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Volume 20 / Issue 7

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DOI:   10.3217/jucs-020-07-1026


First-Person Locomotion in 3D Virtual Environments: a Usability Analysis

Sergio Moya (Polytechnical University of Catalonia, Spain)

Sergi Grau (Polytechnical University of Catalonia, Spain)

Dani Tost (Polytechnical University of Catalonia, Spain)

Abstract: 3D Virtual Environments (VE) are becoming popular as a tool for cognitive, functional and psychological assessment. Navigation in these environments is recognized as one of the most difficult activities in 3D Virtual Environments (VE). Users unfamiliar to 3D games, specially elder persons, get puzzled when they try to virtually move an avatar through these environments. Their inability to navigate prevents them from concentrating in the task and even to finish it. In this paper, we analyze the influence of different factors in locomotion control. We investigate the impact of having the cursor fixed at the camera center or leaving it free inside the current view. We also analyze the influence of the pitch angle on the camera control. In addition, we have designed an automatic locomotion system that we compare to user-controlled locomotion. We describe a virtual scenario and a test task that we have implemented to evaluate these different methods with users of diverse profiles.

Keywords: camera control, locomotion, navigation, usability, virtual worlds

Categories: D.2.8, H.2