|Publication number||USRE41414 E1|
|Application number||US 10/830,499|
|Publication date||Jul 6, 2010|
|Filing date||Aug 9, 1996|
|Priority date||Aug 10, 1995|
|Also published as||CA2201755A1, CA2201755C, CN1158632C, CN1161096A, DE69625455D1, DE69625455T2, EP0786742A1, EP0786742A4, EP0786742B1, US6377277, WO1997006511A1|
|Publication number||10830499, 830499, PCT/1996/2268, PCT/JP/1996/002268, PCT/JP/1996/02268, PCT/JP/96/002268, PCT/JP/96/02268, PCT/JP1996/002268, PCT/JP1996/02268, PCT/JP1996002268, PCT/JP199602268, PCT/JP96/002268, PCT/JP96/02268, PCT/JP96002268, PCT/JP9602268, US RE41414 E1, US RE41414E1, US-E1-RE41414, USRE41414 E1, USRE41414E1|
|Original Assignee||Sega Corporation|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (12), Non-Patent Citations (5), Referenced by (4), Classifications (23), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present invention relates to a virtual image generation technique for use in game units, simulators, and the like, and particularly to a technique for generating images calculating and processing data in a three-dimensional space by projecting the generated three-dimensional data onto a two-dimensional plane from a view point so as to generate image data to be displayed on the monitor screen and the obtained data is converted to two-dimensional data.
In recent years, game units and simulators equipped with on-board virtual image generation apparatuses which make it possible to display images of objects that move through three-dimensional natural virtual space in response to manual control by a game player such as in a; combat have been developed. Such virtual image generation apparatuses are usually equipped with a virtual image generation apparatus main unit that houses a computer unit for executing stored programs, an input device for sending control signals to the computer unit to instruct it to move objects displayed on the screen within the virtual image, a display for displaying the virtual images generated by the computer unit according to the program sequence, and a sound device for generating sounds according to the program sequence.
Examples of game devices with the architecture described above include those with a combat theme in which a player-controlled object (robot, human, or the like) engages in combat with enemy objects with which the player fights over a terrain created in virtual space (hereinafter termed “virtual terrain”). The objects controlled by the player in such game units attack enemies by shooting at them while hiding behind the obstacles and the like which are provided as part of the virtual terrain.
In order to enable three-dimensional display of motion within the virtual space, an image like that perceived when the virtual space is observed from a prescribed visual point is used. This is accomplished using coordinate conversion for perspective projection, whereby a coordinate system for the virtual space is represented in perspective from a prescribed visual point and projected onto a two-dimensional plane lying in front of the visual point. In many cases, the line of sight which extends from the visual point of the virtual image is oriented towards the player's object so that the object controlled by the player is visible to the player. The object controlled by the player is displayed as a subject located nearlly at the center of the display.
However, since the position relationship between the visual point of the virtual image and the player's object is fixed during movement, obstacles sometimes block the line of sight which extends towards the player's object. In such cases, the player's object is obscured by the obstacle, making it difficult for the player to see the movements of the object and making it difficult to control the object. The loss of ability to control the player's object diminishes the excitement of the game, making the game uninteresting.
Such a case will be described making reference to FIG. 6. When a subject R′ is observed by a virtual camera C′, which serves as the visual point for the virtual image in question, position relationships are sometimes such that the line of sight is blocked by an obstacle O, as shown in FIG. 6A. When the line of sight is so obscured, the subject R is displayed obscured by the obstacle O in the generated virtual image, as shown in FIG. 6B. Thus, the player can no longer determine how best to control the subject R′ which is the object of control.
In order to avoid such occurrences, it is possible, for example to:
However, adopting methods such as (1) produces a new problem in that, while the player's object is visible, obstacles are not visible. Adopting methods such as (2) makes it possible to see obstacles, but since obstacles are displayed with wire frames even when the subject R is not hidden by obstacles O, the look of the game suffers.
