Effects of Detail and Navigability on Size Perception in Virtual Environments

By Reza Sadeghi and So-yeon Yoon.

Published by The International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: July 5, 2016 $US5.00

Interior designers and architects using three-dimensional (3-D) computer-mediated design visualization strive to more accurately represent and communicate their designs. Today’s 3-D computer-aided design software packages are increasingly powerful yet user friendly in displaying rich details, to the extent of looking photorealistic. It is a common understanding that such high-fidelity 3-D images help improve understanding of the presented content. Increasingly, more design professionals use 3-D visualization techniques and interactive walk-throughs in 3-D virtual environments (VE). But beyond the engaging experience of VEs, little is known about how high-fidelity 3-D VEs can contribute to accurate communication of the design and space. In this paper, we empirically explore the impact of detail level and media format on viewer perception, while focusing on spatial size perception. To test the effects, two levels of detail (low versus high fidelity) and two different graphic formats, (a 3-D still rendering image versus a real-time navigable VE) were compared by a total of 72 participants. A 2 × 2 between-subjects design was used to examine the effects of detail level on viewers’ size perception in both the 3-D rendering and virtual environment. Findings from statistical analysis of increased visual cue and navigability effects are presented, as well as their joint effect. Theoretical and practical implications of the present study are discussed for anyone interested in adopting advanced 3-D CAD tools for spatial representation and interior design pedagogy.

Keywords: 3-D Display, Virtual Environments, Size Perception, Architecture, Interior Design

The International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design, Volume 10, Issue 3, September, 2016, pp.17-26. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: July 5, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 952.147KB)).

Reza Sadeghi

Graduate Student, Department of Architectural Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania, USA

So-yeon Yoon

Associate Professor, Department of Design and Environmental Analysis, College of Human Ecology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA