3DUI Grand Prize 2010

We proud to announce that VRM team won the second prize on the "3DUI Grand Prize 2010" video-submission contest, that recently takes place as part of "IEEE Symposium on 3D User Interfaces 2010" in Waltham, Massachusetts USA.

Here`s a short description of task that was given to all teams:

Scene view
The 3D User Interfaces (3DUI) Conference (http://conferences.computer.org/3dui/3dui2010/) is running a new contest: the 3DUI Grand Prize. It is opened to anyone interested in 3D User Interfaces, from researchers, to students, enthusiasts, and professionals. The goal is to find innovative solutions to classic 3DUI problems (travel, selection, manipulation), so think outside the box, unleash your creativity and show your ideas to the 3DUI community! You can use whatever software and hardware you want (from simple mouse/keyboard, to spacemouse, haptics devices, multitouch tables, 3d trackers, a HMD, a CAVE etc) to achieve the task.

Your task is to find some objects in a supermarket, and move them to a table. Copies of the target objects are found on top of the purple table, and objects are in the aisles marked on top with a red dot board. Starting at a given position inside the shop that we'll mark as a viewpoint in this world, your interaction should allow the user to travel inside the shop to the aisles with objects (no need for collision detection). Once arrived at this destination, the user will have to find (ie.select then manipulate) among a given set of objects, the one object that is similar to the one on the purple table and then place it beside its copy in roughly the same orientation (travel then manipulate).

Sample supermarket model with more than 4000 items located was given, and research started...
Here you can see our video-submission of developed interface in action:

General approach description
We decided to build interface in such a way that it won`t depend on particular platform and can be used on PC as well as on consoles. Current prototype of interface is build for PC using Quest3D engine. Navigation, selection and manipulation techniques are combined together, and user can easily switch from one task to another, and even combine them.

Devices were used
Presented 3DUI techniques can be mapped on many input devices and can be rendered for any display, but main devices that we considered as minimum were: mouse + keyboard, 2D monitor, and PC with soundcard for optional audio feedback. To improve control even further, and add tactile feedback we used gamepad with vibration feedback (Logitech Rumblepad 2).

As a base we used standard DirectX fixed-function rendering pipeline, because it very fast on modern hardware. To make smaller amounts of draw-calls we used 2-level LOD system, all objects are drawn within 15 meter radius around user view-point, excluding camera`s frustrum-culling. In long term it allows very fast update of content and handles huge amount of different objects.

To give scene a good look, even with simple geometry we add SSAO and Hemispherical lighting as post-process, and also used pre-rendered Global Illumination to add more depth cues.

Presented techniques allow user to easily navigate in 3D scene, memorize needed objects, find them, and using basket move them to a table without need of making this operation for every single object separately. Put them in any position user wants, align them to horizontal surfaces, and rotate freely and intuitively. Plus, presented techniques doesn`t need special hardware, however they can be improved to work in immersive VR workstations.

We want to thank to all people who were involved in organization of such interesting contest, to contest chairs and to contest sponsors, and of course to all participants with whom we competed! :)

3DUI Grand Prize 2010 contest page
Sebastien Kunz notes about contest
Youtube play list with all video-submissions for the contest

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