Perception of Colour and Space in Virtual Reality: a comparison between a real room and virtual reality models
Paper in proceedings, 2004
Virtual Reality has great potential to become a usable design tool for the planning of light and colour in buildings. The technical development has provided us with better computer graphics and faster rendering techniques. However, the reliability and usability is delimited by lack of knowledge about how humans perceive spatial colour phenomena. The setting up of parameters for material properties in light calculation software is done arbitrarily. We present a comparison between a real room and a digital model evaluated on a desktop PC and in an Immersive Projection Technology (IPT) type system. Data were collected from video recorded interviews and questionnaires. The participants assessed the appearance of light, colours and space. They also evaluated their involvement in solving this task, and their presence in each environment. Our results highlight the benefits and disadvantages of the real and virtual models. The participants had difficulties in estimating the size of both the desktop room and the room in the ITP system. The comparison of real and virtual rooms revealed unsatisfying differences in shadowing and colour appearance. We defined the magnitude of perceived colour reflections in the real room, and elaborated with some of the parameters in Lightscape/3dsmax6.