Cosmic Corporeal aims to simulate a somatic environment inspired by other planetary physics achieved solely through visual illusion and visual interactive feedback in Virtual Reality. Through revising the interaction between an avatar 3D model and the controller in real space, users may associate their hands with the 3D model to somatically feel a physical weight or density in the atmosphere around them. This work is not to replicate the exact astrophysics of outer space, but rather instigate potential research on visual illusion for somatic sensory experience using an exaggerated artistic interpretation.
Lerping Controllers for Dense Atmosphere
"In places such as Neptune, the atmosphere is so dense it is as if one’s hand would be pushing through a molasses-like state."
A way to illustrate this phenomena, controllers were scripted so that an avatar model hand would follow the Vive controllers using a ‘lerp’ affect. By slowing down the speed of the lerp, it takes time for the avatar hand to catch up to the controller. Furthermore, the lerped avatar hand has it’s own speed at which it moves. Thus, if users try to sustain the same speed as the avatar hand’s lerp, there is an physical muscle soreness synonymous to a sense of dense weight (even though in reality, we’re on Earth and without the use of analog weights in the real space).
Spring Joint Controllers for Lightweight Gravity
"In places such as Mercury, there is no atmosphere and gravity is approximately a third of Earth’s gravity."
With this in mind, essentially, users need to take a third of the energy it takes to simulate the same action on Earth. By adding a spring joint and altering the drag, it pushes the avatar hand to move at a quicker pace at a further distance without the user exuding as much effort as in Earth — providing the lightweight, light gravity motion.
I altered the gravity in objects themselves, utilizing drag and gravity scripts. After users get accustomed to their new embodied physics, they can explore how motion can affect other objects. In Mercury, the same object flies higher, which in Neptune the objects get stuck in the gas with a high drag, and Jupiter's objects instantaneously hitting the ground with its nearly triple-times-Earth gravity.