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An integrated pipeline to create and experience compelling scenarios in virtual reality

Springer, Jan P.; Neumann, Carsten; Reiners, Dirk; Cruz-Neira, Carolina


Jan P. Springer

Carsten Neumann

Dirk Reiners

Carolina Cruz-Neira


Geraldine S. Cheok

J. Angelo Beraldin

Michael B. McCarthy

Ulrich Neuschaefer-Rube

Atilla M. Baskurt

Ian E. McDowall

Margaret Dolinsky


One of the main barriers to create and use compelling scenarios in virtual reality is the complexity and time-consuming efforts for modeling, element integration, and the software development to properly display and interact with the content in the available systems. Still today, most virtual reality applications are tedious to create and they are hard-wired to the specific display and interaction system available to the developers when creating the application. Furthermore, it is not possible to alter the content or the dynamics of the content once the application has been created. We present our research on designing a software pipeline that enables the creation of compelling scenarios with a fair degree of visual and interaction complexity in a semi-automated way. Specifically, we are targeting drivable urban scenarios, ranging from large cities to sparsely populated rural areas that incorporate both static components (e. g., houses, trees) and dynamic components (e. g., people, vehicles) as well as events, such as explosions or ambient noise. Our pipeline has four basic components. First, an environment designer, where users sketch the overall layout of the scenario, and an automated method constructs the 3D environment from the information in the sketch. Second, a scenario editor used for authoring the complete scenario, incorporate the dynamic elements and events, fine tune the automatically generated environment, define the execution conditions of the scenario, and set up any data gathering that may be necessary during the execution of the scenario. Third, a run-time environment for different virtual-reality systems provides users with the interactive experience as designed with the designer and the editor. And fourth, a bi-directional monitoring system that allows for capturing and modification of information from the virtual environment. One of the interesting capabilities of our pipeline is that scenarios can be built and modified on-the-fly as they are being presented in the virtual-reality systems. Users can quickly prototype the basic scene using the designer and the editor on a control workstation. More elements can then be introduced into the scene from both the editor and the virtual-reality display. In this manner, users are able to gradually increase the complexity of the scenario with immediate feedback. The main use of this pipeline is the rapid development of scenarios for human-factors studies. However, it is applicable in a much more general context. © 2011 SPIE-IS & T.


Springer, J. P., Neumann, C., Reiners, D., & Cruz-Neira, C. (2011). An integrated pipeline to create and experience compelling scenarios in virtual reality. Proceedings of SPIE, 7864, 43070.

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (published)
Conference Name Three-Dimensional Imaging, Interaction, and Measurement
Acceptance Date Jan 26, 2011
Publication Date Feb 21, 2011
Print ISSN 0277-786X
Publisher Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers
Volume 7864
Article Number ARTN 786418
Pages 43070
ISBN 9780819484017
Public URL
Publisher URL

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