Simulating High Quality Dynamic Virtual Sound Fields For Interactive Graphics Applications

Nicolas Tsingos
PhD thesis, Universite J. Fourier, GRENOBLE I, December 1998.


This work is aimed at simulating high quality sound fields for interactive 3D graphics applications.
We focused our efforts on three main problems: interactive calculation of sound occlusion by obstacles,
integration of sound simulation in an interactive 3D animation system and adaptive simulation of sound
reflections in reverberant environments.
We first present an original method that allows for approximating the effects of obstacles on sound waves propagation.
This qualitative method is based on the occlusion of the first Fresnel ellipsoids.
We make advantage of the use of 3D graphics hardware to achieve interactive computation rates of the attenuation
between a point source and a point receiver in general environments.
A more quantitative method based on the Fresnel-Kirchhoff theory of diffraction is also described.
Then, we describe an interactive system for integrated sound and graphics rendering in the context of
computer animation or virtual reality. This system integrates the previous interactive occlusion rendering technique.
We will show how other effects such as sound specular reflections and Doppler shifting are also taken into account.
Eventually, we introduce a new adaptive simulation technique based on a hierarchical radiosity-like approach as used
in lighting simulations. It allows for taking into account global specular and diffuse reflections in the context of
time-varying energy exchanges.
The obtained solution is independent of the listening position which makes the approach well suited to walkthrough applications. Moreover, the complexity of the process can be tuned to reach more quantitative results, making
it usable for room acoustic quality prediction.
These three contributions may allow to design a complete simulation system for rendering a virtual sound scene which
could be used in a wide range of applications. These applications, however, do not limit to acoustic simulations but
can also be extended to study radiowave propagation in the context of mobile communications or wireless networks.
Keywords: Virtual reality, virtual acoustics, multimedia, diffraction,  auralization, adaptive simulation, hierarchical radiosity, room acoustics.

Download the dissertation

Compressed Postscript file ( in French !!!, A4 format, packed with gzip , 2.78 Mb)
Compressed Postscript file
( in French with English introduction, conclusion, captions and section titles, Letter format, packed with gzip , 2.78 Mb)

 PowerPoint slides of my defense( in English, packed with gzip , 1.3 Mb)
Citation info 
  title     =     "Simulating High Quality Virtual Sound Fields for Interactive Graphics Applications", 
  author    = "Nicolas Tsingos", 
  school = "Universite J. Fourier, Grenoble I", 
  year      =    "1998", 
  month     = "December", 

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