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The impact of visually realistic weather system on the effectiveness of virtual reality training

The impact of visually realistic weather system on the effectiveness of virtual reality training

Samenvatting

Strukton Rail wants to try new training methods for their employees by creating a virtual reality simulation where the workers can practice in a safe environment. Strukton employees have to do maintenance work in heights in the rail track. Besides the risks related to the actual job of working in heights, external factors like the weather changes play a big role in the increase of risks in the worksite. In the VR simulation that will be created to solve the client’s problem, a weather system will be created to produce hazardous weather conditions, so the employees can practice in those conditions as well and learn about the conditions that they should stop working. In this research literature review is conducted to better understand what makes the different weather components look real and how to achieve better visual realism for a weather system in VR. Afterwards different approaches are tried in Unity engine to create a multi-layered weather system for a VR simulation. The focus of the prototyping was to create a realistic transition from a clear sky to a thunderstorm. During the experimental design, besides the realistic looking weather system, two more scenes were created. One where the complexity of the weather system was reduced, and the illumination of the environment wasn’t changing accordingly to the changes in the weather, and one where the weather system was rendered using cartoony shading and textures, rather than realistic looking ones. The three scenes were tested out with the safety officer of Strukton Rail and 9 other participants. During the tests it was found out that an increase in visual realism of the weather system had a significant role on the feeling of presence of the participants. It was noticed that what had the biggest impact in the effectiveness of the weather system was the change of lighting and illumination of the environment depending on the weather changes, and the increase in complexity/detail of the weather components. The rendering technique didn’t have a big impact as the cartoony rendered weather system was as clear as the realistic looking one, and according to the safety officer the thunderstorm felt hazardous in both scenarios.

Toon meer
OrganisatieSaxion
OpleidingCreative Media and Game Technologies
Datum2019-07-01
TypeBachelor
TaalEngels

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