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Designing an Avatar with Amazon Sumerian for Virtual Cultural Heritage Projects

Rob Cloutier -- Digital History Studios

<p>2018/10/17 2:30pm</p>

<p>Why does some immersive experiences seem magical and transcend you to an alternative reality while other experiences do not produce the same effect? Based on our literature review** of over 30 projects both academic papers and commercial/independent projects, the most important criteria that separates the best immersive Virtual Cultural Heritage experiences from others is the concept of Social Presence. Social Presence provides an user with the feeling of being fully present and connected with others in the environment. Based on our literature survey, the Social Presence is achieved through virtual embodiment through use of Virtual Humans and Avatars in the experience. There is evidence to show that experiences that lack social presence reported users being bored, disengaged and uninterested. The presentation session will present some key findings from the literature review in terms of User Experiences and the a case study of use of Amazon Sumerian for creation and use of embodied virtual humans / agents in Virtual Cultural Heritage projects.</p>

Robert Cloutier has been a 3D animator for 25+ years with 12 in the games industry and 2 years in VR. He has lectured widely on VR including having served as an Adjunct Professor at UMBC.