Past projects at the EVE

BS-VE - 3D Visualization of Building Services in Virtual Environment

The BS-VE project will develop methods and techniques for visualizing building services systems in 3D virtual reality environment. Special goal is to develop techniques for visualizing indoor climate and visual comfort parameters and integrating these with photorealistic space model. An open interface for data transfer from model databases to virtual environment is developed.

DIVA - Digital Interactive Virtual Acoustics

The DIVA group focuses on sound systems for virtual environments. Our aim is to deliver realistic audio for VR applications. Arhitectural acoustics, musical acoustics, auditory navigation, sound-based interaction and data sonification are our research fields.

DIVA Group

Snapshot of the SIGGRAPH 97 demo

Our flagship project is the DIVA real-time auralization engine for the EVE environment. With 15 high-quality loudspeakers and digital custom signal-processing software we can create simulated, physically valid acoustics for the EVE. The sound propagation in the space is calculated in real-time with the image-source method. The acoustics are then applied to the sound objects in the scene with custom signal processing software. With this method the user can be surrounded with natural sound field in the virtual space. As user moves, so ather acoustics chaged smoothly to match the motion.

When accuracy is the most important goal, real-time systems cannot yet be used. An off-line version of the software uses more computing time, but creates more accurate simulations. This system has been used to create video and movie soundtracks.

ELMER Post - Numerical data visualization in the EVE

In cooperation with the CSC Scientific Computing, a project was started in the summer of 2000, its purpose being to adapt the ELMER Post visualization application to the EVE.

ELMER Post displaying vectors visualizing flow velocity in a tube

CSC's ELMER includes physical models of fluid dynamics, structural mechanics, electromagnetics and heat transfer. These are described by partial differential equations which ELMER solves by the Finite Element Method (FEM). ELMER comprises of three different parts: The geometry, boundary conditions and physical models are defined in ELMER Front. The resulting problem definition is solved by ELMER Solver. Finally the results are visualized by ELMER Post.

ELMER Post has primarily been a tool for making still images on a workstation, and although the objects can be interactively manipulated with a mouse, the application has not been designed to respond in real time. Since the head-tracked operation in the EVE requires a high frame rate (at least 10 frames/sec), as well as simultaneous drawing of several graphics contexts, the porting process was not straightforward.

The first phase of the project has now been finished, and ELMER Post runs head-tracked in the EVE using all the available walls. The application is easily reconfigurable, so that it can be used with practically any kind of display system without recompilation. In the future we aim to improve the usability of the application, especially when inside a virtual room. This includes rewriting (or replacing) the current TCL/TK-based user interface, as well as studying ways to interact with the data using various input devices (wands, gloves etc.).

Finnish Defence Forces

TML laboratory is working with Finnish Defence Forces' Education Development Centre (PvKK) on a project in which the potential of applying virtual reality techniques to military training is being evaluated. The emphasis is on simulating military operations on urban terrain (MOUT).

Vehicle model ©1999 Terrex, Inc. Virtual Helsinki model ©1999 Arcus Software

The first phase of the project included a written study of current virtual reality technology and some VR-based applications for the current military training needs in Finland. As a part of this stage, a simple urban combat simulator demonstration was carried out in the EVE. The simulation included a vehicle (controlled from the console) and a head-tracked soldier standing in the EVE (inside the vehicle), searching and eliminating enemy targets with a tracked cordless mouse representing a gun.

The second phase was focused on adding functionality to the demonstration and studying further the issues concerning interaction, navigation and movement within a simulated world. The next step will be to adapt the demonstration to use the VR Juggler™ environment, which enables us to use for instance sound effects and more sophisticated vehicle controls (steering wheels, gas and brake pedals).

The future goals are to develop intelligent, animated virtual actors to represent enemy soldiers and study using one's own body movement to take cover from enemy fire, as well as networking with other CAVE™-type installations and tracking two soldiers in one vehicle. The ultimate goal is to develop a virtual environment in which soldiers can move without using a vehicle.

Technical Research Center of Finland

A project called Provis was a prestudy about transferring prototype 3D models from designers to the EVE environment. The parties in the project were Telecommunications Software and Multimedia Laboratory and VTT Manufacturing Technology Institute of Technical Research Centre of Finland.

Silja Serenade model from Technical Research Center of Finland

Specifically, the goal was to determine the extra value of a virtual room in the visualization of product prototypes, and to find an easy transportation path from the designer software systems to the EVE virtual environment. The aim was also to define the path so that the utilization of a virtual room in the visualization would not increase the workload in the initial modeling phase.

As the result, the project produced a collection of quite specific instructions and general information how (and how not) to import models into the EVE.

The project concentrated mostly in different vessel-models including the interiors of the vessels.