In order to solve such problems, the present invention is intended to provide a virtual image generation apparatus that does not employ the aforementioned methods (1) and (2), and that affords a game that does not suffer from impaired look. Another object of the present invention is to provide a virtual image generation apparatus that correctly determines whether a subject can be displayed overlapping a physical object in virtual space, and which performs appropriate transparent processing to make both the subject and physical object visible, and to a method therefor.
In order to achieve these objects, the present invention provide a virtual image generation method for generating virtual images (game images, simulation images, and the like) of subjects (player-controlled robots, airplanes, or other objects) present in a virtually defined virtual space (for example, a space described by a world coordinate system) and observed from a prescribed visual point (such as diagonally above the subject, as viewed from the vertical relationship in the virtual space), comprising the steps of determining whether certain prescribed conditions are fulfilled on the basis of shape data (polygon data, data specifying shape position, surface data, and the like) pertaining to physical objects (virtual terrain, obstacles, irregular terrain surfaces, and the like) present in the virtual space, and position data (coordinate data and the like) for a subject, for example, determining whether a physical object located between the visual point and the subject should overlap and be visible from the visual point, generating virtual images in which a physical object is subjected to prescribed show-through processing (mesh processing, translucent processing, wire frame depiction of the physical object, or the like) in the event that it is determined that the subject and physical object are disposed in a prescribed overlapping state, or performing non-show-through processing (ordinary texture data application processing or the like) in which the physical object is not rendered show-through in the event that it is determined that the subject and physical object are disposed in a state other than a prescribed overlapping state.
In accordance with one aspect of the present invention there is a provided a virtual image generation apparatus which generates within a virtually defined virtual space virtual images of the below mentioned subjects, physical objects, and other figures present in said virtual space as they would be observed from a prescribed visual point, while rendering said images show-through or non-show-through, comprising virtual image generation means for rendering said non-show-through images into show-through images when prescribed conditions have been fulfilled, and rendering the show-through images into non-show-through images when said prescribed conditions are no longer fulfilled.
In accordance with another aspect of the present invention there is a provided a virtual image generation apparatus comprising shape data memory means for storing shape data pertaining to physical objects present in said virtual space, position data specification means for specifying position data for said subjects, overlap determination means for determining, on the basis of said shape data stored in said shape data memory means and position data for said subjects specified by said position data specification means, whether or not said physical object located between said visual point and said subject should overlap and be visible from said visual point, and image generation means for generating virtual images wherein said physical object is processed by prescribed show-through processing in the event that said overlap determination means has determined that said subject and said physical object are disposed in a prescribed overlapping state, and for generating virtual images wherein said physical object is processed by non-show-through processing and is not rendered show-through in the event that said subject and said physical object are disposed in a state other than a prescribed overlapping state.
In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, the overlap determination means computes a first vector which extends in direction in which said subject is observed from said visual point, and a second vector which extends from said physical object towards said subject, computes the angle formed by this first vector and second vector, and, in the event that this angle falls within a prescribed relationship with regard to a prescribed reference angle, decides that an overlapping state exists, or, in the event that the angle falls outside the prescribed relationship, decides that non-overlapping state exists. Favorably, the angle formed by this first vector and second vector is compared with a prescribed reference angle; when this angle is smaller than said reference angle, it is decided that an overlapping state exists, and when said angle is greater than said reference angle, it is decided that a non-overlapping state exists.
Said angle is, for example, the angle formed when the vectors are projected onto a prescribed coordinate plane. Said reference angle is selected, for example, with a size sufficient to permit a determination as to whether the two vectors are facing in essentially the same direction to be made.
In a further aspect of the present invention there is provided a virtual image generation apparatus, wherein the overlap determination means compares displacement (displacement in the y axis direction, i.e., height, or the like) from a prescribed ground point (the x-z plane in a world coordinate system or the like) for a first reference point (the bottom edge, geometric center of gravity, or other point on the exterior of a subject) previously specified for a subject with displacement (physical object height, or the like) from a ground point for a second reference point (physical object top edge, geometric center, or the like) previously specified for a physical object, and, in the event that the displacement for the first reference point is smaller than the displacement for the second reference point, decides that an overlapping state exists, or, in the event that the displacement for the first reference point is greater than the displacement for the second reference point, decides that a non-overlapping state exists.
