New ways of worldmaking: The Alterne platform for VR art

Marc Cavazza, Jean-luc Lugrin, Simon Hartley, Paolo Libardi, Matthew J. Barnes, Mikael Le Bras, Marc Le Renard, Louis Bec, Alok Nandi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We introduce a novel approach to the creation of Virtual Reality Art installations, which supports the design of alternative worlds, in which laws of Physics can be redefined to induce new user experiences. To implement this concept of "Alternative Reality", we have used Artificial Intelligence techniques to support the definition of the virtual environment behaviour, an approach inspired by Qualitative Reasoning systems. Besides the redefinition of physical laws, we have developed mechanisms for eliciting causal relations between events, as causality plays an important part in users' perception of virtual worlds. Our pilot installation is a CAVETM-like system incorporating a state-of-the-art computer game engine as visualisation software, which has-been ported to this immersive display. The event-based system underlying the game engine is used to bypass the native Physics engine and replace it with our Alternative Reality software. A first prototype has been fully implemented, the Alternative Reality modules totaling over 100,000 lines of C++ code. We present early results obtained with this approach, illustrated with examples taken from two artistic briefs, developed by digital artists associated to this research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 12th annual ACM international conference on Multimedia
EditorsH. Schulzrinne, N. Dimitrova
Place of PublicationNew York
ISBN (Print)1581138938
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Event12th Annual ACM International Conference on Multimedia - New York, United States
Duration: 10 Oct 200416 Oct 2004
Conference number: 12th


Conference12th Annual ACM International Conference on Multimedia
Abbreviated titleMULTIMEDIA '04
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew York
Internet address

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