The influence of avatar (self and character) animations on distance estimation, object interaction and locomotion in immersive virtual environments

Erin A. McManus, Bobby Bodenheimer, Stephan Streuber, Stephan De La Rosa, Heinrich H. Bülthoff, Betty J. Mohler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Humans have been shown to perceive and perform actions differently in immersive virtual environments (VEs) as compared to the real world. Immersive VEs often lack the presence of virtual characters; users are rarely presented with a representation of their own body and have little to no experience with other human avatars/characters. However, virtual characters and avatars are more often being used in immersive VEs. In a two-phase experiment, we investigated the impact of seeing an animated character or a self-avatar in a head-mounted display VE on task performance. In particular, we examined performance on three different behavioral tasks in the VE. In a learning phase, participants either saw a character animation or an animation of a cone. In the task performance phase, we varied whether participants saw a co-located animated self-avatar. Participants performed a distance estimation, an object interaction and a stepping stone locomotion task within the VE. We find no impact of a character animation or a self-avatar on distance estimates. We find that both the animation and the selfavatar influenced task performance which involved interaction with elements in the environment; the object interaction and the stepping stone tasks. Overall the participants performed the tasks faster and more accurately when they either had a self-avatar or saw a character animation. The results suggest that including character animations or self-avatars before or during task execution is beneficial to performance on some common interaction tasks within the VE. Finally, we see that in all cases (even without seeing a character or self-avatar animation) participants learned to perform the tasks more quickly and/or more accurately over time.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - APGV 2011
Subtitle of host publicationACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on Applied Perception in Graphics and Visualization
Pages37-44
Number of pages8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Event8th Annual Symposium on Applied Perception in Graphics and Visualization, APGV 2011 - Toulouse, France
Duration: 2011 Aug 272011 Aug 28

Publication series

NameProceedings - APGV 2011: ACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on Applied Perception in Graphics and Visualization

Other

Other8th Annual Symposium on Applied Perception in Graphics and Visualization, APGV 2011
CountryFrance
CityToulouse
Period11/8/2711/8/28

Keywords

  • Head mounted displays
  • Immersive virtual environments
  • Perception
  • Virtual avatars

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition

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    McManus, E. A., Bodenheimer, B., Streuber, S., De La Rosa, S., Bülthoff, H. H., & Mohler, B. J. (2011). The influence of avatar (self and character) animations on distance estimation, object interaction and locomotion in immersive virtual environments. In Proceedings - APGV 2011: ACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on Applied Perception in Graphics and Visualization (pp. 37-44). (Proceedings - APGV 2011: ACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on Applied Perception in Graphics and Visualization). https://doi.org/10.1145/2077451.2077458