In still another aspect of the present invention, the above described overlap determinations may be used concomitantly, and the decision that an overlapping state exists made contingent upon both decision conditions being fulfilled.
In a further aspect of the invention, there is provided a virtual image generation apparatus, wherein for show-through display, the image generation means generates a virtual image by displaying pixels for displaying a subject in accordance with a prescribed pattern (a pattern in which a pixel is replaced every few dots, a striped pattern, or the like), rather than pixels for displaying a physical object. In a further aspect of the invention, there is provided a virtual image generation apparatus wherin the pattern comprises an alternating sequence of pixels for displaying a physical object and pixels for displaying a subject.
In accordance with the present invention, obstacles and other physical objects which are displayed without show-through processing are, when certain prescribed conditions are fulfilled (for example, when a physical object comes between a visual point and a subject, as observed from the visual point), processed by show-through treatment; when these conditions no longer apply, physical object image generation returns to non-show-through processing.
Usually, when a physical object comes in front of a subject observed from the visual point, the subject is obscured by the physical object with the result that the subject image is not sufficiently visible to the viewer of the virtual image. Faced with a state wherein a subject can be obscured by a physical object, the present invention makes a determination that an overlapping state exists and processes this physical object with show-through treatment, whereby both the obstacle and the subject images remain sufficiently visible to the viewer. As a result, the player can control the subject while staying aware of the presence of obstacles, and the look of the game does not suffer.
Where a plurality of physical objects have been determined to be in an overlapping state, show-through processing is performed for each individual physical object which has been determined to be in an overlapping state.
In the event of a position relationship such that a physical object comes between the subject and a visual point, as viewed from this particular visual point, the direction of the vector from the visual point to the subject and the vector from the physical object to the subject essentially coincide. In such a case, the angle defined by the two vectors is relatively small.
The aforementioned angle formed by the first and second vectors may be angle; thus, if the reference angle setting is made small enough to determine overlap, it may be accurately determined whether the physical object should overlap the subject.
On the other hand, taking the example of a case in which the visual point is established in a position such that the subject is observed from above, an overlapping state whereby the physical object obscures the subject when the subject is shorter than the physical object can occur.
In a further aspect of the invention, displacement of a first reference point located on a subject is compared at with displacement of a second reference point located on a physical object, that is, parameters corresponding to “height” in the foregoing example. Thus, it can be determined whether the subject and physical object are disposed in a position relationship which can constitute an overlapping state. The aforementioned concomitant use of the overlapping state decision may be favorable in terms of ensuring the accuracy of the determination.
In a further aspect of the invention, show-through processing may be accomplished by replacing pixels in accordance with a prescribed pattern for display, thereby generating a virtual image in which both the physical object and the subject may be discerned. In particular, displaying a prescribed pattern by alternating physical object display pixels and aforementioned background display pixels in the manner disclosed gives a virtual image display which includes the subject without diminishing the quality of the physical object, and in which the background lying behind the physical object is clearly displayed.
Favorable embodiments of the present invention will be described below with reference to the drawings.
The game device pertaining to this embodiment of the present invention has a storyline in which objects (robots) which serve as the subjects battle each other in three-dimensional space. The player controls his or her own robot, moving it freely through virtual space to attack enemy robots. The visual point (camera) from which the virtual image is viewed follows the movement of the player's robot.
A structural diagram of the game unit pertaining to this embodiment of is presented in FIG. 1. As shown in
The input device 11 is provided with control levers which are operated with the player's left and right hands in order to control the movement of the robot. Codes associated with various control attitudes of the control levers are transmitted as control signals to an I/O interface 106. The output device 12 is provided with various types of lamps which notify the player of the operational status of the unit. The TV monitor 13 displays the combat game image; a head mounted display (HMD), projector, or the like may be used in place of a TV monitor.
