Image courtesy UIC Engineering, Jim Young
Researchers: Kyra Jones
Kyra Jones, School of Design undergraduate student created a virtual reality environment for the CAVE2 “TRNQWRLD” under the supervision of EVL faculty and Design Professor Daria Tsoupikova. Using Unity and the Unity simulator for the CAVE2 developed by EVL PhD candidate Arthur Nishimoto, Jones was able to learn the software, create the models and develop a robust, highly engaging virtual reality application over a few short weeks.
Using an abstracted, yet familiar environment, TRNQWRLD aims to let the viewer experience nature up close. The user can interact with the animals in the space by simply walking towards them. The animals wait in an idle animation until the player gets close enough to trigger a reaction. Some animals have peaceful reactions, while others go into a defensive state.
The colors of the environment were chosen because of it’s calming color palette. Jones’ research of calming colors resulted in using a color scheme of an early morning sunrise over a lake. The blues and pinks are soft enough to not disturb the sense of tranquility in the world. All of the models used are low-poly, geometric models. The goal was to create a cohesive world, much like our natural world, but with its own visual language.
The colors found in nature were skewed, so the viewer could have a familiar yet distant sense when entering TRNQWRLD. The colors/patterns of the animals were realistic to create harmony between the color palettes used.
Animals have proven to be helpful in stressful situations. By having minimal interaction with animals, along with an unimaginable environment filled with peaceful sounds and colors, TRNQWRLD intends to relieve stress from everyday life. TRNQWRLD started as an idea to bring stress-relieving pets to those unable to have animal companions due to living situations. The project then evolved to presenting nature through a different lens. While there is still a sense of peace and tranquility, TRNQWRLD ultimately brings the wonders of nature to the viewer three-dimensionally.
Date: March 1, 2019 - May 4, 2019