Virtual Simulations Inc. – Virtual reality system design, 3D worlds and more

Previous and ongoing projects

F16 Flight Simulator

In this project, we are designing a full immersion flight simulator that uses head tracking and a stereoscopic head mounted display. This allows the pilot to look around freely inside and out the cockpit. The stereovision allows better interaction with the various F16 dashboard controls and gives a very dramatic feel of depth and body reference within the moving aircraft. The screen shot on the right shows the current state of the system. The virtual flight area uses ground textures based on actual satellite imagery to present an as close as possible view of the flight area. It includes the use of actual satellite GIS (Geographic Information Systems) data and Digital Elevation Models (DEM) to correctly model terrain heights. The scenery database is provided by our business partner TrianGraphics GmbH.

You can see a video of the system in use below:

Helicopter Simulator / Ride for Location Based Entertainment Centers

This system is ideal for any public exhibit requiring ease of use for the users while providing a high degree of sensation and immersion feeling. The ride can be customized to fit specific client’s needs. For instance, we can provide our clients with a reconstitution of the flight area where the entertainment center is geographically located, allowing participants to fly over their own city. The level of realism and photo-realistic quality is determined by the available client budget and can be customized and balanced accordingly, providing the best experience for each client needs and capabilities.

Architectural Design 3D Models

Virtual walkthroughs are among the first uses of virtual reality. Virtual simulations Inc. offers 3D modeling services along with other design aspects of a full turnkey VR simulation system. For instance, the virtual scene shown on the right was used in a CAVE environment and allowed the user to move around and place furniture objects interactively using his hands. Once the furniture placement is complete, the user can save the dynamically edited VR scene in a file on the system for later use.

Virtual reality and architecture can be merged together to form a very efficient way to convey the sense of space and volume in architectural design that are still on the drawing board. There are many potential uses for it. It can be used to show your architecture models to your clients and allow you to discuss possible modifications, right at the beginning of your design phase. It can also be a valuable internal tool that let the architects test proof their designs by literally walking into them, using exact on-scale representation of their design.

Home Theater Virtual Design

This project consisted of designing and testing the ergonomics of a home theater environment. All the objects modeled to constitute the virtual home theatre room were made on scale so that exact positioning of furniture could be tested. Exact location of the front projection system was also geometrically tested so that it takes into account the screen size and positioning. Once the VR simulation is made, it is easy to show many viewing angle to the client so that he can have a better view of the final room layout.

Here again, it is easy to see the power of virtual reality when used in such applications. These 3D dynamic models not only allow the client to see his new home theater room before it gets constructed. It also allows the designer to geometrically and precisely test all the factors of the design regarding placement of components. Virtual sound propagation model could even be applied with proper software simulation so that optimum placement of speakers could be determined beforehand.

Solar System Simulator

The solar system simulator is an interactive and immersive turnkey system that is targeted at science museums or any educational public exhibits needs. It allows the visitors to view in full stereoscopy each planet of our solar system. This virtual reality system is more than an hologram standing in front of the user. Using a helmet mounted display (HMD), the user is actually standing in the middle of the solar system, surrounded by 3D objects in all directions. This system can be customized to the specific needs of the client. The solar system can be viewed using helmet mounted displays or large screen in various configurations, allowing a maximum amount of users to participate at the same time.

The solar system simulation is not only an observatory experience, it is an experimental experience as it lets the user manipulate and interact with the virtual scene. The user is in control and can fly through the solar system seamlessly, revolve around planets and inspect them from many angles.

The value of this simulator is to provide both a highly entertaining and educational experience. While flying through the solar system, the user will be able to fully take consciousness of the immensity of our solar system while understanding the proportions of the distances separating each planet and their respective orbits around the sun.

The user can control various simulation parameter in real-time such as the scale of the solar system with regard to him / her as well as the speed of the planets movements using 3D floating menus user interfaces.

VR User Interface Prototyping

This is a prototype representation of user interface design for CAVE environments. The grid represents the actual extents of the CAVE environment. Virtual Simulations Inc. often uses prototyping techniques such as the ones shown here to test pre-implementation designs before coding actually begins. This allows us to easily discuss with our clients about design issues and establish the most efficient way to begin development work on the projects.

A video animation of the system prototype, while in use, is available here.

Virtual Laboratory Simulation Prototyping

Virtual prototyping goes beyond simple architectural walkthroughs. In this project, we prototyped a complete laboratory bench with its related electronic and optic elements. The pictures below illustrate the initial prototyping phase in which we built computer animations of the future virtual reality simulation system. This allows us to basically do 3D sketching of the final VR system before we begin the actual design phase. As you will see later-on, it is a very effective way to test initial design concepts in advance.

In the following pictures, we can see the resulting computer generated view of the prototype as well as the actual 3D modeling phase that was required to create the prototype.

Here we can see user interface ergonomics testing prior to the actual coding of the VR simulation begins.

The picture on the side shows the resulting VR laboratory system based on the prototype shown earlier. Using this desktop VR simulation, the user can manipulate an optical laboratory setup in the optical communication field. Wavelength tunable lasers are shown with their driver control boxes. The user can interactively change parameters of these lasers to change their optical wavelength. Other instruments shown on the laboratory bench allows the user to monitor specific experimental values to obtain the desired result. The scene was modeled on scale with each device placed at the same location it was found on the real-life laboratory bench. This VR simulation allowed students to “play” with this high-precision equipment without risking damaging anything. Another great benefit is high portability compared to the real laboratory room and equipment.