As an image generation means, the game unit main body 10 has a counter 100, a CPU (central processing unit) 101; it is also equipped with ROM 102, RAM 103, a sound device 104, an I/O interface 106, a scroll data processor 107, a coprocessor 108, terrain data ROM 109, a geometalyzer 110, shape data ROM 111, a displaying device 112, texture data ROM 113, texture map RAM 114, a frame buffer 115, an image synthesis device 116, and a D/A converter 117. The game unit main body 10 generates new virtual images at prescribed intervals (for example, each 1/60th of a second, corresponding to the vertical sync cycle of the television format).
The CPU, which serves as the position data specification means and overlap determination means, is connected via buslines to the counter 100, which counts up from an initial value, to the ROM 102, which stores the program for the game sequence and image generation, to the RAM 103, which stores temporary data, and to the sound device 104, I/O interface 106, scroll data processor 107, coprocessor 108, and geometalyzer 110.
The RAM 103 temporarily stores data required for polygon data coordinate conversion and other functions, and stores various command writes for the geometalyzer (such as object display), the results of matrix operations during conversion process operations, and other data.
When control signals are input from the input device 11, the I/O interface 106 issues interrupt requests to the CPU 101; when the CPU 101 sends data for lamp display, this data is sent to the output device 12.
The sound device 104 is connected to speakers 14 through a power amplifier 105. Audio signals output by the sound device 104 are amplified by the power amplifier 105 and delivered to the speaker 14.
The ROM 111 stores shape data for physical objects required to generate virtual images, such as the player's robot, enemy robots, bomb explosion images, and elements of the virtual terrain such as obstacles, background, and topographical features.
The ROM 109 stores shape data for physical objects (buildings, obstacles, topographical features, and the like) required to make overlap determinations as to whether a subject (object) should be obscured by an obstacle or other topographical feature, and collision determinations as to whether a subject should collide with another topographical feature.
In contrast to the relatively detailed polygon data groupings for image display stored in the ROM 111, the data groupings stored in the ROM 109 comprise rough units sufficient to perform overlap determinations and the like. For example, where fine surface texture information for the physical objects which make up the terrain, objects, and the like is ignored and only entire solid forms are modeled, the ROM 109 stores data for displaying said solid forms, together with numbers for defining each surface of the solid forms.
This data can serve as the basis for making collision and overlap determinations for physical objects and objects, and can also serve as the basis for making determinations concerning various shape features of physical objects, such as physical object height, width, and depth. For example, topographical feature data might include an ID for each surface which defines a topographical feature, and what is termed relationship of this ID and topographical feature surface is put in table form and stored in the ROM 111.
What is termed polygon data are data groupings which are sets comprising a plurality of apices, and which indicate the apices of polygons (usually triangles and quadrangles), the elements that make up the shape of a physical object, in terms of relative coordinates or absolute coordinates.
In order to generate virtual images, a coordinate system (world coordinate system) that indicates the relative positions of objects, obstacles, and other physical objects in a virtual space must be converted to a two-dimensional coordinate system (visual point coordinate system) that represents the virtual space as viewed from a designated visual point (for example, a camera or the like). The visual point is set at some prescribed position (for example, diagonally above the subject) from which the subject to be controlled is visible. The position relationship between the visual point and the subject may change in the course of the game. The coordinates which represent subject position are sent as control signals from the input device 11 to the CPU 101.
When control signals are input from the input device 11, the CPU 101, in response to the control signals, generates visual point coordinates and object coordinates for the next interval in order to move the subject. Once these coordinates have been decided, the CPU 101 performs overlap determination and collision determination for the physical objects.
Objects, obstacles, and other physical objects are made up of a plurality of polygon data sets. For each polygon which makes up a physical object, the overall shape is defined by a coordinate system (body coordinate system) in which one apex is selected as the origin and the other apices are represented by coordinates; the data sets for the polygons which make up the physical data are then associated.
