The effects of texture on distance estimation in synthetic environments
Rowland, James H.
Krebs, William K.
Darken, Rudolph P.
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To determine whether egocentric distance judgments are accurate in a virtual environment with different ground surface textures. Observers were immersed within a virtual environment consisting of a large L-shaped room with a column located down one corridor and a flagpole located down the other. The observer's task was to view the column, then turn 90 degrees to view the other corridor where the flag was positioned. The observer then moved the flag's position (by using the joystick) until the distance between the observer and the flag was the same as the distance between the observer and the column. A within- subject design with column size (2 levels), column distance (4 levels), and surface texture (9 levels) was used. The texture beneath the column and the flag was varied from a high-density texture (grass), to medium-density (brick), to a low-density texture pattern (carpet). A within-subject design with column size (2 levels), column distance (4 levels), and surface texture (9 levels) was used. Subjects' distance estimates were significantly better when the brick texture was used underneath the column, than when the grass or carpet texture was used.
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