Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts
IDIA Lab
+Services | IDIA Lab

IDIA leverages its expertise in visualization, simulation, interface design, games and virtual reality in providing clients custom solutions in a wide range of services and products. Please contact us to discuss your needs.

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+Virtual Worlds

Virtual worlds are three-dimensional environments that can provide compelling shared experiences for their users. These immersive spaces can connect to social networks, web-services, media and data to bridge into an entire universe of external content. We have developed scores of projects in virtual worlds and game engines including CryEngine, Unity 3D, Blue Mars, Jibe, Second Life, Open Simulator, and Quest 3D.

The virtual world workflow begins in Maya 3D, or other industry standard animation software packages used in visualization industries – where the geometries are proportioned and prepared to receive textures. The models are then brought into Unity 3D or similar game engine where the lighting, textures, real-time shadows, and physics simulations are applied. Any functionality or interactivity is then designed using the game engine’s internal scripting toolsets or external coding.

Virtual worlds and hybrid reality applications have recently been deployable and experienced on both internet browsers and mobile devices such as iPhones, Androids and tablets. As these new virtual capabilities scale down instead of up – their potential to be integrated into other hybrid experiences increases. Mobile devices are used to help us navigate, communicate, stay informed and be entertained – as these ever more powerful devices are embedded into our daily lives – they allow for a single project to be scaled for spectrum of immersive or mobile experiences. The same content from projects can now be realized as an executable, online browser, mobile device or even game consoles such as Nintendo Wii game using one production workflow.

Mellon Foundation Humanities Virtual World Consortium

BSU’s IDIA Lab was contracted by the Mellon Foundation Humanities Virtual World Consortium to design and develop a major open source virtual world initiative for Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage projects. The consortium – comprised of Kings College, London; UCLA; the University of Virginia and Trinity College, Dublin – turned to the expertise of BSU’s […]

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History Channel’s The Universe Features Virtual Stonehenge

IDIA Lab has developed a simulation of Stonehenge in Unity 3D which illustrates the various stages of construction and celestial alignments in an interactive virtual simulator. The project incorporates IDIA Lab’s CelestialEngine which uses NASA JPL data to accurately position the sun, moon and visible planets – correcting for changes in time in the Earth’s […]

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Virtual Worlds and Blackboard Learn Projects

BSU’s IDIA Lab is working on several joint projects with Blackboard Learn – including the integration of an embedded multiuser virtual world directly into a Blackboard Learn course as well as a new update for Version 9 Bb of our open source Blackboard Learn Virtual World Building Block project – compatible with both Open Simulator […]

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Virtual Hadrian’s Villa Launch at Harvard Center

[NEW] Hadrian’s Villa Canopus Virtual World (multi-player version): http://idialabprojects.org/hv/canopus/canopus_public.html Hadrian’s Villa Canopus Virtual World (single-player version): http://idialabprojects.org/hv/hvopening.html IDIA Lab has designed a virtual simulation of the villa of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site located outside of Rome in Tivoli, Italy. This project has been produced in collaboration with the […]

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Ball State University’s IDIA Lab is granted rights to Blue Mars virtual world technology from Avatar Reality

Ball State University’s IDIA Lab is granted rights to Blue Mars virtual world technology from Avatar Reality http://bit.ly/BSU_BlueMars Ball State granted rights to develop $10 million Blue Mars virtual world technology (3/5/2012) Ball State granted rights to develop $10 million Blue Mars virtual world technology (3/5/2012) A digital laser scan of a centuries-old Buddha (above) and […]

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IDIA Lab Featured on WTHR News for Virtual Reality research

The future of home entertainment is taking a giant step forward into the world of virtual reality. More devices are hitting the market that transform the way we look at the world around us, and a group of developers at Ball State is on the cutting edge. It’s something we experienced first-hand at Ball State […]

