Interaction and visualization techniques for immersive exploration and perception of 3D datasets


The objective in this case is not only to be realistic, but also to provide new and intelligible ways of model representation. This raises new issues in data perception. The question of perception of complex data, especially regarding visual feedback, is an open question, and it is the subject of this work. This PhD thesis studied the human perception in Immersive Virtual Environments of complex datasets, one of the applications is the scientific visualization of scalar values stemming from physics models, such as temperature distribution inside a vehicle prototype. The objective of the first part is to study the perceptive limits of volumetric rendering for the display of scientific volumetric data, such as a volumetric temperature distribution rendering using point cloud. We investigate the effect on the user perception of three properties of a point cloud volumetric rendering: point size, cloud density and near clipping plane position. We present an experiment where a series of pointing tasks are proposed to a set of users. User behavior and task completion time are evaluated during the test. The study allowed to choose the most suitable combination of these properties, and provided guidelines for volumetric data representation in VR immersive systems. In the second part of our work, we evaluate one interaction method and four display techniques for exploring volumetric datasets in virtual reality immersive environments. We propose an approach based on the display of a subset of the volumetric data, as isosurfaces, and an interactive manipulation of the isosurfaces to allow the user to look for local properties in the datasets. We also studied the influence of four different rendering techniques for isosurface rendering in a virtual reality system. The study is based on a search and point task in a 3D temperature field. User precision, task completion time and user movement were evaluated during the test. The study allowed to choose the most suitable rendering mode for isosurface representation, and provided guidelines for data exploration tasks in immersive environments.


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