To perform show-through processing on an obstacle when an object or the like comes behind the obstacle when viewed from the visual point from which the visual image is observed, it is necessary to determine the overlapping state of the physical objects. This overlap determination pertains to the present invention and will be described in detail later. In order to enable display of an explosion image when an object or obstacle is hit by a bullet or light ray, it is necessary to compute the relative positions of the physical objects and make a collision determination to determine whether the physical objects have collided. To obtain relative positions for physical objects represented by body coordinate systems, conversion to the prescribed coordinate system which makes up the virtual space (world coordinate system) must be made. Once the relative position for each physical object has been determined, it becomes possible to determine whether the physical objects collide with each other.
Once the relative positions of physical objects in the virtual space coordinate system have been decided, virtual images are generated by a conversion process which involves projection onto a two-dimensional plane which constitutes the field of vision, recreating images of the physical objects present in this virtual space as they would be observed from a given visual point (for example, camera photography). This is termed perspective projection, and the coordinate conversion performed through matrix operations for perspective projection is termed perspective conversion. It is the geometalyzer 110 that executes perspective conversion to produce the virtual image which is actually displayed.
The geometalyzer 110 is connected to the shape data ROM 111 and to the displaying device 112. The geometalyzer 110 is provided by the CPU 101 with data indicating the polygon data required for perspective conversion, as well as with the matrix data required for perspective conversion. On the basis of the matrix provided by the CPU 101, the geometalyzer 110 performs perspective conversion on the polygon data stored in the shape data ROM 111 to produce data converted from the three-dimensional coordinate system in virtual space to the visual point coordinate system. At this time, if it is necessary to display an explosion image as a result of a collision determination by the CPU 101, polygon data for the explosion image is used.
The displaying device 112 applies texture to the converted field-of-vision coordinate system shape data and outputs the result to the frame buffer 115. If, as a result of the overlap determination by the CPU 101, the object or the like is hidden behind an obstacle, prescribed show-through processing is performed. To apply texture, the displaying device 112 is connected to the texture data ROM 113 and the texture map RAM 114, and is also connected to the frame buffer 115.
The scroll data processor 107 computes text and other scroll screen data (stored in ROM 102). The image synthesis device 116 imposes text data output from the processor 107 onto the image data provided by the aforementioned frame buffer 115 and resynthesizes the image. The re-synthesized image data is output to the TV monitor 13 through the D/A converter 117.
Next, the overlap determination process in this embodiment will be described referring to the flow chart in FIG. 2.
In step S1, the CPU 101 performs the initialization necessary for displaying an obstacle. Specifically, when a new control signal is supplied by the input device 11, the CPU 101 uses the movement assigned to the control signal to compute the coordinates for the destination to which the player-controlled object is to be moved. Once the object destination has been determined, a new location for the visual point from which the object will be observed as subject is determined.
Once the new coordinates for the visual point have been computed, the CPU 101 selects the physical object which will require perspective projection when the visual space is observed from this visual point, centered on the subject. In making the selection, the coprocessor 108 refers to the shape data stored in the shape data ROM 109. The selected physical object is stored in RAM 103 together with numbers that define the surfaces which make up the physical object.
When an obstacle or other physical object to be displayed is not present in the visual field of virtual space observed from the visual point (step S2: NO), the CPU 101 provides conversion matrix data for perspective projection for the new visual point to the geometalyzer 110 and completes processing. Since a plurality of obstacles or other physical objects are usually contained within a visual field (step S2: YES), the overlap determination process described below is performed in sequence for each obstacle or other physical object contained within the visual field.
In the virtual space with a right-handed coordinate system depicted in
Area 3, which borders the front surface 740 of the obstacle, has a defined vector 74 which extends parallel to the x-z plane. Area 1, which borders the back surface 700, is assigned a vector 70 which extends in the opposite direction from vector 74. These vectors 70, 72, 74, and 76 are defined perpendicularly for each surface.
Vectors 70 and 72 are assigned to area 5, vectors 72 and 74 to area 6, vectors 72 and 76 to area 7, and vectors 76 and 70 to area 8. The vectors for each area are stored in table form in, for example, ROM 111.
