The Electronic Visualization Environment (EVE) at the Oulu University of Applied Sciences (Oamk) is a collaboration environment between engineering and arts aiming to boost commercial and scientific approaches.
EVE provides tools for immersive content creation. Content may be artistic presentations, visualizations of constructed areas etc. EVE is a multisensory environment that provides means to display immersive contend with different kinds of displays such as audio display, curved screen, HMD devices etc.
Established in 2012 various companies, enterprises and research organizations has been using it to demonstrate and investigate various kinds of concepts, for example in:
- architecture and interior design
- game animation
- interaction research
- panoramic images and films
- data visualizations
Despite EVE is located in a physical room it is an enabler for displaying immersive content. Content itself is the key value and it is seen more important than the technological equipment. Therefore, our goal is to provide means for giving holistic 3D user experiences with rich value-added content.
Typically work on immersive environments has had an engineering point of view or a rather pragmatic goal. At EVE we are interested in creating rich, even artistic representations. Thus the virtual environment should be rich enough to uphold an artistic interest and combine immersive virtual reality applications with multi-layered, creative content production.
Immersive Environment at EVE is a physical setup that holds a curved optical projection screen with time-parallel front-projection stereo channels. The screen (13 x 2.5m, l x h) provides an opening angle of 180° with a 3.5m radius. Multiple high-resolution projectors display images with light output of approximately 50,000 ANSI lumens. To separate the time-parallel stereoscopic images Interference Filter Technology is used to avoid "ghosting" effect of more commonly used polarization technologies.
Software used for visualizations include professional tools such as 3D BIM supporting TechViz, VR4MAX and several game engines like Unity 3D, Unreal Engine etc. Typically, the game engine approach is used for purposes demanding visually higher quality content and richer interaction. TechViz is intended for the immediate visualization of OpenGL based 3D CAD designs. It does not require any file conversion as it captures the desktop of 3D CAD software and expands the image to the screen. This process spares much time and allows as well real-time annotation of the CAD design.
The motion capture (MOCAP) and tracking system equipment consists of twelve high speed infrared cameras, placed around the immersive room to form the tracking and motion capture data. A motion tracking enables the use of the tracking system to capture a human movement and makes it possible to be used in applications, like game development and generally in applications of a motion capture. The motion capture system combined with a controlling device act as the interaction metaphor for immersive content displayed in the curved screen.
Rich, saturated colors and color-changing effects can be projected by 10 DMX-controlled ambient RGB lights. A 7.1 surround system with active monitor loudspeakers and an active subwoofer is used for audio display.
There are also head-mounted displays (HMD) devices equipped with accelerometer, gyroscope, lighthouse laser tracking system and front-facing camera. The HMD devices can be used as independent devices or they may be combined with other technologies and software used at EVE.