- Abstract: This paper is a study on the effects that a virtual crowd composed of virtual characters with different appearance has on human motion in a virtual environment. The study examines five virtual crowd conditions that include the following virtual characters: neutral, realistic, cartoon, zombies, and fantasy virtual characters. Participants were instructed to cross a virtual crosswalk and each time, one of the examined crowd conditions shown. The movement behavior of participants was captured and objectively analyzed based on four measurements (speed, deviation, trajectory length, and interpersonal distance). From the results, it was found that the appearance of the virtual characters significantly affected the movement behavior of participants. Specifically, participants walked slower when exposed to a virtual crowd composed of cartoon characters and faster when exposed to fantasy characters. It was also found participants deviated more when exposed to a crowd composed of fantasy characters compared to a crowd composed of cartoon and zombie characters. Finally, the interpersonal distance between participants and fantasy characters was significantly greater compared to human and zombie virtual characters. Our findings, limitations and future directions are discussed in the paper.
- Keywords: virtual crowd, human-crowd interaction, character appearance, human movement behavior, virtual reality