Design UI Project

Interactive Climbing Route Design Using a Simulated Virtual Climber

Jonas Pfeil, Jun Mitani and Takeo Igarashi



Route setting is the process of creating climbing routes for the sport of free climbing. By fastening climbing holds to artificial climbing walls, a route emerges that provides a challenge for climbers. It is a difficult process usually requiring either a very skilled climber or a lot of time and test climbs. We propose a climbing route designer that aims to enable even novice climbers to create interesting and challenging routes by designing them on the computer using a simulated climber to analyze the route and visualize the result. While the user places climbing holds on the wall, the software tries to find a route from the start configuration of the virtual climber to a finish hold. Each hand or foot is moved individually and the static poses are tested for feasibility and scored for difficulty. The progress of the search is visualized to give the user immediate feedback. When finished, the climber is animated and the resulting route is shown, including the difficulty of the individual poses. In our current implementation static poses are calculated by a heuristic, not using physics based calculation. Dynamics are not considered and movement between the poses is simply interpolated. Using this prototype of the virtual climber it was possible to successfully test the user interface concept and collect a lot of feedback and ideas. We conducted an informal user study with climbers that had varying degrees of route setting experience.


Jonas Pfeil, Jun Mitani and Takeo Igarashi,
Interactive Climbing Route Design Using a Simulated Virtual Climber,
the 4th ACM SIGGRAPH Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques in Asia, Technical Sketches, Article No.2, Hong Kong, Dec. 13-15, 2011.

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