Contribution to the study of visualization of real and virtual environments with an extended field-of-view

Abstract : Who have never wanted to have eyes in the back of his head? This doctoral thesis proposes to study the extension of the human field-of-view (FoV) in both real and virtual environments. First we have designed FlyVIZ, a new device to increase the human FoV. It is composed of a helmet, combining a catadioptric camera, a HMD and an image processing algorithm. Wearing this device allows a user to experience 360° vision of its surroundings. The prototype is demonstrated through scenarii such as grasping an object held out behind their back without turning their head or walking backward through doorways. Then we have proposed a novel method to render virtual environments with wide FoV in real-time. To solve the rendering issue induced by usage of non-planar projections, we introduce a special stage in real-time rendering pipeline. Our method was then adapted for real-time stereoscopic rendering with 360° FoV. We have conducted a preliminary evaluation of real-time wide FoV rendering for a navigation task in virtual reality. Our results confirm that using a wide FoV rendering method could lead to more efficient navigation in terms of average task completion time. Among the different tested non-planar projection methods, the subjective preference is given to equirectangular and Hammer projections. We also address the problem of frame cancellation, generated by the conflict between two depth cues: stereo disparity and occlusion with the screen border. We have proposed the Stereoscopy Compatible Volume Clipping (SCVC), solving the problem by rendering only the part of the viewing volume free of disparity - frame occlusion conflict. The method was evaluated and results have shown that SCVC notably improved users’ depth perception and that the users expressed preference for SCVC. Wide FoV opens novel perspectives for environments exploration or monitoring. Therefore, it could benefit to several applications, both in real world context or virtual environments. In safety and security applications, firemen, policemen or soldiers could take advantage of wide FoV. Performance of searching task and fast exploration in virtual environments could also be improved with wide FoV.
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Jérôme Ardouin. Contribution to the study of visualization of real and virtual environments with an extended field-of-view. Computer science. INSA de Rennes, 2014. English. ⟨NNT : 2014ISAR0024⟩. ⟨tel-01127582⟩

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