ITCS 6125/8125 Virtual Environments (Spring 2017)

Examples created by UNCC students

Instructor: Prof. Zachary Wartell



This course covers the state of the art in the design and implementation of Virtual Reality, Augment Reality, and Mixed Reality. Topics covered include: head-tracked and head-mounted displays, stereoscopic display, position tracking, 3D user interface design, applications of VR, evaluation of VR and other topics. Previous experience in computer graphics (ITCS 6120/8120 or ITCS 4120) or related courses is strongly suggested.

Note, the specific programming language requirements are subject to change and will be posted prior to each semester this course is offered. Prior courses have assume strong prior C++ programming experience (see Programming References ).

Undergraduates interested in this course should contact Prof. Wartell for special permission.

Virtual Reality Facilities ("the toys")

The following are available to students for their projects:

VisCenter  - Woodward 417:

VisCenter  - Woodward 404:



3D User Interfaces: Theory and Practice. Doug A. Bowman , Ernst Kruijff, Joseph J. LaViola , Ivan PoupyrevAddison-Wesley Professional; 1st edition (August 5, 2004) Language: English ISBN-10: 0201758679 ISBN-13: 978-0201758672 . [html]


  • Midterm Exam – 25%

  • Final Exam – 25%

  • Project – 50% (more)


  • Introduction to Virtual Reality
    • Slides: 01_Intro_to_VR.ppt
    • Required Reading:
    • Supplemental Reading:
      • Milgram, Paul; H. Takemura, A. Utsumi, F. Kishino (1994). "Augmented Reality: A class of displays on the reality-virtuality continuum" (pdf). Proceedings of Telemanipulator and Telepresence Technologies. pp. 2351–34 [PDF].
  • Brief History of VR
    • Slides: 02_VRHistory.ppt
    • Required Reading:
    • Supplemental Reading:
      • Ivan E. Sutherland. 1968. A head-mounted three dimensional display. In Proceedings of the December 9-11, 1968, fall joint computer conference, part I (AFIPS '68 (Fall, part I)). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 757-764. [DOI_ACM]
      • Video Place '89 - Video Plane (youtube)
  • Eye and Displays (2D)

          Further details on the topics below are available on Moodle

  • Depth Perception and 3D Displays
  • Scene Graphs
  • Affine Transforms (Review)
  • 2D and 3D Tracking
  • Travel Techniques and Wayfinding
  • Selection and Manipulation Technique
  • Evaluation Methods (Human Factors Studies)
  • Presence
  • Selected Research from IEEE VR 2016


Prior exams will be made available within Moodle.

Project Assignments

  • Semester Project (50% of total grade) 

    Students propose their own projects using the available VR facilities (or build something!) that are then approved by the professor.

    • Two presentations - 10%  - one presentation to present your proposed project and one final presentation on your final results (5% each)
    • Final Report  -  10% - discusses your project and results
    • Virtual Environment Application Software – 80%

      Your application software will have multiple deliverables, including an initial “getting started” project.
      Depending on the scope of the project, students may do them individually or in groups of two.

      The recommended API’s are generally C++ (more).   If a student is familiar with other API’s and the API supports interactive 3D graphics and the API supports virtual reality display systems and input devices, I will consider allowing students to use them.

Programming References