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Virtual Apollo 15

IDIA Lab’s Virtual Apollo 15 is a simulation of the mission which launched on July 26, 1971 from the Kennedy Space Center, at Cape Canaveral, Florida. During the launch, the S-IC did not completely shut off following staging for four seconds, creating the possibility of the spent stage banging into the S-II engines, damaging them […]

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Virtual Mosque Demo

Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts at Ball State University (IDIA Lab). A demonstration level featuring architecture of the Mosque. Visit Virtual Mosque Demo in Blue Mars http://blink.bluemars.com/City/IDIA_Mosque/ Virtual Mosque Demo in Blue Mars Video Walkthrough https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYS7Zafr0bk

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Temple of Artemis: Wonder of the Ancient World

IDIA Lab was contracted by digital humanities scholars at UCLA to design and build a virtual simulation of the Temple of Artemis, one of the Wonders of the Ancient World, This massive Greek temple, four times the size of the Parthenon lies in ruin in present-day Turkey. This simulation incorporates our CelestialEngine with accurately positions […]

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Virtual Roman Pantheon in Blue Mars / CryEngine

The Pantheon is the best-preserved architectural monument of ancient Rome. This simulation by BSU’s IDIA Lab represents the Pantheon and its surrounds as it may have appeared in 320 AD. Visitors to this Blue Mars / CryEngine simulation can tour the vicinity, learning about the history, function and solar alignments through an interactive heads up […]

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Virtual Nursing Simulator

HDT and IDIA Lab have developed a next generation, high-fidelity Virtual Nursing Simulator in the game engine of Unity 3D for testing by the Ball State University School of Nursing. Students will practice interviews via role-playing – employing avatars with predefined health histories. The simulator introduces our new media tools within the environment including the […]

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Izapa Group F Ballcourt Solar Simulation

Mayan Solar Simulator Izapa Group F Ballcourt We have applied our Virtual Solar Simulator to a simple white model build of the pre-Columbian ballcourt in Group F at the Izapa site in Chiapas, Mexico. Izapa is considered to be the birthplace of the Mayan Long Count, which ends its cycle today on December 21st, 2012 – […]

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Virtual Middletown Living Museum in Blue Mars

The Virtual Middletown Living Museum project in Blue Mars is a simulation of the Ball Glass factory from early 20th century Muncie, Indiana. Life and conditions in the factory were one of the key elements of the Middletown Studies by Robert S. and Helen Merrell Lynd in their landmark studies Middletown (1929) and Middletown in Transition (1937). These in-depth accounts […]

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Virtual World/Social Media Mashup: Flickr Gettr v4

IDIA Lab’s new Flickr Gettr launching soon – shared & mobile virtual world mashup artwork – preview Flickr pics here http://bit.ly/bCWQCL Flickr Gettr: Shared and Mobile Media Mashup Artwork Virtual World/Social Media Mashup: Flickr Gettr v4 The Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts (IDIA Lab) at Ball State University IDIA Labs Flickr Gettr connects the social […]

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+Interactive Simulation

Interactive Simulations

Interactive solutions for desktop, internet and mobile applications. Sciences, industry, arts, learning and cultural heritage.

  • Live multi-user virtual teaching and learning simulators
  • Immersive virtual curriculum (cross platform desktop, internet and mobile)
  • Human computer interaction

Final Wisdom I: Interactive Haptic Poetry Installation at SIGGRAPH 2010

Final Wisdom I is an interactive installation engaging viewers in a sensory exploration of temporal and spatialized poetry. Participants manipulate imagery, sound and language through their gesture, touch and proximity. The work is engaged through a framework of cameras and sensors that react to heat, position, and capacitance – presenting a shifting environment of reactive media and haptics. Final Wisdom I is the […]

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Virtual Apollo 15

IDIA Lab’s Virtual Apollo 15 is a simulation of the mission which launched on July 26, 1971 from the Kennedy Space Center, at Cape Canaveral, Florida. During the launch, the S-IC did not completely shut off following staging for four seconds, creating the possibility of the spent stage banging into the S-II engines, damaging them […]

