    Semi-Automated Creation of Converged iTV Services: From Macromedia Director Simulations to Services Ready for Broadcast

    While sound and video may capture viewers' attention, interaction can captivate them. This has not been available prior to the advent of Digital Television. In fact, what lies at the heart of the Digital Television revolution is this new type of interactive content, offered in the form of interactive Television (iTV) services. On top of that, the new world of converged networks has created a demand for a new type of converged services on a range of mobile terminals (Tablet PCs, PDAs and mobile phones). This paper aims at presenting a new approach to service creation that allows for the semi-automatic translation of simulations and rapid prototypes created in the accessible desktop multimedia authoring package Macromedia Director into services ready for broadcast. This is achieved by a series of tools that de-skill and speed-up the process of creating digital TV user interfaces (UI) and applications for mobile terminals. The benefits of rapid prototyping are essential for the production of these new types of services, and are therefore discussed in the first section of this paper. In the following sections, an overview of the operation of content, service, creation and management sub-systems is presented, which illustrates why these tools compose an important and integral part of a system responsible of creating, delivering and managing converged broadcast and telecommunications services. The next section examines a number of metadata languages candidates for describing the iTV services user interface and the schema language adopted in this project. A detailed description of the operation of the two tools is provided to offer an insight of how they can be used to de-skill and speed-up the process of creating digital TV user interfaces and applications for mobile terminals. Finally, representative broadcast oriented and telecommunication oriented converged service components are also introduced, demonstrating how these tools have been used to generate different types of services.

    JVRB, 4(2007), no. 17.

  4. 2007-05-22

    Video Composer and Live Video Conductor: Future Professions for the Interactive Digital Broadcasting Industry

    Innovations in hardware and network technologies lead to an exploding number of non-interrelated parallel media streams. Per se this does not mean any additional value for consumers. Broadcasting and advertisement industries have not yet found new formats to reach the individual user with their content. In this work we propose and describe a novel digital broadcasting framework, which allows for the live staging of (mass) media events and improved consumer personalisation. In addition new professions for future TV production workflows which will emerge are described, namely the 'video composer' and the 'live video conductor'.

    JVRB, 4(2007), no. 10.

  5. 2007-03-23

    How to Improve the Production Process for interactive TV with semi-formal Methods

    The central question for this paper is how to improve the production process by closing the gap between industrial designers and software engineers of television(TV)-based User Interfaces (UI) in an industrial environment. Software engineers are highly interested whether one UI design can be converted into several fully functional UIs for TV products with different screen properties. The aim of the software engineers is to apply automatic layout and scaling in order to speed up and improve the production process. However, the question is whether a UI design lends itself for such automatic layout and scaling. This is investigated by analysing a prototype UI design done by industrial designers. In a first requirements study, industrial designers had created meta-annotations on top of their UI design in order to disclose their design rationale for discussions with software engineers. In a second study, five (out of ten) industrial designers assessed the potential of four different meta-annotation approaches. The question was which annotation method industrial designers would prefer and whether it could satisfy the technical requirements of the software engineering process. One main result is that the industrial designers preferred the method they were already familiar with, which therefore seems to be the most effective one although the main objective of automatic layout and scaling could still not be achieved.

    JVRB, 4(2007), no. 8.

GI VR/AR 2006
  1. 2008-01-22

    Augmenting a Laser Pointer with a Diffraction Grating for Monoscopic 6DOF Detection

    This article illustrates the detection of 6 degrees of freedom (DOF) for Virtual Environment interactions using a modified simple laser pointer device and a camera. The laser pointer is combined with a diffraction rating to project a unique laser grid onto the projection planes used in projection-based immersive VR setups. The distortion of the projected grid is used to calculate the translational and rotational degrees of freedom required for human-computer interaction purposes.

    JVRB, 4(2007), no. 14.

  2. 2008-01-18

    Interactive Augmentation of Live Images using a HDR Stereo Camera

    Adding virtual objects to real environments plays an important role in todays computer graphics: Typical examples are virtual furniture in a real room and virtual characters in real movies. For a believable appearance, consistent lighting of the virtual objects is required. We present an augmented reality system that displays virtual objects with consistent illumination and shadows in the image of a simple webcam. We use two high dynamic range video cameras with fisheye lenses permanently recording the environment illumination. A sampling algorithm selects a few bright parts in one of the wide angle images and the corresponding points in the second camera image. The 3D position can then be calculated using epipolar geometry. Finally, the selected point lights are used in a multi pass algorithm to draw the virtual object with shadows. To validate our approach, we compare the appearance and shadows of the synthetic objects with real objects.

    JVRB, 4(2007), no. 12.

  3. 2007-09-27

    Passive-Active Geometric Calibration for View-Dependent Projections onto Arbitrary Surfaces

    In this paper we present a hybrid technique for correcting distortions that appear when projecting images onto geometrically complex, colored and textured surfaces. It analyzes the optical flow that results from perspective distortions during motions of the observer and tries to use this information for computing the correct image warping. If this fails due to an unreliable optical flow, an accurate -but slower and visiblestructured light projection is automatically triggered. Together with an appropriate radiometric compensation, view-dependent content can be projected onto arbitrary everyday surfaces. An implementation mainly on the GPU ensures fast frame rates.

    JVRB, 4(2007), no. 6.

