Perceptual Effects of Scene Context And Viewpoint for Virtual Pedestrian Crowds

Cathy Ennis, Dublin Institute of Technology
Christopher Peters
Carol O'Sullivan, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

Document Type Article

ACM transactions on applied perception, Volume 8 Issue 2, January 2011, Article No. 10. Association for Computing Machinery.


In this paper, we evaluate the effects of position, orientation and camera viewpoint on the plausibility of pedestrian formations. In a set of three perceptual studies we investigated how humans perceive characteristics of virtual crowds in static scenes reconstructed from annotated still images, where the orientations and positions of the individuals have been modifed. We found that by applying rules based on the contextual information of the scene, we improved the perceived realism of the crowd formations when compared to random formations. We also examined the effect of camera viewpoint on the plausibility of virtual pedestrian scenes and we found that an eye-level viewpoint is more effective for disguising random behaviours, while a canonical view- point results in these behaviours being perceived as less realistic than an isometric or top-down viewpoint. Results from these studies can help in the creation of virtual crowds, such as computer graphics pedestrian models or architectural scenes, and identify situations when users' perception is less accurate.