The Oklahoma Virtual Academic Laboratory (OVAL) by OU Libraries
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The Oklahoma Virtual Academic Laboratory (OVAL)

The Oklahoma Virtual Academic Laboratory (OVAL) is a prototype VR-Classroom application designed to encourage remote collaboration between acdaemics. Up to twenty users can inhabit the same VR space, import 3D content, and analyze 3those models with built-in tools.

Please contact Matt Cook ( with any questions, concerns, or recommendations. Enjoy OVAL!

OVAL-related Publications

Portals to the Past: OU Libraries & The Arc/k Project (Archived)

Join us, in virtual reality, for a guided tour of the Syrian architectural ruins at Palmyra. During this live OVAL event, Professor Amr Al Azm, PhD (Associate Professor at Shawnee State University) will remotely guide a "walk-through" of the Syrian ruins at Palmyra and contextualize the history of the Arch from its construction to present day, offer insight as to why ISIS chose to destroy the site, and discuss and the importance of the Arch and Palmyra as a Syrian cultural heritage icon that can help restore the fabric of a devastated country and people.

This content was generated - via cutting-edge photogrammetric methods - and generously shared by The Arc/k Project. The mission of of the Arc/k project is well summerized on their website: "“The Arc/k Project digitally archives that which is too valuable, too important, and too unique to be lost or forgotten. As great as the palaces of Versailles or as humble as a discarded arrowhead, our cultural heritage defines who and what we are – and we can all play a vitally important role in preserving it.”

Tuesday, May 8th, at 1pm CST

Palmyra ScreenCap

OVAL (LeapMotion + 3D Mouse Controls Only)

Welcome to OVAL! The Oklahoma Virtual Academic Laboratory. The following guide will assist you with any functionality that OVAL currently has. If you find something that isn’t covered or that is confusing in this guide, please leave a revision suggestion in the comments. OVAL is a VR-Classroom application by University of Oklahoma Libraries encouraging collaboration between academics, professors, and students. Up to twenty users can inhabit the same VR space, import any 3D model on the fly, and analyze 3D models with built-in tools.

Hardware Dependencies

OVAL requires the use of an Oculus Rift CV1. A Leap Motion Hand Tracker with a 3Dconnexion SpaceNavigator or Oculus Touch Controllers are required to control the software.

Known Bugs

  1. Menu text may be garbled after opening the file browser within OVAL. To fix, exit back to the main menu and rejoin OVAL.
  2. Video capture action does not record microphone audio of the user.
  3. Video capture freezes OVAL for 3-5 seconds when first selected. After this, OVAL performs normally.

OVAL Setup



  1. Extract the files
  2. Run Oval.exe

First-Time Configuration

  • Click on the settings menu Main Menu

Settings Menu

  • First, go to the room setup. Main Menu - Settings

Room Setup

  • On this screen the room is defined. For multiplayer functionality, all users will need to have the same room defined.

Room Setup Menu

Model Folder Setup

  • On this screen the root folder of the model import function is defined.

Model Folder Setup Menu

OVAL Quickstart Guide

For a video introduction to OVAL, check out this tutorial

Compatible File Types

OVAL can be used to view .obj, .stl, .dae, and .fbx files.

Head Movement

The movement of the field of view is tied to the movement of your head. If you want to look at something, just turn your head.

Leap Motion and 3DConnexion Compact SpaceMouse Controls

Leap Motion Setup

Leap Motion Setup Page

3DConnexion Setup

3DConnexion Compact Setup Page

Maneuvering through OVAL menus

Using OVAL may feel unnatural for the first few minutes, but the hand gestures quickly become intuitive. This section of the guide will cover all gestures needed to utilize OVAL’s many functions.

Use your hands

OVAL uses a LEAP Motion controller attached to the front of an Oculus Rift in order to capture the movement of your hands. For this reason, Touch controllers are not needed. All you need are your hands. Let’s start with clicking.

Look for the circle

This green/blue circle is your cursor. Think of it as an extension of your hand. If you want to click on a button, make sure that the circle appears on the button you are attempting to click. If you aren’t seeing the circle, lower your hands off screen and bring them back up. They will return with different color accents. This will indicate that your virtual hands have been refreshed. See if the circle is appearing now.

