ALIVE: Avatar Learning Impact Assessment for Virtual Environments


Currently, accurate representation of physical spaces and, especially, human interactions in Virtual Reality (VR)can often feel clunky, unrealistic and require specialist knowledge and development. Our project explores avatar use through the Unreal Meta Humans tool (an extraordinary new 3D character creation technology), specifically, testing the use of realistic avatars in soft skills training and social interactions. This is a proof of concept project to generate ideas that address this gap in knowledge, do fast, low-cost prototyping and user testing to further our understanding of the field. We built and tested the recognition of basic emotions in Meta Humans and cartoon avatars in VR. The aim was to understand whether the realism of the avatar impacts our perception of basic human emotion and the sense of immersion in VR. This work aims to advance the study of artificial social interactions, and guide industry practice.