University of Minnesota
Master of Science in Software Engineering
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Using Flash Pictures to Synthesize Computer Graphic Images AND Making Small Spaces Feel Large: Practical Illusions in Virtual Reality

Date of Event: 
Saturday, December 7, 2019 - 8:00am to 11:30am
Location: 
Keller Hall, Room 3-230
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All Software Engineering Industrial Seminars are open to the public.

Title: Using Flash Pictures to Synthesize Computer Graphic Images

Speaker: Gary Meyer

Presented by the University of Minnesota Software Engineering Center

Abstract: A new image based rendering technique has been developed that takes advantage of the inherent simplicity of shooting flash photographs. Image based rendering differs from traditional methods of creating a computer graphic image in that it utilizes photographs of an object to create novel views of that object by carefully blending the limited set of pictures that were taken. The use of flash photographs greatly facilitates the process of re-illuminating the object and depicting how it would look when placed into new lighting environments. The approach is particularly valuable when working with shiny objects that were made using heterogenous materials and/or have irregular surfaces. In the case that the artifact is primarily made from a single material and has a smooth surface, the method can be used to recover the reflectance of the material, and that data can be used to make a traditional computer graphic rendering of the object. An innovative metric has also been created for using the flash photos to decide whether to employ either the traditional or the image based rendering approach. The work is illustrated using cultural heritage artifacts from the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

Bio: Gary Meyer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota. He has also been a member of the Computer Science faculty at the University of Oregon and a member of technical staff at Bell Telephone Laboratories. Meyer received his bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan, his master's degree Stanford University, and his Ph.D. from Cornell University. His research interests include the synthesis of color and appearance in computer graphic pictures, perceptual issues related to synthetic image generation, and color reproduction and color selection for the human-computer interface.

Title: Making Small Spaces Feel Large: Practical Illusions in Virtual Reality

Speaker: Evan Suma Rosenberg

Presented by the University of Minnesota Software Engineering Center

Abstract: Over the next decade, immersive technologies have the potential to revolutionize how people communicate over distance, how they learn, train, and operate in challenging physical environments, and how they visualize, understand, and make decisions based on an ever-growing landscape of complex data. However, despite rapid technical advances over the past few years and no small amount of media hype, there are numerous theoretical and practical problems yet to be solved before virtual reality can catch up with our imaginations and make good on these promises. Locomotion is one of the most significant interaction challenges in VR because body movement is constrained by the real world, and users may collide with walls or physical obstacles if they attempt to walk outside the boundaries of a "room-scale" space. In this talk, I will present a series of illusory techniques that imperceptibly manipulate the laws of physics to overcome the spatial limitations that normally restrict movement in the virtual world. This approach, know as redirected walking, has stunning potential to fool the senses. I will discuss empirical experiments that have convinced users they were walking along a straight path while actually traveling in a circle, or that they were exploring impossibly large virtual environments within the footprint of a single real-world room. Additionally, I will discuss technical challenges for developing redirected walking systems and present novel algorithms that can automatically redirect users in complex physical spaces with obstacles.

Bio: Evan Suma Rosenberg is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota. Previously, he was the Associate Director of the MxR Lab at the Institute for Creative Technologies and a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Southern California. His research interests are situated at the intersection of virtual reality and HCI, encompassing immersive technologies, 3D user interfaces, and spatial interaction techniques. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Computer Science at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2010 .


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