Cursor Circle

Pinch to click

In OVAL, a standard mouse click is replaced with a pinch of your finger. As hands vary, so does the efficacy of this function. For most, the best method is to open your hand and keep all four fingers together and extended. Then make a pinching motion using four fingers as the top of the pinch motion and your thumb as the bottom. If you aren’t able to click, lower your hands off screen and bring them back up. They should return with different color accents. This will indicate that your virtual hands have been refreshed. See if are able to click now.

Clicking requires opening your hand like this: Clicking Hand Example - Open

Then closing your hand with all four fingers remaining parallel and your index and middle finger touching your thumb like this:

Clicking Hand Example - Closed

Remember to Alligator Click!

Using OVAL

Loading Models

To load a model into OVAL, click on start from the main screen. After OVAL loads, there will be a menu on the left. Click “Model” then “Import.” This will bring up an explorer window with the folder that is defined in the “Settings” before the OVAL session was launched. To select a model, double-click or click once and select “Okay.”

Model Import Menu

Where is my file?

If you can't find your model (or its parent folder), check in the settings on the main menu and ensure that OVAL is pointed at the right directory.

I loaded my file, but I can’t find it

By default, models loaded into OVAL occupy a 1 meter sphere. If you uncheck the resize button, the file can be loaded in its original size. Because of this, sometimes a file can be too small or too far away when it is initially loaded. The first step in troubleshooting this situation is to click the close-button to ensure that the model was properly loaded. A small version of the model should appear very close to your perspective. Click “Close-Up” again to remove this. After verifying that the model is correctly loading, reload the model with the “Resize” button unchecked.

Edit Function - Scale and Axis Movement

The more complex the model, the more this function will lag. Use the "Scale" slider bar to increase or decrease the size of the model. All scaling is uniform. Use the other three slider bars to rotate the object on the labelled axis.

Scale Menu

Close Up Function

There is a Close Up Function in the Model Menu. This function brings a small version of the loaded model directly in front of you. This model has a sphere around it and will respond directly to touch.

Close Up Function

Actions Menu

Actions Menu

Tour Function

The "Tour" function will take your ship on a preset movement around the object.

Regroup Function

The regroup function will pull participants back to the room owner.

Regroup Button

Indicate Function

The indicate function will cause a ping noise and a dot to alert other participants to whatever is pointed to.

Indicate Function

Annotate Function

By clicking and holding with the annotate tool selected, "ink" will be dispense out of the hand/controller that is clicking.

Ink Level

When the ink level is depleted, you will no longer be able to annotate. At this point you can click share to show your annotations and refill your ink. If you do not wish to share you annotations, simply press new.

Ink Level

Measure Function

The measure function will tell you the distance of a straight line. If this is cutting through an object, it will measure the straight line and not around the perimeter.

Measure Menu

Snapshot Function

As soon as the snapshot button is clicked, a countdown from 3 will appear. The field of view will be captured at the end of the countdown.

  1. Snapshot Button
  2. Snapshot Countdown

Settings Menu

Settings Menu

Skybox Settings

Change the background here.

Lighting Settings

View and change lighting options. Intensity increases the amount of light and the axis sliders change the location of the source of the light.

Lighting Menu

Video Capture

Utilizing Kaltura and MyMedia

In order to utilize voice capture, OU students/faculty/staff should

Instructions for Multiplayer Sessions

Up to twenty users can inhabit the same VR space, import any 3D model on the fly, and analyze 3D models with built-in tools. To set up a multiplayer session, each user will need to ensure that the room name on their OVAL session matches with all other users they would like to work with in the same VR space.

Room Ownership

The first user to “enter” a room by beginning a session and loading a model will be in control of the room. This user will control the following functions: Model Loading Model Scaling and rotation Model tour function Ship visibility Skybox background choice Light functions (X, Y, Z axis control of light source and intensity)

Voice Chat

When you enter into a room with another user, voice chat is automatically enabled. If you aren’t hearing the other person, check your sound source in windows. Make sure the sound is being pushed to the Rift Headphones and that it is turned up.