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Physis is an industrial research project centered on modeling, transforming, and a synthesizing diegetical sounds for interactive virtual worlds (video games, simulators, serious games) and for augmented reality. By diegetical sounds, we mean sounds created by identifiable objects in a virtual scene such as sounds made by weapons, liquids, fire, water, or fabrics, and their possible interactions including physical impacts, rubbing, sliding, and rolling.

Project Description & Goals

Physis considered the production of interactive sound contents in its entirety and in a systematic manner. It covered all steps necessary to meet the challenge: from fundamental research essential for the proper modeling of sound phenomena, to the production of portable code for game consoles or specific material. Physis also anticipated the creation of tools for sound designers, for the analysis and transformation of sound files, the creation of high-level semantic and physical controls as well as their implementation in an interactive situation. The major findings of this project led to:

  • Significant advances in modeling acoustic properties of sounds in a target corpus
  • Synthesis models and new strategies intended for the creation and transformation of sounds interactively with semantic and/or physical controls
  • Technological demonstrators that showcase these innovations.

The recent surfacing of complex video games and virtual universes like "Second Life" made apparent the limits of existing sound engines that use pre-recorded sounds with an image that is computed in real-time. Moreover, while the use of physical models enables a more realistic, more complex, and more varied graphical behavior, they have only a slight impact on the sound behaviors based on pre-recorded files. Improvements in computer materials have enabled a precise simulation of the audio and acoustic properties of everyday noises based on physical parameters.

In addition, new interfaces now included in smartphones, tablets, and video game consoles are changing the way we access digital information. These systems are underused from a sound point of view for the reason that reading prerecorded sounds prevents correct interaction with this type of interface. Audio synthesis in real-time is perfectly adapted to these new interfaces and to the uses they imply.

In conclusion, PHySIS made it possible to create a solid scientific and technological foundation that replied to these new needs.

Project reference: ANR-2012-CORD-006-03.

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