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Interactive and Immersive Visualization of Fluid Dynamics using Virtual Reality

Zackary Boone1, Amber Bartosh2, Melissa A. Green1


The last decade has seen a rise in both the technological capacity for data generation and the consumer availability of immersive visualization equipment, like Virtual Reality (VR). This paper outlines a method for visualizing the simulated behavior of fluids within an immersive and interactive virtual environment using an HTC Vive. This method integrates complex three-dimensional data sets as digital models within the video game engine, Unity, and allows for user interaction with these data sets using a VR headset and controllers. Custom scripts and a unique workflow have been developed to facilitate the export of processed data from Matlab and the programming of the controllers. The authors discuss the limitations of this particular protocol in its current manifestation, but also the potential for extending the process from this example to study other kinds of 3D data not limited to fluid dynamics, or for using different VR headsets or hardware.

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