Principal Investigator:
Dennis J. Cafiero (540-557-6096)


A Systematic Approach to Evaluate Three Dimensional File Compatibility and Conversion Tools in Virtual Environmnents.


3D Studio Max is the leading modeling application for the architectural profession and many leading animation companies. 3D-Studio has the capability of creating realistic models of proposed buildings or of existing buildings. When using 3D-Studio for use in Virtual Environments such as the CAVE, conversion methods have been unsuccessful in the use of correct texture mapping and lighting in a CAVE or in a VE simulation. The focus of my study will be to analyze the available converters for use in Virtual Environments (VEs) and the process in creating the three dimensional models for  CAVE type environments.

Progress: (as of 3/1/99)

My current research has involved integrating Virtual Reality into the architectural practice. This has mostly been done using 3D-Studio because it is highly regarded as the preferred modeling package for the architectural practice.  The problem that I have been running into is the conversion of the data from 3D-Studio into real-time. This will bring me to the focus of my study.


The main objective of the class project will be to look at the variety of conversion application available for viewing in real-time environments and perform an evaluation of the methods in using them. The study will look at how effective commercial  converters. The evaluation will cover  the following area :

1. Model Development for use in VEs
    a. Design process
    b. Techniques for an effective conversion

2. Texture conversion
     a.  Texture Mapping (UVW mapping)
     b. Material and Texture

 3. Lighting
     a.  How can lighting from 3D-studio be used in  Virtual Environments?
     b.  How many lights can be used in a CAVE environment?
     c. What lights are supported in the CAVE environments?
            1. Spot Lights
            2. Omni lights
            3. Direct spot
            4. Ambient

 3.Level of Detail
    a. How can LOD command in 3D-Studio be used in VEs?
    b. Does the LOD command convert into VEs?

4. Polygon Management
    a. Optimize command