In step S3 in
Since the overlap determination is usually based on the size of the angle defined by the aforementioned vector OR and vector CR, vector size is usually unimportant; thus, these vectors are usually given a prescribed size.
The vector CR, which extends from the visual point projection point C towards the object projection point R is computed from the coordinates of projection point C in the x-z plane (x1, z1) and the coordinates of projection point R in the x-z plane (x2, z2).
Next in step S4, the angle formed by the vector CR, which corresponds to a line of sight extending from the visual point towards the subject, and the vector OR (of the angles formed by the vector OR, which has the vector CR as its reference, the interior angle with the small value is hereinafter termed “interior angle” for convenience) is computed.
In step S5, the CPU 101 compares the reference angle specified by the program with the interior angle computed in step S4. When the angle formed by vector OR and vector CR is within the reference angle (step S5: YES), the height of the reference point for the subject (distance in the y direction) is compared with the height of the reference point for the obstacle (step S6).
When the height of the subject is lower than the height of the obstacle (step S6: YES), that is, when the conditions that interior angle formed by the vector OR and vector CR be smaller than the reference angle and that the height of the subject be lower than the height of the obstacle are met, the CPU 101 provides a physical object number designating said obstacle, together with a code that prescribes show-through processing for the obstacle, to the displaying device 112 through the geometalyzer 110 (step S8). When the subject moves behind a plurality of obstacles, overlap determination is performed for each obstacle, so if the overlapping states of all obstacles fulfill the aforementioned conditions, the geometalyzer is provided with numbers and codes for a plurality of physical objects.
Where the angle formed by the vector OR and vector CR is greater than the reference angle (step S6: NO), or the height of the subject is greater than the height of the obstacle (step S6: NO), a code that prescribes non-show-through processing (the usual display mode for obstacles) is provided to the geometalyzer 110 (step S7).
For example, as depicted in
Next, as shown in
Conversely, where the object height (H2) is lower than the obstacle height (H0), it is determined that the object R′ is not visible from visual point C′, whereupon the obstacle O image is generated so as to show through.
As shown in
In this embodiment of the present invention, the angle formed by the vectors is used as the basis for making the overlap determination for an object and an obstacle for the following reason. Where an object is positioned behind an obstacle when viewed from the visual point, as shown in
In contrast, where an object is positioned in front of an obstacle when viewed from the visual point, as shown in
Thus, by defining as the interior angle a reference angle that is suitable for distinguishing between the state depicted in FIG. 3A and the state depicted in
In step S6, the height of the physical objects, that is, their y coordinates in the world coordinate system of the virtual space, is used as a reference because the y coordinate for the visual point is always greater (higher) than the y coordinate for obstacles. Thus, in game devices where the “height” of the visual point is set lower then the “height” of obstacles, a comparison of the magnitude of the x coordinate for each physical object may be used in place of the “height” comparison.
When show-through processing has been instructed (step S8), the displaying device 112 performs “mesh” processing when applying texture to the obstacle in question on the basis of texture data. Where show-through processing has been instructed for a plurality of physical objects, “mesh” processing is performed for the plurality of physical objects. This mesh processing refers to a process in which pixels are selected from among the pixel array for displaying the obstacle in question, and these pixels for displaying the obstacle are replaced by inserting pixels for displaying the background in accordance with a prescribed pattern. Any type of pattern that renders the background and the object equally recognizable and that does not excessively change the look of the obstacle may be used as the prescribed pattern. For example, a pattern in which obstacle pixels and background pixels are disposed in alternating fashion is favorable.
In embodiments like that described above, the determination of an overlapping state is made on the basis of two criteria: the angle formed by the vector which extends from the visual point towards the object and the vector which extends from the obstacle towards the object, and differences in height between the two physical objects. This allows overlapping states to be determined accurately. The invention does not preclude the use of coordinate values for the objects and the obstacle, or other means for making overlap determinations for the two.
When it has been determined that an overlapping state exists, show-through processing is performed so that the obstacle is displayed in mesh format. Thus, even if an obstacle should come between the visual point and a subject, the player does not lose sight of the subject and can continue to play, while still discerning the presence of the obstacle.
