Infoscience

Journal article

Visual creation of inhabited 3D environments: An ontology-based approach

The creation of virtual reality applications and 3D environments is a complex task that requires good programming skills and expertise in computer graphics and many other disciplines. The complexity increases when we want to include complex entities such as virtual characters and animate them. In this paper we present a system that assists in the tasks of setting up a 3D scene and configuring several parameters affecting the behavior of virtual entities like objects and autonomous virtual humans. Our application is based on a visual programming paradigm, supported by a semantic representation, an ontology for virtual environments. The ontology allows us to store and organize the components of a 3D scene, together with the knowledge associated with them. It is also used to expose functionalities in the given 3D engine. Based on a formal representation of its components, the proposed architecture provides a scalable VR system. Using this system, non-experts can set up interactive scenarios with minimum effort; no programming skills or advanced knowledge is required.

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