Wright State University came to Designing Digitally when their own student team was creating a prototype. The students lacked the time and resources to create the rich 3D environment they needed for the development. Our previous 3D project experience made us a good choice to fill that need.
Wright State University was creating a 3D virtual reality simulation to be used in therapy for post-traumatic stress. With a head mounted display users would be immersed in the 3D environment to experience events that may cause anxiety in a safe controlled way.
A building on campus was selected as the location for the training. The team at Designing Digitally visited the campus in person to photographs of the environment and objects in them. Taking photos on site allowed us to have the most comprehensive accurate reference and source material for this development.
We utilized a 3D blueprint of the building for accurate proportions when laying out the models. Using the photos we created textures for the environment and objects as we built the models on top of that framework. We were tasked with creating 3 classrooms, a large auditorium, and the expansive hallways connecting them. We used Autodesk Maya for the 3D modeling and imported the model/textures into the Unity game engine to prepare it for presentation and delivery to Wright State.
Along with the visual familiarity, performance was another contending factor. Due to the increased hardware requirements brought on by high definition stereoscopic rendering we worked to reduce complexity and rendering draw calls. With that in mind we took special care to keep the models accurate without overcomplicating scenes which could lead to performance issues when all the other code and character elements were added.
The intended users of this simulation are veterans returning from active duty and adjusting to everyday life on campus. Using this familiar classroom environment triggering elements like sounds, people and events could be introduced to give a believable but safe setting to practice therapeutic techniques.
With the project completed and handed off the develop of the software is now in the student's hands. We stand ready to offer further assistance if needed or to expand the simulation environments to encompass more of the campus.