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RESULTS

In greater detail LIFEPLUS quantified specific results are:

Real-time "realistic" mixed reality life simulation. With the advent of virtual human actors such as the ones in the recent CG movie "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within", the race for heightened reality is prominent and such impressive results highlighted the fact. Even in the area of real-time 3D CG the pursuing for hyperrealism is driven by hardware and algorithmic research, development as well as the viewers expectations set by the film industry. Thus the expert research partners MIRALab, VRLab and industrial leader 2d3 upgraded their existing break-through technology to real time realistic mode. That involves :

a) Hair simulation
b) Cloth animation
c) Skin rendering and interactive programmable shading
d) Plant simulation
e) Artificial life methods for behavioral animation of virtual characters
f) Multi-resolution scalable graphics for dynamic Levels Of Detail
g) Realistic facial emotion expression.


Automatic Real-time Camera Tracking. In order to mix 3D computer graphics (CG) with footage of the real world, the CG camera needs to be matched to the actual camera that took the footage. This process ensures that the computer graphics elements match the perspective and movement of the real objects in the real camera shot. Camera tracking, as this technique is called, has been so far performed off-line and mostly involves manual editing work. Fundamental research extended the state of the art for camera tracking in unknown environments in real-time, for an interactive, immersive compelling historical recreation. The approach extended the only available in the market automated offline AR camera tracking software, which is provided by the industrial leader 2d3. Research pioneers FORTH added further new developments in this complex topic with another innovative approach.

Design of successful character based installations. In order for the overall installation to be successful, it must let people read the intentionality of the characters. LIFEPLUS active research provides new variety of ways to conceive such installations. A clear challenge at present is that there is no established paradigm for what an AR immersive virtual heritage experience involving groups of virtual life simulation should look like. This paradigm effects not only on the quality of the experience but also the technological implementation and commercial issues such as visitor throughput. New synergies between various disciplines (performing arts, AR technologies, marketing strategies) were forged to conceptualize characters in a way so that creators can generate AR installations that enable participants to read the desires, beliefs and actions of the virtual characters.

New Mixed Reality product markets. LIFEPLUS opens a wide range of applications where Virtual humans, animals and plants will be merged into a real-time in a real scene, such as a) new breed of highly valued edutainment experiences and presentation methods for the education/entertainment and tourism industry b) pre-visualization of special effects/ human animation in the movie industry c) many more practical and high potential applications foreseeable in fields such as maintenance, medical visualization, guidance and information, e-learning, virtual prototyping etc.