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Virtu'ART project

Description : Design of an advanced visually realistic and immersive rendering technology, applied to virtual helicopter interiors.

Partners : Optis, ESIL, Eurocopter, EADS, Institute of Movement Sciences (ISM)

Years : 2009-2012

Virtu'ART was to develop an advanced visually realistic and immersive rendering technology applied to virtual helicopter interiors (passenger cabin, cockpit). This technology is used at the beginning and throughout the design process thanks to a digital model based on a physical rendering of light. The project, launched in January 2009 for a period of three years, was authorized by the Pegase Technology Facility and included 5 partners: EADS Innovation Works, Eurocopter, the Information and System Sciences Laboratory (LSIS), OPTIS and the Etienne Jules Marey Institute of Movement Sciences and its Center for Virtual Reality of the Mediterranean (CRVM).

This project stems from the observation made by aeronautics engineers about their inability to accurately reproduce a realistic visual rendering in an immersive environment. This problem affects the development of the Virtual Reality Aided Design (CARV). Indeed, at present, in order to save time and money, aeronautics engineers need to specify, using virtual models, the visual perception functions of future aircraft.

The Virtu'ART project, originated in this context and responds to various issues basing its approach on advanced software technology of realistic visual rendering, applied to the representation of 3D models in an immersive environment. The software and algorithms developed during this project allow for better decision-making on the selection of shapes, colors, materials, lighting and displays of future aircraft. These choices will directly affect safety, on board comfort, and also facilitate the maintenance of systems from the early design phase. This technology addresses the needs of every user, whether the end customer, pilot, passenger as well as assembly and maintenance staff.

The integration of the human in the loop simulation is essential to assess the realism and best reproduce the visualization of the future product. The simulated model must be full scale to ensure consistency in the representation of volume and relief in order to best mimic the effects and potential problems. It is in this context that CRVM implemented a user-oriented interface to interact with the digital model and to define its intrinsic characteristics. This 3D toolkit oriented toward user behavior is completely innovative. This allows the user to view and analyze certain parameters as well as to interact with the digital mock-up in an easy and intuitive manner.

All interfaces developed by CRVM were subjected to a thorough sensorimotor behavior analysis/ to best select interaction modes and design HMIs to quickly acquire an intuitive behavior in this new environment.