Since the vector OR is stored in table format in memory and the position of an object with respect to an obstacle is read out from memory, overlap determinations may be made rapidly and easily.
i) Overlap Determination
In the foregoing embodiment, an overlapping state was determined to exist when a condition pertaining to the angle formed by the vector CR and the vector OR and a condition pertaining to the height of the subject and the height of the obstacle were both fulfilled. However, it would be possible to perform the overlap determination using angle determination alone. Since the movements of the subject tend to be quite extreme in video games, in cases where the visual point is set at a considerable distance from the obstacle, or the obstacle is rather low in height, the position relationships are generally such that it is possible for player to control the game without any sense of disorientation, even in the absence of show-through processing.
Depending on the physical object size (that is, the distance from the center of gravity to the perimeter) of obstacles, subjects, or other physical objects when viewed from the visual point, the angle formed by the vector OR and the line-of-sight vector CR when overlap occurs will differ. This angle also differs with the distance between the visual point and each physical object. The reference angle used for the comparison in step S5 may be varied in accordance with the size of the exterior of the physical objects and the distance between the visual point and the physical objects.
As shown in
ii) Show-through Processing
In the foregoing embodiment, mesh processing, whereby pixels are modified on a per-dot basis, was used for the show-through processing performed by the image generation apparatus; however, the pixels may be replaced in accordance with other patterns. Specifically, it would be possible to perform pixel replacement every two dots, or to display the background and obstacle in striped fashion. It would also be possible to use show-through processing whereby the obstacle display is rendered translucent, rather than “mesh” processing, in which pixels are replaced. To render the obstacle translucent, various operations (addition, multiplication, or the like) can be performed on the color information (RGB) for the image displaying the obstacle and the color information for the image displaying the background, so that portions of the background obscured by the obstacle become recognizable.
As shown in
In the embodiment illustrated in
As may be seen from FIG. 11 and
On the other hand, when the object projection point is R-2, show-through processing is applied to both the obstacle O1 and the obstacle O2. Since the visual point is at C-2 during this time, obstacle O1 is not included within the visual field and is not displayed as an image on the Tv monitor 13.
Where overlap determination is to be applied to all obstacles within a virtual space, it is possible to assign an identifying ID to each obstacle and to apply the processes of step S3 through step S7 to all of the IDs.
The ROM may be provided with a status flag register indicating whether overlap determination is necessary for individual obstacles. For example, where the height of an obstacle is lower than that of an object such that almost the entire object is not obscured by the obstacle even when the position of the visual point changes, a “1” is placed in the flag to indicate that overlap determination is unnecessary.
An example employing a game unit which pertains to the aforementioned embodiment will be described.
However, when the camera circles around to point P2 in
In accordance with the present invention, images are generated in such a way that figures normally generated without show-through processing are rendered as show-through figures when necessary, thereby affording a virtual image generation apparatus in which the look of the game is not impaired, and which does not require omitting obstacle display, displaying obstacles as wire frames from the start, or similar means.
Position relationships in which a subject is obscured by a physical object are determined to be overlapping states, whereupon show-through processing is applied to the physical object which obscures the subject. The subject image is therefore adequately visible to allow the player to control and discern the status of the subject without difficulty.
In particular, overlap determinations are performed on the basis of the angle formed by the vector extending from the visual point to the subject and a vector extending from the obstacle to the subject, allowing for easy and accurate determination of whether the obstacle obscures the subject. Applying show-through processing when a subject is hidden by a physical object affords a non-disorienting image display. Overlap determinations may also be made by comparing the position of a subject and a physical object.
