The Design of a Virtual Prototyping System for Authoring Interactive Virtual Reality Environments From Real-World Scans


Domain users (DUs) with a knowledge base in specialized fields are frequently excluded from authoring virtual reality (VR)-based applications in corresponding fields. This is largely due to the requirement of VR programming expertise needed to author these applications. To address this concern, we developed VRFromX, a system workflow design to make the virtual content creation process accessible to DUs irrespective of their programming skills and experience. VRFromX provides an in situ process of content creation in VR that (a) allows users to select regions of interest in scanned point clouds or sketch in mid-air using a brush tool to retrieve virtual models and (b) then attach behavioral properties to those objects. Using a welding use case, we performed a usability evaluation of VRFromX with 20 DUs from which 12 were novices in VR programming. Study results indicated positive user ratings for the system features with no significant differences across users with or without VR programming expertise. Based on the qualitative feedback, we also implemented two other use cases to demonstrate potential applications. We envision that the solution can facilitate the adoption of the immersive technology to create meaningful virtual environments.

In *The ASME Journal of Computing and Information Science in Engineering (JCISE) *
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