Courses‎ > ‎

Virtual Reality Course


This course is offered as a block course in late September (see below for dates and location)  for students of the Faculty of Computer Science. It takes place at the 3D-Lab at the Media Campus of h_da in Dieburg. The language is German.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality (VR) is a technology of human-computer interaction. It's mission statement is to place a human user into a computer-generated spatial environment, enabling interaction with the whole body addressing all senses.  

Virtual Realty Life Cycle (Gartner Group 2013)
Since its invention in the early 1990s VR was considered as 'emerging' technology and has been hyped and written off many times since then. 

Still, in the last 20 years VR has been applied  in many areas (industry, medicine, academic, design & art) and was subject to continuous improvement by research and development.

At the same time the cost of a VR system (hardware and software) evolved from a fortune ( > 100 000€) to next to nothing (< 1000€). 

With the advent of low cost, high quality hardware (3D HD projectors, head mounted displays e.g. Oculus Rift, tracking systems e.g. Microsoft Kinect) and software (free or low-cost rendering and game engines, e.g. Unity), VR 
is now on the brink of a major break through in the areas of entertainment and simulation.  This is not only the opinion of a die-hard fan base (see Kickstarter search for 'virtual reality') but also of well known research institutes (e.g. Gartner Group).

Course Structure

During an intense week of lectures (topics see below) and practical tasks participants are introduced to VR as media and technology. At the end of the course week, r&d tasks will be assigned to individuals or small groups of students. Each task includes the preparation of a research talk and the development of a practical demonstrator. For the latter, the equipment of the 3D-Lab is at the participant's disposal:

  • 3D stereo projection system
  • Vicon tracking system
  • Oculus Rift Development kit
  • Unity Game engine (Pro license)

Lecture topics planned:
  • Introduction (fields of application, creation of immersion and presence, media history)
  • Real-time graphics (hardware accelerators, scene graph, rendering techniques)
  • Device technology (stereoscopy, head mounted and panorama displays, motion tracking)
  • Behavior simulation techniques of:
    • Physical systems (rigid body physics, particle systems)
    • Biological systems (artificial live, crowd simulation)
    • 'Intelligent' behaviour (path finding, action planning)
  • 3D interaction and interfaces
  • Augmented reality (overlay of virtual and physical environment)

Dates and Location

  • Lecture week: September 24th - 30th, 10:00 to 17:00, 3D-Lab, room F17/23 at mediencampus Dieburg
  • Final presentation: November 21st  14:00 - 18:00
  • In between frequent consulting and access to the 3D-Lab is offered
  • Any further questions? Contact me!