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Virtual Mosque Demo

Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts at Ball State University (IDIA Lab). A demonstration level featuring architecture of the Mosque. Visit Virtual Mosque Demo in Blue Mars http://blink.bluemars.com/City/IDIA_Mosque/ Virtual Mosque Demo in Blue Mars Video Walkthrough https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYS7Zafr0bk

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Clarian Health VR Simulation

In collaboration with Clarian Health, IDIA has created a training video and interactive media to help facilitate the transition into the Ball Memorial Hospital New South Tower. How can nurses train in a new hospital wing before it is constructed? Or after it’s complete and full of patients? For help addressing the situation, hospital officials […]

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Eco-Net

“Eco-Net” is an attempt to connect wireless network data with nature by visualizing that data with plant-like structures and organic motion. Each plant represents a computer connected to the network and each IP address is displayed above the corresponding plant. Collective network activity is displayed as websites are browsed and emails are sent. This piece […]

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+3D Laser Scanning

From a to the city street, laser scanning can capture the objects and spaces we inhabit and convert them into a three-dimensional digital model. We can scan a range of small or large-scale 3D objects in joint facilities and equipment shared with the SimLab in the College of Architecture and Planning. Three-dimensional geometry is captured in terms of millions of points that outline the scanned object. These points are converted into polygons comprising a mesh that then can be used in the resulting animation workflow.

We have worked to simulate the original settings of several sculptures in the collection of the Ball State University Museum of Art using the ZCorp 3D laser scanner and employing archival methods. This project provided a means to not only digitally archive select sculptures, but to place them in an live three-dimensional multi-user virtual environment that immerses viewers in a simulation of the works in their original context.

This significance of this project was in addressing a problem in museum interpretation, in that typically pre-modern sculpture was originally designed to be an element of a large-scale architectural, public or natural setting. We have developed a workflow that is now also a service that can be provided to external clients in the sciences, industry and the arts – employing emerging digital tools to illuminate a viewer’s understanding of context. We also use FARO scanning technology to capture large interior or exterior spaces in the form of a set of point clouds.

Both FARO and Z Corporation’s scanning technologies are used in applications such as reverse engineering, arts and entertainment, accident reconstruction, forensic science, historic preservation, cultural heritage, and virtual simulation.

Museum Scanning Project

The IDIA Seminar’s current project focuses on virtually recreating the original settings of various sculptures found throughout the Ball State University Museum of Art. The project focused on scanning five different sculptures using a 3D laser scanner. This project has allowed Ball State students to get involved with 3D scanning by learning the method, techniques […]

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3D Point Cloud Laser Scanning

From a seashell to auditorium, laser-scanning can capture the objects and spaces we inhabit and convert them into a digital model. The IDIA scans a range of small or large scale 3D objects using facilities and equipment shared with the SimLab in the College of Architecture and Planning and supported by the Office of Information […]

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+Motion Capture

Motion capture technologies have been used for over 20 years in games, film, simulation and entertainment technology.

One of the motion capture solutions that we have used is through a partnership with the Ball State University Biomechanics Laboratory, allowing the ability to record a performer’s natural motion to animate a digital character. The research objective of the Biomechanics Laboratory is to further an understanding of mechanical and neuro-muscular characteristics of human movement. The same technology used in research, can also be employed for simulation, animation and visualization. Our lab has employed motion capture in their animation workflow on a host of student and commercial projects – using the motion data from actors or dancers to apply to three-dimensional animated characters.

The Vicon process involves placing reflective markers on the performers as they move in real time. The data from the moving markers is then mapped to a 3D character rigged with a virtual skeleton, which is in turn animated by the data from the capture session. The character then inherits the exact movements of the motion capture artist. The data set is then applied to a virtual human skeleton in software such as MotionBuilder. We are also experimenting with the Kinect as a low end but immediate workflow to provide real time puppeteering of virtual characters as well as gestural input.

