Project Reviews

In this page I am going to review projects from CS491 course. In particular, I am going to review the two projects I have like the most but first, I would like to precise that although I found low frame rates in both the projects, this is an issue that I have found on my notebook. During the presentations the projects seem far more "smooth" as they will probably be on every machine of any Virtual Reality addicted. Apart from that, I love the work these guys have done, so let's start!

Project 1

This project has been done by Francesco Mantovani, Francesco Marcantoni and Giovanni C. Monna. The thing I liked the most about this project is that they have created a really realistic office. They have planned the office with attention and they cared about details: you find in the room what you expect to find in a real space. Sounds are accurate and the rooms are decorated with a consistent elegant style.

As they stated, the main room has been divided into three zones: the meeting area, the working area and the chilling out zone. These three zones are not actually divided by walls, but they are divided by themes.

The meeting area is really informal. It looks like the ones you expect to find in high-tech startup led by young computer science students. There are food, beverage and some sofas. They have a little problem in their video: Darth Vader sound does not stop. Instead when I try the project, I can't find a way to make the sound start.

In the center of the main room there is the working area. It is very realistic. It includes technological stuffs like desktops, notebooks, smartphones as well as other objects for hand writing. There is a big printer with a good sound. Lots of objects are throwable but not all.

Finally, in the main room you will find the chilling out zone. This is the part of the room I like the most. It includes the funniest stuff of the project: table football, minigolf. The best of them is probably the minigolf since you can play with it (although maybe is not that easy!).

Finally they have included in the room some interesting objects that will capture your attention. As mentioned before, there is a Darth Vader representation. But they have also added a Pikachu and a drone. It is cool that you can actually move the drone with your hands as well that it is an object that can be related to the work of an high-tech startup.

The authors have created also other two rooms. The restroom is really elegant and, again, the sounds are realistic. The billiard room is really nice and it is well integrated in the style of the whole project. It is a nice elegant features that perfectly matches the design of the other objects and spaces.

To conclude, I have noticed a little issue with the project. The frame rate is quite low and sometimes it makes difficult to use the project. However, I really love the accuracy and dedication the authors have put in their job: there is clearly a planning behind the work.

Link to the project page: https://gmonna.github.io/InYourRoom/

Project 2

The author of this project is Aldo Alvarez. Although he has worked alone he has made a really good job, comparable to some of the projects create by groups.

The style of the room is really different to the one of the other project. It seems less formal but maybe more welcoming. There are lots of warm colors inside the room.

The room has been divided mainly into two areas: one for work and one for relax. Actually the second one seems pretty bigger than the other one but I still think that the space has been well organized.

Frame rate is not really good and it doesn't let you appreciate the project. I miss the presence of an ambient music but you can be "disturbed" by some funny stuff sounds: I am talking about Angry Birds and Minions. Technically speaking there are some issues with the sounds when you open the project: at the beginning you will hear some noisy sounds they will then disappear in a few seconds. This should be probably related to some objects that will take some seconds to "find" a fixed positions (maybe they fly when you open the project and they then fall down making these sounds). Anyway there is a nice cool feature related to sound. You can play music with a set of boxes as shown before. They are a good "model" of a piano and you can actually use them to play notes by touching them. I remember the creator playing the most famous notes of the 9th Symphony by Beethoven. This is probably the features I have appreciated the most and this is way I am reviewing this project.

Another cool stuff is the ping pong. I really appreciate the intention of the author who would like to create some objects to interact with. It is kind of hard to use the ping pong, but at least you have some experience to try: well done. Ping pong ball also feels really realistic in both bounce and sound. Furthermore the author has also added another game based on little (wood?) boxes: you have to take one off of them without making all the structure collapse. Can you do that? Good, now you have to take off another one 😉

A good note on the meeting room: lights have a trimmer and chairs are really nice. Their colors give vivacity to the ambient.

In conclusion, apart from some technical issue, I really enjoy the fact the creator has tried, and actually succeed, in entertain the user by offering some funny games to enjoy.

Link to the project page: http://aalvar76.people.uic.edu/mainproject1.html