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The influence of avatar (self and character) animations on distance estimation, object interaction and locomotion in immersive virtual environments

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons84240

Bodenheimer B, Streuber,  S
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons83877

de la Rosa,  S
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons83839

Bülthoff,  HH
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons84088

Mohler,  BJ
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

McManus, E., Bodenheimer B, Streuber, S., de la Rosa, S., Bülthoff, H., & Mohler, B. (2011). The influence of avatar (self and character) animations on distance estimation, object interaction and locomotion in immersive virtual environments. In 8th Symposium on Applied Perception in Graphics and Visualization (APGV 2011) (pp. 37-44). New York, NY, USA: ACM Press.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-BAE0-9
Abstract
Humans have been shown to perceive and perform actions differently in immersive virtual environments (VEs) as compared to the real world. Immersive VEs often lack the presence of virtual characters; users are rarely presented with a representation of their own body and have little to no experience with other human avatars/characters. However, virtual characters and avatars are more often being used in immersive VEs. In a two-phase experiment, we investigated the impact of seeing an animated character or a self-avatar in a head-mounted display VE on task performance. In particular, we examined performance on three different behavioral tasks in the VE. In a learning phase, participants either saw a character animation or an animation of a cone. In the task performance phase, we varied whether participants saw a co-located animated self-avatar. Participants performed a distance estimation, an object interaction and a stepping stone locomotion task within the VE. We find no impact of a character animation or a self-avatar on distance estimates. We find that both the animation and the self-avatar influenced task performance which involved interaction with elements in the environment; the object interaction and the stepping stone tasks. Overall the participants performed the tasks faster and more accurately when they either had a self-avatar or saw a character animation. The results suggest that including character animations or self-avatars before or during task execution is beneficial to performance on some common interaction tasks within the VE. Finally, we see that in all cases (even without seeing a character or self-avatar animation) participants learned to perform the tasks more quickly and/or more accurately over time.