Programming VR applications using the XVR technology

31 May 2006

Scuola Superiore S. Anna

Aula Magna

Piazza Santa Caterina, Pisa, Italy


XVR is a development framework for complex VR application. It was used at PERCRO in the past 9 years for a variety of projects dealing with real-time graphics and interaction, and it is continuously updated to accommodate always-evolving programming needs. Thanks to its ease of use and flexibility XVR is today used by several research institution around the world offering a wide range of useful and practical functionality to control the many aspects linked to VR programming, including real-time graphics, sound, interaction, cluster rendering (CAVE), and support to the most common VR devices (trackers, displays, haptics and interaction devices).

XVR fundamental design goal is simplicity of use: every new programming construct need to be simple, flexible and effective. This strict design philosophy made XVR a platform able to accommodate both the novices needs as well as “professional” programming.



This workshop has a strong technological content, and it is for anyone involved or interested in VR application development. It will expose the overall framework of XVR technology, showing how it can be used in a range of common situations. It will also present a collection of projects completed or under development, and it will offer the opportunity to discuss the technical aspects involved in Virtual Reality development.

The event will last 1 full day, subdivided in a series of tutorials and (shorter) presentations. Each presentation will last about 30 min, showing the architectures and discussing the performance of VR installations including:

Haptic- enabled VR

Network rendering for CAVE-like installations

Controlling multi-PC VR installations

6DOF interaction & tracking

VR for cultural heritage

3D on the WEB using XVR

Preliminary schedule:

Thursday 31 (Scuola Superiore S.Anna – Aula Magna)

9:00 - 10:00 Tutorial I : Introduction to XVR technology framework and programming environment

10:30 – 11:30 Tutorial II : Scene-graph, 3D Sound and Real-time physics

11:45 - 12:45 Tutorial III : OpenGL 2.0 Shaders programming in XVR

Lunch break

14:00 - 15:00 Tutorial V : Haptic rendering and interaction

15:15 - 16:15 Tutorial IV : Advanced code organization and programming techniques (including CAVE programming)

16.30 – 18.30 Projects presentations (Detailed program coming)

Participation is free and open to everyone. If you would like to present an application or installation that uses XVR please get in touch:

How to get to Pisa

Pisa has a very practical international airport, with plenty of low-fare connection from/to many places in Europe. Both Ryanair and EasyJet fly to Pisa, and there are plenty more low-cost airlines too.

How to reach Scuola Superiore S.Anna (XVR tutorials - March 31st)

The tutorials will take place in Pisa, at the main campus of Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna. The Campus entrance is located in a central square of Pisa (Piazza Santa Caterina). If you are staying within the city center the cheapest and fastest way to reach the location is by walk (traffic is often a problem in Pisa). If your hotel is outside the city center take a taxi and ask for “Piazza Santa Caterina”.


How to reach PERCRO (PRESENCCIA IP meeting – June 1st)

The PRESENCCIA meeting will take place at PERCRO main laboratory, that is in a different place than the tutorials. PERCRO is located in Pontedera, that is about 25 Kilometers west from Pisa. It is well connected to the city center by train (about 20 mins). General travel directions on how to reach us can be found here.



PISA offers a range of hotels, most of them located at a walking distance from the main train station. Here is a short lists of possible accommodations:

A very practical hotel (just meters away from the train station) would be:

A cheaper alternative, not far from the station (5 mins) is

For those of you that prefer a central location (15 min walking to the station and in a nice location):

Another good hotel just next to the famous Pisa Tower

Other hotels can be found here