WorldViz Vizard is a highly versatile virtual reality (VR) software toolkit that enables the creation of immersive and interactive virtual environments. A major capability offered by Vizard is the ability to incorporate avatars, 3D character models, and non-player characters (NPCs) into these environments. This essay provides an in-depth look at how Vizard facilitates avatar, character, and NPC integration and utilization for diverse applications.
Avatar and Character Creation
Vizard allows users to choose from its native library of character models and avatars or import custom ones created in third-party software like 3DMax. The native avatar library contains realistic human models with detailed facial and bodily attributes. Users can adjust parameters like height, weight, and clothing to customize these assets. For specialized characters, 3D models developed in professional 3D modeling tools can be imported. This level of flexibility enables Vizard developers to populate their virtual worlds with unique, highly customized avatar and character models suiting the context.
Animation and Interactivity
While basic avatar actions like walking come pre-programmed, Vizard enables further behavioral enhancements via Python scripting. Developers can use Python to add personality and emotional expressiveness to avatars by linking gestures and verbalizations to trigger events. For instance, an architect could program a guide avatar to gesture excitedly and explain design features when users approach certain areas. Vizard also connects with technologies like Microsoft Kinect to animate avatars using real human motion capture. This not only makes movements more natural but could allow therapists to inject patient motions into aspirational avatar models for motivation.
Functional Non-Player Characters
In gaming and simulations, non-player characters (NPCs) provide interactions without direct player control. Vizard allows programming such automated NPC behavior. For example, in a virtual classroom, developers can populate seats with student NPC avatars exhibiting random question-asking and answering to simulate real classroom dynamics. The sequence of actions can be pre-programmed or triggered situationaly for context-relevant autonomous interactions between NPCs, users, and the environment. This enhances user engagement and training effectiveness.
With capabilities spanning behavioral programming and motion capture connectivity, Vizard avatars and characters have extensive research applications. By tracking test subject reactions to varied emotional avatar cues, human-computer interaction scientists can formulate ideal responses for AI. Psychologists could analyze subjects’ willingness to confess secrets to virtual avatars versus real humans, shedding light on underlying perceptions. And medical researchers can construct physiologically-personalized aspirational avatars for patient motivation.
From the Blueprint screen to Python IDE, every aspect of Vizard—including its avatar/character workflows—is designed for intuitive application development. Whether it is creating expansive multiplayer metaverses or targeted medical visualizations, developers enjoy tremendous flexibility in crafting and leveraging avatars, characters, and NPCs. Core functionalities intersect with endless customization and scripting potential to turn imaginative visions into immersive virtual experiences spanning gaming, training, design, and medicine. Vizard places no limits, and its mature avatar/NPC ecosystems will only continue evolving to power more innovations.