The IEEE VR held a new pre-conference workshop this year on Virtual Humans and Crowds for Immersive Environments. Movies like Lord of the Rings and video games like Assassin’s Creed use this research in order to create convincing group behaviors with NPCs, and architects want to be able to test their building designs to ensure that they are comfortable for different types of flows of people and evacuation scenarios.
There are a number of non-VR researchers who are studying how groups of move through through different situations and contexts, and virtual reality is providing new opportunities to test out some of their theories within immersive environments. At the IEEE VR, I had a chance to Rutger’s professor Mubbasir Kapadia who studies crowd simulation and his latest book is called “Simulating Heterogeneous Crowds with Interactive Behaviors.” We talk about his research and theories into how to describe and simulate crowd behaviors, some of the entertainment and architectural applications, how VR can be used to test and verify some of these theories, and some of the big open questions that are driving his research.
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