WID Virtual Environments

WID Virtual Environments


On-Going Projects

A context-based health information needs assessment strategy.

3D Crime Scene Investigation
Utilizing a forensic training location to create artificial crime scenes.

Polar Virtual Reality Exhibit
Interactive display to learn the extreme universe using high-energy neutrinos.

UW Virtual Brain Project
Investigating how people make conceptual inferences from visual information.

Mount Horeb Area History
A Virtual Tour Through the history of the Mount Horeb Area.

Home 3D
Allowing clinicians to virtually see a patient’s home.

A Unity3D Plugin for Non-Head Mounted Virtual Reality Display Systems.

Previous Projects


SC Johnson Educational and Marketing Simulation

Virtual Exertions



IceCube CAVE Visualization

Roots SPIM Visualization


Kevin Ponto

Kevin Ponto, PhD – Ponto Lab
Kevin Ponto is Assistant Professor in the Design Studies Department in the School of Human Ecology and faculty in the Virtual Environments Group (formerly the Living Environments Lab) at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.


Karen Schloss

Karen Schloss, PhD – Schloss Lab
Karen Schloss is an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin – Madison in the Department of Psychology and Wisconsin
Institute for Discovery.

Karen Schloss

Gail Casper, PhD – Associate Scientist
Gail Casper designs and evaluates technologies targeted to patients and healthcare providers to improve care in the home.

Ross Tredinnick, MS – Systems Programmer
Since joining WID in 2012, Tredinnick has been involved in a multitude of collaborative research projects, ranging from the digital humanities to astrophysics and cultural preservation to healthcare in the home.

Catherine Arnott-Smith, PhD – Discovery Fellow
Catherine’s current interests include consumer health vocabulary, consumer comprehension of clinical text in various environments including personal health records and electronic medical records.

Bas Rokers, PhD – Discovery Fellow
Research focuses on the neural mechanisms underlying visual perception, with an emphasis on motion and depth perception.

Chris Racey, PhD – Postdoctoral Associate
Chris Racey’s background is in visual
neuroscience and fMRI. He is interested in color cognition and the neural representation of color.

Alex Peer, Phd – Graduate Assistant
Current interests fall in perception of space in virtual and augmented reality

Simon Smith, BS – Research Assistant
Research includes analyzing the Impact of Virtual Reality and 3D Capture Technology on Crime Scene Investigation (Ponto Lab)

Hyo-jeong Kang, PhD – Graduate Assistant
Hyo-jeong Kang is a Ph.D. student studying Environmental Design. Her research interest has been developed around the
interdisciplinary area of design, retailing and marketing.

Melissa Schoenlein, PhD – Graduate Assistant
Melissa Schoenlein is a Ph.D. student whose research interests is the role of perceptual features (e.g. color) in cognitive processing and information visualization

Jake Lundy – Undergraduate Assistant

Bryce Sprecher – Undergraduate Assistant

Thaddeus Gue – Undergraduate Assistant

Alec Archambault – Undergraduate Assistant



Virtual Environments links to software, description of hardware the lab possesses, and example data sets that we can visualize using any of our VR display hardware resources.



  • 6-Sided CAVE – 9.5’x9.5’x9.5′ rear projection display immersive VR system
  • Development Lab – 9.5’x9.5′ power wall + Vive, Oculi, Windows Mixed Reality
  • Schloss Lab – 2 VR HMD Testing Booths with Oculus Rift CV1
  • DSCVR – 20 panel 3D TV Based Display System
  • LiDAR Scanner – Faro Focus S120
  • Hololens, Vive, Oculus Rift, Windows Mixed Reality head sets.

Example Data Sets and Compatible File Formats for Visualization with Lab Resources:

Name Desciption
Visible Human Project Complete 3D representations of the male and female human bodies from the U.S. National Library of Medicine
Taliesin Estate Currently 3D Scans and Quad Copter Videos, to be turned into a 3D Point Cloud, of the estate of architect Frank Lloyd Wright
Underwater Ship-Wreck Video footage courtesy of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to study underwater point cloud reconstruction
Two Galaxies Colliding Time-varying cloud point data set of 2500 time-steps over 2-3 minutes from the University of Wisconsin- Madison Astronomy Department.
Sequential Textual Information Various data sets of textual information over time that can be visualized using the WordCAKE tool
DC Smith Greenhouse 3D Scan of DC Smith Greenhouse located on UW–Madison campus. Resulted from first Model This! contest winners.
Little Norway Stave Church 3D Scan of famous church from 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. Once located in Mt. Horeb, WI, now being shipped back to Norway.
Name Examples
Point Cloud  pcd, e57, PTX, PTZ, XYZ
Molecular File Protein Data Bank Format and various other molecule coordinate/structure files
Volumetric Image DICOM, TIFF stacks, RAW, interfile, vevo and others
Graphics / Game Engines Unity 3D, Ogre 3D, and OpenSceneGraph
ParaView supported formats VTK, H5part HDF5 Particle files, and more
Autodesk Formats FBX, Revit, 3D Studio Max, Maya, etc.
360 degree video-mp4


WID Virtual Environments hosts tours of its lab space for the public, other research groups on campus, and for interested industry partners.  Contact Ross Tredinnick, Systems Programmer – rdtredinnick@wisc.edu if interested in scheduling a tour or finding out additional information.

WID Virtual Environments actively participates in building and campus-wide events such as the Wisconsin Science Festival and Science Expeditions.

On the third Thursday of each month, WID Virtual Environments hosts a Researcher’s Open House – and open doors to interested parties on campus to discuss possible collaboration and project ideas and opportunities.  Those interested in attending, please contact virtualenvironments@wid.wisc.edu.