VRGit: A Version Control System for Collaborative Content Creation in Virtual Reality

Lei Zhang, Ashutosh Agrawal, Steve Oney, and Anhong Guo

Immersive authoring tools allow users to intuitively create and manipulate 3D scenes while immersed in Virtual Reality (VR). Collaboratively designing these scenes is a creative process that involves numerous edits, explorations of design alternatives, and frequent communication with collaborators. Version Control Systems (VCSs) help users achieve this by keeping track of the version history and creating a shared hub for communication. However, most VCSs are unsuitable for managing the version history of VR content because their underlying line differencing mechanism is designed for text and lacks the semantic information of 3D content; and the widely adopted commit model is designed for asynchronous collaboration rather than real-time awareness and communication in VR. We introduce VRGit, a new collaborative VCS that visualizes version history as a directed graph composed of 3D miniatures, and enables users to easily navigate versions, create branches, as well as preview and reuse versions directly in VR. Beyond individual uses, VRGit also facilitates synchronous collaboration in VR by providing awareness of users’ activities and version history through portals and shared history visualizations. In a lab study with 14 participants (seven groups), we demonstrate that VRGit enables users to easily manage version history both individually and collaboratively in VR.