Interactive 3D Object Manipulation
Roland Steffan,Torsten Kuhlen*,andFrank Broicher
Department of Technical Computer Science
Aachen University of Technology Ahornstr. 55, D-52074 Aachen, Germany
Phone: +49-241-8026105 Fax: +49-241-8888308
During the last years, Virtual Reality (VR) has proven its potential for the visualisation and manipulation of complex data like 3D geometries generated by means of CAD applications. Though virtual environments can already profitably be integrated into engineers' daily work ( Gomes de Sa and Baacke 1998), there are still a lot of disadvantages in existing simulation systems, requiring trained engineers for performing interactive simulations. Especially, the lack of satisfactory feedback mechanisms in existing VR-based simulation environments complicates execution of interactive manipulations of virtual objects, as, e.g., necessary within VR-based assembly simulations. In detail, suitable modelling of user-object interactions, realistic simulation of object behaviour and intuitive presentation of information are missing.
Hence our research focuses on "physically-based modelling", "artificial support mechanisms" and "artificial sensory feedback" for interaction with virtual objects, which solve the described problems and increase user acceptance of and performance in virtual environments. A system called Virtual Workplace is used as evaluation environment, which integrates multi-plane non-immersive usercentred 3D visualisation, force-feedback technology and 3D sonification equipment ( Steffan, Kuhlen, and Loock 1998).
To perform a realistic and efficient simulation, object behaviour and information presentation in virtual environments need not necessarily be an exact imitation of real environments. Instead, the simulation software of the Virtual Workplace employs mechanisms, which are abstractions of events and actions occurring in real environments and support users while performing special tasks, e.g., by