Ruwayda Alharbi, Ondrej Strnad, Laura R. Luidolt, Manuela Waldner, David Kouřil, Ciril Bohak, Tobias Klein, Eduard Gröller, Ivan Viola
Nanotilus: Generator of Immersive Guided-Tours in Crowded 3D Environments
IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics:1-16, December 2021. [Image] [Paper]

Information

  • Publication Type: Journal Paper (without talk)
  • Workgroup(s)/Project(s):
  • Date: December 2021
  • DOI: 10.1109/TVCG.2021.3133592
  • Journal: IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
  • Open Access: yes
  • Pages (from): 1
  • Pages (to): 16

Abstract

Immersive virtual reality environments are gaining popularity for studying and exploring crowded three-dimensional structures. When reaching very high structural densities, the natural depiction of the scene produces impenetrable clutter and requires visibility and occlusion management strategies for exploration and orientation. Strategies developed to address the crowdedness in desktop applications, however, inhibit the feeling of immersion. They result in nonimmersive, desktop-style outside-in viewing in virtual reality. This paper proposesNanotilus---a new visibility and guidance approach for very dense environments that generates an endoscopic inside-out experience instead of outside-in viewing, preserving the immersive aspect of virtual reality. The approach consists of two novel, tightly coupled mechanisms that control scene sparsification simultaneously with camera path planning. The sparsification strategy is localized around the camera and is realized as a multiscale, multishell, variety-preserving technique. When Nanotilus dives into the structures to capture internal details residing on multiple scales, it guides the camera using depth-based path planning. In addition to sparsification and path planning, we complete the tour generation with an animation controller, textual annotation, and text-to-visualization conversion. We demonstrate the generated guided tours on mesoscopic biological models -- SARS-CoV-2 and HIV viruses. We evaluate the Nanotilus experience with a baseline outside-in sparsification and navigational technique in a formal user study with 29 participants. While users can maintain a better overview using the outside-in sparsification, the study confirms our hypothesis that Nanotilus leads to stronger engagement and immersion.

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BibTeX

@article{Alharbi_2021,
  title =      "Nanotilus: Generator of Immersive Guided-Tours in Crowded 3D
               Environments",
  author =     "Ruwayda Alharbi and Ondrej Strnad and Laura R. Luidolt and
               Manuela Waldner and David Kou\v{r}il and Ciril Bohak and
               Tobias Klein and Eduard Gr\"{o}ller and Ivan Viola",
  year =       "2021",
  abstract =   "Immersive virtual reality environments are gaining
               popularity for studying and exploring crowded
               three-dimensional structures. When reaching very high
               structural densities, the natural depiction of the scene
               produces impenetrable clutter and requires visibility and
               occlusion management strategies for exploration and
               orientation. Strategies developed to address the crowdedness
               in desktop applications, however, inhibit the feeling of
               immersion. They result in nonimmersive, desktop-style
               outside-in viewing in virtual reality. This paper
               proposesNanotilus---a new visibility and guidance approach
               for very dense environments that generates an endoscopic
               inside-out experience instead of outside-in viewing,
               preserving the immersive aspect of virtual reality. The
               approach consists of two novel, tightly coupled mechanisms
               that control scene sparsification simultaneously with camera
               path planning. The sparsification strategy is localized
               around the camera and is realized as a multiscale,
               multishell, variety-preserving technique. When Nanotilus
               dives into the structures to capture internal details
               residing on multiple scales, it guides the camera using
               depth-based path planning. In addition to sparsification and
               path planning, we complete the tour generation with an
               animation controller, textual annotation, and
               text-to-visualization conversion. We demonstrate the
               generated guided tours on mesoscopic biological models --
               SARS-CoV-2 and HIV viruses. We evaluate the Nanotilus
               experience with a baseline outside-in sparsification and
               navigational technique in a formal user study with 29
               participants. While users can maintain a better overview
               using the outside-in sparsification, the study confirms our
               hypothesis that Nanotilus leads to stronger engagement and
               immersion.",
  month =      dec,
  doi =        "10.1109/TVCG.2021.3133592",
  journal =    "IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics",
  pages =      "1--16",
  URL =        "https://www.cg.tuwien.ac.at/research/publications/2021/Alharbi_2021/",
}