Techniques and architectures for 3d interaction

Gerwin de Haan
PhD thesis from Delft University of Technology - september 2009
Download the publication : Haa09.pdf [4.4Mo]  
Spatial scientific datasets are all around us, and 3D visualization is a powerful tool to explore details and structures within them. When dealing with complex spatial structures, interactive Virtual Reality (VR) systems can potentially improve exploration over desktop-based systems. However, from previous experience it was found that traditional interaction tools as used in desktop visualization systems do not function well within a Virtual Environment (VE), especially not for complex spatial data exploration tasks. Also the application of basic 3D interaction techniques is not straightforward, as they require customization for specific scenarios, applications and VR systems. This process of design, development and customization of 3D interaction techniques is not well supported by existing software tools for VR and visualization. In this thesis we focus on enhancing 3D interaction techniques and interfaces for data exploration in VR. Based on observations from human actions and perception in tracked, projection-based VR systems, we extend some fundamental 3D interaction metaphors. We propose an enhanced technique for 3D selection of objects in a VE, and explore 3D selection and manipulation in collaborative situations. From our work on these techniques we have come to consider 3D interaction as a complex, first-class component of 3D systems. In the integration of these advanced techniques in our framework and applications, we experienced many iterations of redesign and tuning. To better support this emergent development style, we developed a prototyping architecture for constructing and adapting VR applications. Because of the complexity of 3D interaction techniques, further support for their specific design and development was required. We extended the prototyping architecture with a modelling approach, specific to the description, execution and iterative improvement of interaction techniques. To truly enable the potential of an interactive VR system, expertise from many areas such as perception, usability design and software engineering needs to be integrated in its design. With the contributions presented in this thesis, we hope to improve this view and facilitate prototypical design and development cycles for improved 3D environments for interactive exploration.

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BibTex references

@PhdThesis { Haa09,
  author       = "Haan, Gerwin de",
  title        = "Techniques and architectures for 3d interaction",
  school       = "Delft University of Technology",
  month        = "september",
  year         = "2009",
  note         = "",
  type         = "phdthesis",
  url          = ""

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