SIAT Faculty Publications

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Affective communication remapping in MusicFace System

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2004-07
Abstract: 

This paper addresses the issue of affective communication remapping, i.e. translation of affective content from one communication form to another. We propose a method to extract the affective data from a piece of music and then use that to animate a face. The method is based on studies of emotional aspect of music and our behavioural head model for face animation.

Document type: 
Conference presentation

IT Education, Girls, and Game Modding

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

Researchers have argued that video games have great utility for learning. Games promote experiential learning and can be used to facilitate active learning. This paper examines the potential of video games in education. In particular, it examines the benefits of game modding compared to playing and/or creating games. However, video game classes have been primarily attended by male students. This paper looks further into the gender issue regarding the use of video game modding in education. This is demonstrated through a course developed by the authors on game design. The main goal of the course was to introduce middle school and high school female students to IT and assist them in acquiring five basic IT skills. During the course, survey data was collected from participating students. Results from the surveys as well as analysis of student projects and anecdotal evidence suggest that using video game modding is successful in increasing self-efficacy and motivation as well as teaching female students basic IT skills.

Document type: 
Article

Applying Principles from Performance Arts for an Interactive Aesthetic Experience

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

Heightening tension and drama in 3-D interactive environments is a hard, but important problem. It is important for its potential utility in increasing motivation, involvement, engagement, and providing an overall pleasing aesthetic experience. These constructs are not only useful for entertainment applications, but can also impact training and edutainment applications due to the impact of emotions on learning. To stimulate emotional engagement, many researchers have explored several techniques, including enhancing the story content, developing new algorithms for dynamically creating stunning visual effects, and enhancing 3-D sound. In this paper, I describe a set of new design techniques based on a study of film and theatre theories, including acting and screenwriting. These design techniques are integrated within a multiagent interactive drama architecture. In this paper, I will discuss this architecture elaborating on the implementation of the theories studied and discussed from film and performance arts.

Document type: 
Article

Is Seeing a Virtual Environment Like Seeing the Real Thing?

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009
Abstract: 

Immersive virtual environments (IVE) are increasingly used in both fundamental research like experimental psychology and applications such as training, phobia therapy, or entertainment. Ideally, people should be able to perceive and behave in such IVEs as naturally and effectively as in real environments – especially if real-world transfer is desired. Being inherently mobile species, enabling natural spatial orientation and cognition in IVEs is essential. Here, we investigated whether seeing a virtual environment has a similar effect on our spatial cognition and mental spatial representation as a comparable real-world stimulus does – if it does not, how could we assume real-world transfer?

Document type: 
Article
File(s): 

A 3D virtual environment for social telepresence

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2002-03
Abstract: 

We examine OnLive Traveler as a case study. Traveler is a clientserver application allowing real-time synchronous communication between individuals over the Internet. The Traveler client interface presents the user with a shared virtual 3D world, in which participants are represented by avatars. The primary mode of communication is through multi-point, full duplex voice, managed by the server. Our design goal was to develop a virtual community system that emulates natural social paradigms, allowing the participants to sense a tele-presence, the subjective sensation that remote users are actually co-located within a virtual space. Once this level of immersive "sense of presence" and engagement is achieved, we believe an enhanced level of socialization, learning, and communication are achievable. We examine a number of very specific design and implementation decisions that were made to achieve this goal within platform constraints. We also will detail some observed results gleaned from the virtual community userbase, which has been online for several years

Document type: 
Conference presentation

Process Drama in the Virtual World - A Survey

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

Process drama is a form of improvisational drama where the focus is on the process rather than the product. This form of improvisational activities has been used extensively in many domains. Role play, for example, has been used in health therapy as well as for training health personnel. Creative drama is a form of process drama that focuses on the use of story dramatization techniques; it has been extensively used to promote language and literature skills as well as creative and critical thinking. In these domains process drama exhibit itself in physical space. Recently, there have been many advances in technology that allows process drama to be exhibited in virtual space. In this article, we look at the form and structure of process drama. We specifically discuss process drama, especially Creative Drama. We outline several key factors of process drama that affect its effectiveness as a learning vehicle, including involvement and reflection. Through this lens, we survey several cases of virtual process drama both as a single person experience as well as a multiuser internet-based virtual experience.

