Chapter 21

Virtual and Augmented Reality

“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”

—Philip K. Dick

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are technologies that attempt to stimulate your senses in the same way the real world does. Within the field of computer graphics, augmented reality integrates synthetic objects with the world around us; virtual reality replaces the world completely. See Figure 21.1. This chapter focuses on rendering techniques specific to these two technologies, which are sometimes grouped together using the umbrella term “XR,” where the X can stand for any letter. Much of the focus here will be on virtual reality techniques, since this technology is more widespread as of this writing. ...

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