Real-time Visualization & Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality
Explores the interactive virtual reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) system, and real time rendering for architectural visualization, Human Computer Interaction, spatial behavioral and way-finding studies.

Book Chapter: Cyber-Physical Experiences

Book Chapter

Turan Akman, and Ming Tang. Cyber-Physical Experiences: Architecture as Interface

in the book Virtual Aesthetics in Architecture: designing in mixed realities. Routledge, 2021.

  

Virtual Aesthetics in Architecture: Designing in Mixed Realities presents a curated selection of projects and texts contributed by leading international architects and designers who are using virtual reality technologies in their design process. It triggers discussion and debate on exploring the aesthetic potential and establishing its language as an expressive medium in architectural design. Although virtual reality is not new and the technology has evolved rapidly, the aesthetic potential of the medium is still emerging and there is a great deal more to explore.

 

Cyber-Physical Experiences: Architecture as Interface

Turan Akman [STG Design] and Ming Tang [University of Cincinnati]

Conventionally, architects have relied on the qualities of elements, such as materiality, light, solids, and voids, to break away from the static nature of space and enhance the way users experience and perceive architecture. Even though some of these elements and methods have helped create more dynamic spaces, architecture is still bound by the conventional constraints of the discipline. With the introduction of technologies such as augmented reality (AR), it is becoming easier to blend digital and physical realities and create new types of spatial qualities and experiences, especially when this is combined with virtual reality (VR) early in the design process. Although these emerging technologies cannot replace the primary and conventional qualitative elements in architecture, they can be used to supplement and enhance the experience and qualities architecture provides.

in order to explore how AR can enhance the way architecture is experienced and perceived and how VR can be used to enhance the effects of these AR additions, the authors have proposed a hybrid museum in which AR is integrated into conventional analog methods (e.g. materiality, light) to mediate spatial experiences. The authors also created a VR walkthrough and collected quantifiable data on the spatial effects of these AR additions to evaluate the proposed space.

Check more info at Chapter 9 | Cyber-physical experiences

Project Stage

Project “Stage” is a stand-alone rendering engine developed by Ming Tang, using runtime load asset, as well HDRI backdrop methods in UE4. It is a windows application for users to quickly load their FBX file into a virtual environment for first-person, and third-person walk-throughs.

This stand-alone program allows users to load external 3D models in runtime instantly. The Stage environment includes UI to load FBX models during runtime, several HDRI lighting domes, and interactive characters. The Stage promotes iterative design and encourages designers to explore the creative potentials through real-time feedback. Project bus stop and burning man were both developed using the stage as a pre-VIZ tool.

The Stage allows students to (1) present their 3D model to the reviewer without waiting for renderings. No packaging time is required. Design is ready instantly in a game environment. (2) Control an avatar to navigate space and explore the form through first-person or third-person views. (3) By loading design iterations in Stage and examining the frame rate and loading time, students learned the importance of optimizing a model. (4) Test the UV mapping, and scene hierarchy (5) Test the low-poly collision objects and navigation mesh. (5) Have fun. There is a hidden Easter egg to be discovered.

 

download windows application “Stage” here. ( zip) 660MB

( password “stage”)

Tutorial 1.  how to use Stage

Export model from Rhino or 3dsMax as FBX, Create collision object with “UCX_” preface. Use standard material. import into Stage. Customize material. Notice. You might need to clean up your mesh model in Rhino or optimize at 3dsMax before exporting to FBX.

 

Tutorial 2. how the application was built in Unreal.

Third-person character, HDRI backdrop, FBX runtime import plugin.

 

Easter Egg

There is an Easter Egg in Stage, see if you can find it. Clue:

An invisible scroll,  only the hero can see

Not in the fall, but in the green

on the plain surrounded by trees

find the trail that leads ten feet underneath

to the fiery domain of Hades

Virtual Reality for caregiver training

Assess the effectiveness of using Virtual Reality for caregiver training

Urban Health Pathway Seed Grant. PI: Ming Tang. Partner. Council on Ageing, LiveWell Collaborative. $19,844. 03. 2021-3.2022

Result: COA EVRTalk 

EVRTalk virtual reality caregiver training

 

This project aims to investigate the effectiveness of using Virtual Reality to build empathy for the care recipient by allowing the caregiver to experience day-to-day life from the care recipient’s perspective. Ming Tang leads a research team to work with COA and LiveWell Collaborative to develop and evaluate an expandable set of VR training modules designed to help train family and friends who are thrust into the caregiving role. Ming Tang lead the LWC team and design the simulated decision trees, scenarios, and hand-tracking technologies in an immersive VR environment.

COA is awarded $25,000 from the CTA Foundation Grant in 2021.

In the UC News. share point.

project featured in Data ,Matter, Design

Bubbles: Optical Illusions of Volume.  Project by Ming Tang, Mara Marcu, and Adam Schueler is featured in the book Data, Matter, Design: Strategies in Computational Design.

Edited By Frank Melendez, Nancy Diniz, Marcella Del Signore.

ISBN 9780367369095
Published September 30, 2020 by Routledge
308 Pages 224 Color Illustrations

VR for Police Training

Active Shooter Simulation

Develop several fully immersive 3D VR active shooter scenarios that can run on cost-effective commercially available VR hardware.

Final Report for OCJS Project

Develop and Assess Active Shooter Virtual Reality Training for Ohio Law Enforcement.  PI: J.C Barnes. Co-PI: Tang Office of Criminal Justice Services. $50,000. 09. 2020-09.2021 ( $29,608)

Development of a Virtual Reality Augmented Violence Reduction Training System for Active and Mass Shooting incidents. PI: Ed Latessa. Co-PIs: J.C. Barnes, Ming Tang, Cory Haberman, Dan Gerard, Tim Sabransky. $10,000. Start-up fund. UC Digital Futures anchor tenant cohort.

Shimmer GSR sensor is used to test Physiological stress. 

Checklist

Using Checklists and Virtual Reality to Improve Police Investigations. Collaborative Research Advancement Grants. UC. $25,000. PI: Haberman. Co-PI: Tang, Barnes. Period: 07.2020-01.2022.

Team:

Ming Tang, Cory Haberman, J.C. Barnes, Cheryl Jonson, Dongrui Zhu, Heejin Lee, Jillian Desmond, Ruby Qiu, Snigdha Bhattiprolu, Rishyak Kommineni

Design Process

To create simulated human behavior, either during the active shooting, or the casual human dialogue, the team designed a A.I system to simulate the decision trees. Please watch the technique breakdown demo.