SIGGRAPH 2008 > For Attendees > Classes > A 60-Second Introduction to Augmented and Virtual Reality

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Don't be a WIMP: A 60-Second Introduction to Augmented and Virtual Reality

8:30 am - 10:15 pm
Room 502 A
Level: Beginning

Theme: SIGGRAPH Core

Virtual and augmented reality have been around for a long time, but for most people they are movie fantasies. Very few people outside a few research labs have worked with or experienced these systems. On the other hand, interactive 3D graphics is ubiquitous, mostly in the form of games. More and more people are working in animation and games, creating models and programs for interactive 3D applications on standard monitors.

The goal of this class is to demonstrate that the leap to actual immersive or augmented environments is not as big as you might think. It explains how high-powered 3D graphics cards, mainstream applications of stereoscopic displays in 3D TV and movies, and webcams that achieve TV-quality images have significantly lowered the barriers to entry. And how, in combination with those hardware advances, freely available software based on open standards like X3D provides all the tools you need to access the elusive world of virtual and augmented reality applications. Following a summary of the basic principles of stereo displays, tracking systems and post-WIMP interaction metaphors, the main part of the course is a practical introduction to creating and running your own interactive and immersive applications.

Basic knowledge of computer graphics. Understanding of what polygons, lights, and cameras are. Helpful but not required: graphics programming or 3D animation experience. This class is intended for attendees who are interested in interactive 3D graphics and might want to move beyond the WIMP (Window, Icon, Menu, Pointer) environment.

Johannes Behr
Fraunhofer Institut für Graphische Datenverarbeitung

Dirk Reiners
University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Instructor Information

Johannes Behr
Johannes Behr leads the VR group at the Fraunhofer Institut für Graphische Datenverarbeitung in Darmstadt, Germany. His areas of interest focus on virtual reality, computer graphics and 3D interaction techniques. Most of the results of his recent work are available as part of the InstantReality Framework. He has an MS from the University of Wolverhampton and received his PhD from the Technische Universität Darmstadt.

Dirk Reiners
Dirk Reiners is a faculty member in computer science at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. His research interests are in interactive 3D graphics and software systems to make building 3D applications easier. He has an MS and a PhD from the Technical Technische Universität Darmstadt and is the project lead for the OpenSG open-source scenegraph.