Visual Adaption

Visual Adaption and Adaptive Art

Start date: 16.05.2011
Funded by: Universität Augsburg
Local head of project: René Bühling
Local scientists: René Bühling
Dipl.-Inf. Michael Wißner
Emilie Brihi
Dr. Mohammad Obaid
M.Sc. Stephan Hammer


Visual Adaption deals with non-verbal communication and information transport through graphical design strategies. Especially in interactive real-time applications dramaturgy can change unpredictably which brings new challenges for visualization artwork.



Professional artists and designers make design decisions deliberately to emphasize the narrative contents of their visuals. In traditional media such as sculpture and painting, but also in film, a static design process is used during the creation phase. In interactive media dramaturgy can permanently change depending on user interaction or dynamic factors. To be consequent visualizations should react on narration changes, so that narrative and visualization are consistent.

The following video provides an introduction to this basic idea.


Example Implementation for Shape

One of the graphic forms of expression is the "Shape Language". This means that an object transports a statement about its dramaturgical meaning through its appearance. The form plays especially in sculpture a major role, where it builds the visual contours in interplay of light and shade. But also in painting and graphics can be used for visual communication.

During an internship within the DAAD/RISE international student exchange a prototypical scenario has been implemented at our lab, adapting the graphical Shape to real-time interaction. That is, if the dramatic content of an application (in this case a simple game scenario) is changed, then the shape of an object changes too, so that content-wise and visual expression are uniform. This deformation mechanism has been realized simply using Shape Keys and was prototyped using the Blender Game Engine.

The following video shows the student research project on "Adaptive Shape Language":


Use-Case: Treasure Hunt

For our open lab day "Girls' Day 2012" the mood-sensitive landscape has been reduced to a small snippet of the nature, but additional channels for color, lighting and decoration where included which also deform according to mood and dramaturgy. The girls who should get an insight in the field of work of multimedia computing formed game teams that are responsible for a small piece of virtual nature. In style of a treasure hunt game the participants discovered the university building guided by augmented reality on mobile phones. At seven game stations, they had to answer quiz questions about energy saving. The right answer was rewarded with points, which was in turn used as data source for the adaptive landscape. The more points a team could earn, the healthier did their tiny garden grow.

The dynamic visualization of points went down very well with the girls and immediately triggered the desired enthusiasm and motivation for the game. The subject of environmental protection was also integrated by the topic of virtual nature instead of arbitrary graphics. Finally, each participant received a personal certificate as a souvenir that contains not only the final score, but also the associated visualization graphics.

Information on the annual event: Girls' Day - Nationwide Job Discovery Day


Use Case Power Consumption

2012 we look how we can link the dynamic visualizations with actual practice scenarios. For this purpose we have used energy meters, which work like a power socket, but which records the power consumption of one or more devices. Our software calculates a user profile and maps the quality of the current electricity consumption - so whether I'm consuming currently much or little electricity - to the health of a virtual landscape.

The following video illustrates the idea:


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