One of the most exciting aspects of virtual reality is how much it stimulates our imagination. We have developed a 3D sculpting environment in the CAVE that enables users to explore their creativity by manipulating virtual clay. The user can shape it, squeeze it, poke it, cut it, and create amazing objects and worlds interactively. The main goal of this application is to explore how immersive environments can be used as a place to create new shapes and new worlds from within.
Content creation for virtual environments typically follows the classic interactive graphics content workflow. First, a team of artists builds 3D models and develops surface textures for the models using desktop applications. Afterward, the result is brought into an immersive application where it is combined with many other similarly created assets.
While the former approach is well established, it is not the only option for creating content. Our immersive sculpting application allows the user to be creative inside the virtual environment and construct objects with our rich toolset for manipulating virtual clay. This type of modeling is especially well suited for creating organically shaped objects that can be easily designed and shaped with the use of tracked input devices.