NSF FUNDED VIRTUAL SIMULATION OF HADRIAN’S VILLA

IDIA Lab has designed a virtual simulation of the villa of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site located outside of Rome in Tivoli, Italy. This project is being produced in collaboration with the Virtual World Heritage Laboratory (VWHL) at the University of Virginia (UVA), directed by Dr. Bernard Frischer and […]

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dis|PLACE

dis|PLACE is a hybrid work linking a virtual environment to physical reality in a user driven artwork. The participant’s motion can both navigate 3D space as well as control discreet interactions with the digital performers. Unity 3D and MS Kinect, 2012 John Fillwalk, Director of IDIA Lab with Neil Zehr, IDIA Lab and composer Michael Olson […]

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+Visualization

3D Visualizations

Animated 3D visualizations for science, cultural heritage, arts and industry.

  • Historic recreations
  • Medical and scientific visualizations
  • Architectural walkthroughs
  • Information visualizations
  • Scientific, data and cultural heritage animations

The History Channel’s The Universe, Ancient Mysteries Solved: Roman Engineering

John Fillwalk, director of the Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts and senior director of the university’s Hybrid Design Technologies initiative, is interviewed for the History Channel’s “The Universe.” The episode, which airs 9 p.m. May 23, features the IDIA Lab’s digital recreation of ancient Roman structures. For the season finale of its popular program “The […]

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Halloween Celestial Origins

The Charles W. Brown Planetarium’s newest production, “Halloween: Celestial Origins” premiered the weekend of October 7th in collaborations with IDIA lab. Learn the history of Halloween and how it fits into the seasons as a “cross-quarter day” during this new production. Explore the night sky and learn what planets, constellations, and stars will be out […]

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IDIA Lab Featured on WTHR News for Virtual Reality research

The future of home entertainment is taking a giant step forward into the world of virtual reality. More devices are hitting the market that transform the way we look at the world around us, and a group of developers at Ball State is on the cutting edge. It’s something we experienced first-hand at Ball State […]

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Solar System and Jupiter App

Explore the solar system by touch and augmented reality. New app for iOS, Android and Oculus Rift designed by BSU’s IDIA Lab allows users to learn about our sun and planets – and their moons. Physical museum objects trigger augmented experiences of each planet, providing deeper context and understanding. View the moon’s orbits, examine each […]

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ChromaChord: A Virtual Musical Instrument

ChromaChord: A Virtual Musical Instrument IDIA Lab: Ball State University   ChromaChord utilizes a combination of the Oculus Rift headset and an attached Leap Motion controller to create an immersive 3D VMI environment. The Oculus Rift provides a three-paneled visual interface, through Unity, that allows the users to access different component windows of the instrument […]

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Virtual Buffalo Bill

Ball State University’s IDIA Lab http://idialab.org is developing a multiplayer virtual world that simulates Buffalo Bill Wild West Show. This digital history project is built in Unity 3D using custom software created by IDIA Lab and is being produced for the Buffalo Bill Center for the West in Cody, WY. Scholars include Douglas Seefeldt and James […]

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Virtual Mosque Demo

Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts at Ball State University (IDIA Lab). A demonstration level featuring architecture of the Mosque. Visit Virtual Mosque Demo in Blue Mars http://blink.bluemars.com/City/IDIA_Mosque/ Virtual Mosque Demo in Blue Mars Video Walkthrough https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYS7Zafr0bk

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Astym 3D Visualization

Trevor Danehy and Tom Anderson, students from the IDIA Immersion Seminar, designed and produced a 3D visualization of a therapeutic process developed by Dr. Tom Sevier of Performance Dynamics. Students worked with state of the art software and a commercial anatomical 3D model with over 4,000 parts to realize a professional quality and dynamic scientific […]

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Altairnano

Animated 3D visualization of a nano-fabrication process for Altair Nanotechnologies, Inc.

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