Destructible such a pedagogical system which will focus

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Destructible Buildings for Disaster Simulations in Virtual


of Computer Science

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College of Computing and Information Sciences

Institute of Technology

NY 14586

[email protected]


Abstract— In recent years, Virtual Reality has been
used for simulation and visualization of the effects of natural disasters such
as earthquakes and violent storms. This project is a step towards the creation
of such a pedagogical system which will focus on the creation and animation of
destructible 3D architectural models which can be destroyed in the virtual
world based on natural disaster data. The goal of this project is to develop a
method and the process for the automated/semi-automated creation of structures
designed for animated destruction to provide an idea of the effects of such
disasters. Though it is not expected that physically accurate simulation
necessarily be achieved, the animation effects should convey the severity of
the disasters on representative structures.


A.    Getting
prepared for a disaster

A disaster is a
sudden event, such as an accident or a natural catastrophe, that causes great
damage or loss of life6,
which we are facing globally nowadays. It can happen anytime anywhere – at home
or at work. The solution to these situations is quite complex but it is
important to be prepared. As such, there isn’t any generalized solution
available for the preparedness and therefore, it becomes critical to categorize
the disasters based on the location, recent history and the magnitude. Following
this approach, we can predict when, which and of what magnitude disaster is
going to happen at a place. To maximize the survival chances during the
disaster, the building architecture and the material used, can play a vital
role. For instance, using reinforced concrete material instead of timber would
definitely be beneficial.

B.    Introducing
Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality is a
technology which provides an immersive experience for user to interact with a
virtual world. This environment enables user to be present in an imaginary
world and perform actions with the help of simulated images, sounds and
sensations. In order to experience such virtual world, the user requires a head
mounted virtual device such as Google Cardboard, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Samsung
Gear VR etc. These devices vary depending on the controlling ability, intensity
and the quality of experience.


C.   Role
of Virtual Reality

         It has been observed that Virtual
Reality can be a big player when it comes to disaster preparedness. The least
thing that can be achieved, is simulating a disaster in a virtual world to be
able to provide an artificial situation and then analyzing the user behavior.
Based on the observed behavior, better methods for evacuation techniques can be
developed with the help of some dummy drills.



A.    Applications
of Virtual Reality

being an emerging technology, Virtual Reality has earned a lot of respect and
fame in the fields of Military, Healthcare, Entertainment, Fashion, Education,
Research, Engineering, Heritage, Media etc. Looking its speed of growth,
researchers have predicted its longer run in the future. run to go. The ease of
integration of this tech with any kind of current technology in order to achieve
more appropriate results, is quite appreciable. The real-world integration of
Machine Learning with Virtual Reality to perform prediction and simulation
altogether creates a new domain to be researched about.

B.    Common
misconceptions about Virtual Reality

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sponsors, delete this text box (sponsors).

As discussed
earlier, apart from Entertainment, Virtual Reality can also be used for multiple
different domains. But, there is still a misconception about it being used only
for playing games and experiencing the imaginary world. The applications such
as project robot control by NASA using which, the scientists will be able to
search for life on other planets by controlling the robots. In the fields of
Education, Virtual Reality is helping students to visualize their coursework in
a better way for better understanding.

C.   Subway
evacuation analysis approach4

Students from Bowie State University, Maryland, have
presented a novel VR based training and evacuation drills system for analyzing
the user response at subway stations during a disaster.

D.   Avatar
design and monitoring approach

is a scenario based analysis approach to improve preparedness plans across
infrastructures, technologies, policies, and resources.

System Design


1.    User
ratings for survival chances of a particular building material


2.    User
ratings for survival chances of a particular building material






A.    Details

The implementation phase started with development of
different types buildings with different materials such as Timber, Stone, Brick
and Reinforced concrete, in Blender. For simplicity, some of the building/materials
have been taken from unity inbuilt assets. After completion of building design
and material, each object has been imported as “. fbx”, to be used in Unity.

The second stage included designing the interiors, which uses
the similar technique as mentioned above with some detailing. These objects are
then imported in Unity and a scene is created. After positioning each object, the
rigid body and mesh/box colliders are added to them accordingly. The building
objects are then converted to small mesh triangles with the help of Delaunay
Triangulation. Eventually, the mesh collision is added to each mesh.

In order to simulate the disaster, write a script to
oscillate the base in such a way that each mesh object collide with each other
in accordance with magnitude of earthquake provided. To show the effects and
observe the real feel in virtual reality, add particle systems which generate
earthquake effect. Some of the examples can be duststorm, bloodsprayFX (not
necessary) etc.

B.    Technical




C.   For

Open the directory containing the project.

Select Modern Home scene.

Navigate to the Hierarchy panel.

Have a look of each object, how and why it has
been used.

Analyze the purpose of each object and its

Customize the application based on new development


D.   For






3.    Input
screen to get type of building material from the user.



4.    Input
screen to get magnitude of earthquake from the user.



5.    Block
building for algorithmic implementation before earthquake simulation.



6.    Block
building for algorithmic implementation after earthquake simulation.



7.    Interior
of the building before simulation.



8.    Interior
stair during simulation.


9.    Second
floor during simulation.



10. Master
bedroom during simulation.

11. Kitchen
during simulation.


12. Living
room during simulation.






Video Link:








User ratings based on the average time spent on
a Scene of the Gameplay



Average Time Spent

Average Rating
(Scale: 1-10)

Scene 1



Scene 2



Scene 3



Scene 4



Scene 5







13.  User ratings for survival chances of a
particular building material


14. Analysis
of user engagement based on the ratings for the application on the scale of
1-10, based on the amount of time spent (in seconds) on a Scene of the Gameplay

Future Work

• Build a similar VR
system to incorporate other type of disasters such as Tsunami, Hurricane, Flood

• VR simulation with
the help of location based disaster and magnitude prediction.

• Triangulate
Real-Time rendered models and use them for the simulation.



1     Alcínia
Z. Sampaio, Joana P. Santos, Ana R. Gomes, Daniel P. Rosário and Augusto M.
Gomes, “Collaborative Maintenance and Construction of Buildings Supported on
Virtual Reality Technology”.

2     Jae-Young
Lee, Jong-Soo Choi, Oh-Seong Kwon and Chan-Sik Park, “A Study on Construction
Defect Management Using Augmented Reality Technology”.

3     XU
Feng, CHEN Xuping, REN Aizhu and LU Xinzheng, “Earthquake Disaster Simulation
for an Urban Area, with GIS, CAD, FEA, and VR Integration”.

4     Sharad
Sharma, Shanmukha Jerripothula, Stephon Mackey and Oumar Soumare, “Immersive
Virtual Reality Environment of a Subway Evacuation on a Cloud for Disaster
Preparedness and Response Training”.

5     Trystyn
K. Del Rosario, Molly E. Kampmann, Joseph T. McGrath, Elizabeth B. Connelly, José
Orlando Gomes and James H. Lambert “Avatar Design and Monitoring in a Virtual
Disaster for All-Hazards Preparedness and Infrastructure Management in Brazil”.

6     Wikipedia,
“Virtual Reality”, “Applications of Virtual Reality”, “Disaster”, “Delaunay


8     Unity













Categories: Management


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