UC Merced's computer graphics lab, with body sensors, motion-capture cameras, and a giant movie screen is straight out of Hollywood. But instead of producing blockbusters, a group of UC Merced researchers are working to create more realistic human motions for virtual reality avatars. The movements are analyzed to create more lifelike virtual characters, which will have multiple applications.
The infrared cameras track and record a person’s movements down to a millimeter as they interact with a 3-D virtual environment.
UC Merced researchers in cognitive science and computer science are doing this interdisciplinary research. It is part of an overall university goal to connect different fields to address society's complex problems.
“Some of the problems that emerge in the space of engineering are problems that emerge in actual pointing among real humans,” cognitive science Professor Teenie Matlock said.