Document type: 
Article
File(s): 

Interaction, Narrative, and Drama Creating an Adaptive Interactive Narrative using Performance Arts Theories

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

Interactive narratives have been used in a variety of applications, including video games, educational games, and training simulations. Maintaining engagement within such environments is an important problem, because it affects entertainment, motivation, and presence. Performance arts theorists have discussed and formalized many techniques that increase engagement and enhance dramatic content of art productions. While constructing a narrative manually, using these techniques, is acceptable for linear media, using this approach for interactive environments results in inflexible experiences due to the unpredictability of users? actions. Few researchers attempted to develop adaptive interactive narrative experiences. However, developing a quality interactive experience is largely an art process, and many of these adaptive techniques do not encode artistic principles. In this paper, I present a new interactive narrative architecture designed using a set of dramatic techniques that I formulated based on several years of training in film and theatre.

Document type: 
Article

Learning Through Game Modding

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2006-01
Abstract: 

There has been a recent increase in the number of game environments or engines that allow users to customize their gaming experiences by building and expanding game behavior. This article describes the use of modifying, or modding, existing games as a means to learn computer science, mathematics, physics, and aesthetic principles. We describe two exploratory case studies of game modding in classroom settings to illustrate skills learned by students as a result of modding existing games. We also discuss the benefits of learning computer sciences skills (e.g., 3D graphics/mathematics, event-based programming, software engineering, etc.) through large design projects and how game design motivates students to acquire and apply these skills. We describe our use of multiple game modding environments in our classes. In addition, we describe how different engines can be used to focus students on the acquisition of particular skills and concepts.

Document type: 
Article

Intelligent Lighting for Game Environments

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2005-03
Abstract: 

Lighting design is an important topic of game development. There are many functions that lighting assumes in game environments, including directing attention, establishing good action visibility, evoking emotions, setting atmosphere, and providing depth. Current lighting design techniques rely on static manually designed lighting, where designers set up the positions, angles, and colors for each light in a level. Game environments are dynamic and unpredictable; physical and narrative scene content, including character locations, tension, and narrative goals, change unpredictably in real time due to user interaction. Thus, current static techniques often do not adequately adapt to serve desired aesthetic and communicative functions or perceptual effects. Recently, Doom 3 incorporated dynamic real-time lighting and demonstrated many advantages of using real-time dynamic lighting in games, including heightening the emotional engagement and enhancing the overall interactive experience. However, the technique is scripted and tightly coupled to game content. In this article, we present ELE (Expressive Lighting Engine), an intelligent lighting system that automatically sets and adjusts scene lighting in real time to achieve aesthetic and communicative functions, including evoking emotions, directing visual focus, and providing visibility and depth. ELE operates as a separate system that interacts with game/graphics engines through a standard interface. In this article, we will discuss ELE and its interface with Unreal Tournament 2003. We will also present results showing ELE in action. These results show: the utility of real-time adaptive lighting in providing visual focus, setting atmosphere, evoking emotions, and establishing visibility during interaction in interactive environments; and acceleration in the development process due to the introduction of an automatic system for lighting that can be overridden by designers at a high level, thus eliminating the time-consuming process of setting individual light parameters for each level and scene.

Document type: 
Article

A control strategy for a distributed power generation microgrid application with voltage and current controlled source converter

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2010-12
Abstract: 

This paper presents a pseudodroop control structure integrated within a microgrid system through distributed power generation (DPG) modules capable to function in off-grid islanded, genset-connected, and grid-connected modes of operation. System efficiency has an important role in order to harvest the maximum available renewable energy from dc or ac sources while providing power backup capability. A control strategy is proposed in off-grid islanded mode method based on the microgrid line-frequency control as agent of communication for energy control between the DPG modules. A critical case is where the ac load demand could be lower than the available power from the photovoltaic solar array, where the battery bank can be overcharged with unrecoverable damage consequences. The DPG voltage-forming module controls the battery charge algorithm with a frequency-generator function, and the DPG current source module controls its output current through a frequency-detection function. The physical installation between DPG modules is independent, since no additional communication wiring is needed between power modules, which represent another integration advantage within the microgrid-type application.

Document type: 
Article