Home » VR-REU 2024 » Intricate eye movement and it’s affect on perceived realism in Look alike Avatars

Intricate eye movement and it’s affect on perceived realism in Look alike Avatars

Deshanae Morris, Farmingdale State College

Week 1:

The first week of the REU program began on the 2nd of June where I got to meet the group I would be working with for the next 8 weeks over a fun game of bowling. Everyone was extremely welcoming and although I utterly failed the game that day I still enjoyed myself. The following day, the group got to know their mentors and toured Hunter College. For the remainder of the week, I dedicated my time to brainstorming unique ideas and diligently working on drafting and finalizing my research proposal. I also conducted a literature review to ensure that my proposal was unique. While there is still a significant amount of work ahead, I am excited about the journey and look forward to achieving much more in the upcoming weeks.

Week 2:

During the second week of the REU program, I continued to develop my proposal, literature review, and methodology. This past week has been dedicated to understanding the technical aspects of my study to begin implementing my methodology. Dr. Wole has introduced the REU group to various applications and concepts related to 3D modeling and virtual reality systems, enhancing our familiarity with these tools. I have been practicing more with Reallusion as I will need it for my research paper, but I still have much more work to do to produce my final product.

Week 3:

This past week, I have refined my methodology and concentrated on the technical aspects of my research. I have focused on creating the first of two look-alike avatars required for the study. I successfully developed a realistic avatar that closely resembles myself. I will continue using character creator in Reallusion to see if I can make my avatars more similar to the models than they already are. In the upcoming week, I plan to complete the second avatar, a male look-alike, but I am pleased with the progress thus far. Additionally, I experimented with the facial puppet and live face features in iClone to achieve the desired emotions and scenarios, but it was fascinating to see my look-alike avatar come to life. Additionally, Dr. Wole went over immersion, presence, and reality with the group so we were further familiarized with reality systems and immersion. In the following week, I aim to begin recording the videos needed for my survey, complete the audio recordings, and develop the survey so I can start collecting data for my research.

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Week 4:

This week, we concentrated on finalizing our methodology. I continued to refine my skills with Reallusion, Character Creator, and iClone to develop two avatars, one of myself and one of Dr. Wole, that I felt confident with. Utilizing the facial puppet feature in iClone, I began varying the eye movements in these look-alike avatars. However, I will continue to explore the applications and features to enhance their eye movements and facial expressions further.

The group also dedicated time to preparing for the midterm presentation scheduled for the end of the week. We each created slideshows and demos to showcase our progress, ensuring that everyone was informed about the individual projects and the overall direction of our work. I produced several demo videos to present to the group, aiming to see if they could accurately identify the different eye movements in my avatars. This exercise provided valuable insights into how participants in my survey might respond to my research. Regarding my research objectives, I plan to conduct a survey evaluating realism, emotion/intention, perception, and comfortability using a self-introduction scenario, more specifically seeing how these eye movements play a role in an observational social context.

Week 5:

This week, our entire group concentrated on developing our surveys. I did start with Google Forms, but it wasn’t able to achieve what I hoped to capture with my data so I moved over to Qualtrics. I added most of my questions and videos to the survey through Qualtrics, but Dr. Wole and I agreed that adding cropped videos of my avatars would be a compelling element so I had to add those in too. As I continue editing my survey I gain more and more confidence in my research and I am excited about what I am planning to contribute to the research community. Throughout the week, we continued expanding our knowledge of virtual reality and 3D modeling with Dr. Wole. It’s always exciting to learn something new in the tech world.

This weekend, we’re planning a lunch cruise as we approach the end of the REU. It’s a bittersweet moment, but I’m looking forward to having fun and getting to know my group even better. By the end of the weekend, my survey should be finalized, and I should have some collected data to start adding to Overleaf. I can’t wait to see how the participants respond to my work!

Week 6: 
I took the time to finalize my survey, and although I did have lots of revisions I ended up with a final product that I was really satisfied with. I used Qualtrics which took a little time to get used to because of my lack of knowledge of the software, but it ended up being rewarding when I got it to work. I ended up enjoying the process of making the survey and below I displayed the survey flow as a short insight into my survey and a component needed to create a survey using Qualtrics. I did stumble into a roadblock when developing my survey because my collected data was not displaying properly in the results section. It was hard trying to find a solution as this data is valuable to my research, but after importing my data to a copied version of my survey I managed to fix my problem. Additionally, Dr. Wole allowed the REU group to review two demo research papers on SIGGRAPH. It was refreshing to finally be on the other side, reviewing other papers instead of receiving feedback on my own. The end of the REU is approaching quickly therefore, I have to start adding and updating my research paper on Overleaf so I can present a final product.
Hunter College
City University of New York
695 Park Ave
New York, NY 10065

Telephone: +1 (212) 396-6837
Email: oo700 at hunter dot cuny dot edu

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