By replacing display pixels in accordance with a prescribed pattern to effect show-through processing, the image can be made show-through by means of relatively simple processing without impairing the color, shape, or look of physical objects and subjects. In particular, by displaying physical object display pixels and background display pixels in alternating fashion, sufficiently discernible virtual images of both physical object and subject can be obtained in an overlapping state.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US5202672 *||May 8, 1992||Apr 13, 1993||Namco Ltd.||Object display system|
|US5463728 *||Mar 14, 1995||Oct 31, 1995||At&T Corp.||Electronic circuits for the graphical display of overlapping windows with transparency|
|US5491510 *||Dec 3, 1993||Feb 13, 1996||Texas Instruments Incorporated||System and method for simultaneously viewing a scene and an obscured object|
|US5651107 *||Aug 16, 1994||Jul 22, 1997||Sun Microsystems, Inc.||Method and apparatus for presenting information in a display system using transparent windows|
|US5719593 *||Dec 22, 1995||Feb 17, 1998||U.S. Philips Corporation||Single frame buffer image processing system|
|US5949432 *||Apr 11, 1997||Sep 7, 1999||Apple Computer, Inc.||Method and apparatus for providing translucent images on a computer display|
|US6054991 *||Jul 29, 1994||Apr 25, 2000||Texas Instruments Incorporated||Method of modeling player position and movement in a virtual reality system|
|US6154197 *||Aug 9, 1996||Nov 28, 2000||Kabushiki Kaisha Sega Enterprises||Virtual image generation method and its apparatus|
|EP0145321A2 *||Nov 14, 1984||Jun 19, 1985||Motorola, Inc.||System and method for altering an aspect of one of a plurality of coincident visual objects in a video display generator|
|JPH0950541A||Title not available|
|JPH06215150A *||Title not available|
|JPH06290254A *||Title not available|
|1||*||European Search Report For Application No. EP 96 92 66320, dated Sep. 21, 1998.|
|2||*||Harrison et al, "Transparent Layered User Interfaces: An Evaluation of a Display Design to Enhance Focused and Divided Attention", Conference on Human Factors and Computer Systems, May 1995.|
|3||*||Japanese Patent Office, "Translation of Excerpts from a Notification for Refusal issued by the Japanese Patent Office in Application Ser. No. 7-204849", Feb. 29, 2000, 1 page.|
|4||Notice of Reasons for Refusal, Japanese Patent Office, Dec. 2, 2005.|
|5||Notice of Reasons for Refusal, Japanese Patent Office, Jul. 8, 2005.|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US8657681||Dec 2, 2011||Feb 25, 2014||Empire Technology Development Llc||Safety scheme for gesture-based game system|
|US8790179||Feb 24, 2012||Jul 29, 2014||Empire Technology Development Llc||Safety scheme for gesture-based game system|
|US9126115||Jan 8, 2014||Sep 8, 2015||Empire Technology Development Llc||Safety scheme for gesture-based game system|
|US9266019||Jul 1, 2011||Feb 23, 2016||Empire Technology Development Llc||Safety scheme for gesture-based game|
|U.S. Classification||345/629, 348/77|
|International Classification||H04N7/18, G09B9/32, G03B35/18, G02B27/22, A63F13/55, G06T15/40, G06T19/00, H04N9/47, G09G5/00|
|Cooperative Classification||A63F2300/6661, A63F2300/6653, A63F13/5252, A63F13/57, A63F13/10, A63F2300/64, A63F2300/66, G06T15/40, G06T15/10|
|European Classification||G06T15/10, A63F13/10, G06T15/40|
|Jul 12, 2004||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: SEGA CORPORATION, JAPAN
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:KABUSHIKI KAISHA SEGA ENTERPRISES (SEGA ENTERPRISES, LTD.);REEL/FRAME:015557/0684
Effective date: 20010802
|Mar 11, 2005||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: KABUSHIKI KAISHA SEGA D/B/A SEGA CORPORATION, JAPA
Free format text: CORRECTED COVER SHEET TO CORRECT ASSIGNEE NAME, PREVIOUSLY RECORDED AT REEL/FRAME 015557/0684 (CHANGE OF NAME);ASSIGNOR:KABUSHIKI KAISHA SEGA ENTERPRISES (SEGA ENTERPRISES, LTD.);REEL/FRAME:016354/0831
Effective date: 20010802
|Dec 21, 2010||CC||Certificate of correction|
|Oct 18, 2013||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 12