  4. 2007-08-21

    Tracking of industrial objects by using CAD models

    In this paper we present a model-based approach for real-time camera pose estimation in industrial scenarios. The line model which is used for tracking is generated by rendering a polygonal model and extracting contours out of the rendered scene. By un-projecting a point on the contour with the depth value stored in the z-buffer, the 3D coordinates of the contour can be calculated. For establishing 2D/3D correspondences the 3D control points on the contour are projected into the image and a perpendicular search for gradient maxima for every point on the contour is performed. Multiple hypotheses of 2D image points corresponding to a 3D control point make the pose estimation robust against ambiguous edges in the image.

    JVRB, 4(2007), no. 1.

GRAPP 2006
  1. 2009-11-12

    A Survey of Image-based Relighting Techniques

    Image-based Relighting (IBRL) has recently attracted a lot of research interest for its ability to relight real objects or scenes, from novel illuminations captured in natural/synthetic environments. Complex lighting effects such as subsurface scattering, interreflection, shadowing, mesostructural self-occlusion, refraction and other relevant phenomena can be generated using IBRL. The main advantage of image-based graphics is that the rendering time is independent of scene complexity as the rendering is actually a process of manipulating image pixels, instead of simulating light transport. The goal of this paper is to provide a complete and systematic overview of the research in Imagebased Relighting. We observe that essentially all IBRL techniques can be broadly classified into three categories (Fig. 9), based on how the scene/illumination information is captured: Reflectance function-based, Basis function-based and Plenoptic function-based. We discuss the characteristics of each of these categories and their representative methods. We also discuss about the sampling density and types of light source(s), relevant issues of IBRL.

    JVRB, 4(2007), no. 7.

  2. 2007-08-30

    Topologically Accurate Dual Isosurfacing Using Ray Intersection

    “Dual contouring” approaches provide an alternative to standard Marching Cubes (MC) method to extract and approximate an isosurface from trivariate data given on a volumetric mesh. These dual approaches solve some of the problems encountered by the MC methods. We present a simple method based on the MC method and the ray intersection technique to compute isosurface points in the cell interior. One of the advantages of our method is that it does not require us to use Hermite interpolation scheme, unlike other dual contouring methods. We perform a complete analysis of all possible configurations to generate a look-up table for all configurations. We use the look-up table to optimize the ray-intersection method to obtain minimum number of points necessarily sufficient for defining topologically correct isosurfaces in all possible configurations. Isosurface points are connected using a simple strategy.

    JVRB, 4(2007), no. 4.

  3. 2007-08-28

    High-Level Modeling of Multimodal Interaction Techniques Using NiMMiT

    The past few years, multimodal interaction has been gaining importance in virtual environments. Although multimodality renders interacting with an environment more natural and intuitive, the development cycle of such an application is often long and expensive. In our overall field of research, we investigate how modelbased design can facilitate the development process by designing environments through the use of highlevel diagrams. In this scope, we present ‘NiMMiT’, a graphical notation for expressing and evaluating multimodal user interaction; we elaborate on the NiMMiT primitives and demonstrate its use by means of a comprehensive example.

    JVRB, 4(2007), no. 2.

PerGames 2006
  1. 2007-02-06

    Marker-Based Embodied Interaction for Handheld Augmented Reality Games

    This article deals with embodied user interfaces for handheld augmented reality games, which consist of both physical and virtual components. We have developed a number of spatial interaction techniques that optically capture the device's movement and orientation relative to a visual marker. Such physical interactions in 3-D space enable manipulative control of mobile games. In addition to acting as a physical controller that recognizes multiple game-dependent gestures, the mobile device augments the camera view with graphical overlays. We describe three game prototypes that use ubiquitous product packaging and other passive media as backgrounds for handheld augmentation. The prototypes can be realized on widely available off-the-shelf hardware and require only minimal setup and infrastructure support.

    JVRB, 4(2007), no. 5.

GRAPP 2007
  1. 2008-01-29

    Fitting 3D morphable models using implicit representations

    We consider the problem of approximating the 3D scan of a real object through an affine combination of examples. Common approaches depend either on the explicit estimation of point-to-point correspondences or on 2-dimensional projections of the target mesh; both present drawbacks. We follow an approach similar to [IF03] by representing the target via an implicit function, whose values at the vertices of the approximation are used to define a robust cost function. The problem is approached in two steps, by approximating first a coarse implicit representation of the whole target, and then finer, local ones; the local approximations are then merged together with a Poisson-based method. We report the results of applying our method on a subset of 3D scans from the Face Recognition Grand Challenge v.1.0.

    JVRB, 4(2007), no. 18.

  2. 2008-01-24

    The art to keep in touch The good use of Lagrange multipliers

    Physically-based modeling for computer animation allows to produce more realistic motions in less time without requiring the expertise of skilled animators. But, a computer animation is not only a numerical simulation based on classical mechanics since it follows a precise story-line. One common way to define aims in an animation is to add geometric constraints. There are several methods to manage these constraints within a physically-based framework. In this paper, we present an algorithm for constraints handling based on Lagrange multipliers. After few remarks on the equations of motion that we use, we present a first algorithm proposed by Platt. We show with a simple example that this method is not reliable. Our contribution consists in improving this algorithm to provide an efficient and robust method to handle simultaneous active constraints.

    JVRB, 4(2007), no. 15.

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