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A flexible architecture for Virtual Humans in Networked Collaborative Virtual Environments

Pandzic, I. S. and Capin, T. K. and Lee, E. and Magnenat-Thalmann, N. and Thalmann, D.


Abstract: Although a lot of research has been going on in the field of Networked Collaborative Virtual Environments, most of the existing systems still use fairly simple embodiments for the representation of participants in the environments. This kind of systems can greatly benefit from a more sophisticated human representation. The users’ more natural perception of each other (and of autonomous actors) increases their sense of being together, and thus the overall sense of presence in the environment. The communication facilities are also improved because a realistic embodiment allows for gestural and facial communication. We present a flexible framework for the integration of virtual humans in the Networked Collaborative Virtual Environments. It is based on a modular architecture that allows flexible representation and control of the virtual humans, whether they are controlled by a physical user using all sorts of tracking and other devices, or by an intelligent control program turning them into autonomous actors. The modularity of the system allows for fairly easy extensions and integration with new techniques making it interesting also as a testbed for various domains from classic VR to psychological experiments. We present results in terms of functionalities, applications tried and measurements of performance and network traffic with an increasing number of participants in the simulation.


@inproceedings{86,
  booktitle = {Proc. Eurographics '97},
  author = {Pandzic, I. S. and Capin, T. K. and Lee, E. and Magnenat-Thalmann, N. and Thalmann, D.},
  title = {A flexible architecture for Virtual Humans in Networked Collaborative Virtual Environments},
  pages = {177-188},
  year = {1997},
  topic = {Networked Collaborative Virtual Environments}
}