An example of Adrien’s PhD outcomes – a study on the Proteus effect based on the morphological modification of the user’s avatar

Adrien VERHULST’s PhD is entitled “Robust point pattern matching for Augmented Reality”, and took place between October 1st 2014 and July 2nd 2018. It was directed by Guillaume MOREAU (40%) and co-supervised by Cindy LOMBART (Audencia Business School, 30%%) and by myself (30%).

Adrien’s PhD is available here.


The retail sector has an anti-waste policy and has therefore offered “ugly” FaVs (Fruits and Vegetables) for sale as early as 2014. But these sales remain temporary and local and have little studied effects on consumer behavior. In his PhD thesis, Adrien proposed to study if an immersive virtual store (in which we control the FaVs) can be used to study consumer behavior confronted to “ugly” FaVs To have enough “ugly” FaVs to fill the virtual store, we developed a method capable of generating semiprocedural FaVs. To do so we: (1) generate the mesh with Generalized Cylinders (GCs); then (2) generate the colors with a particle system.

We conducted 2 comparative studies (N=142 and N=196 respectively). The first study focused on consumer behavior when the FaVs are abnormal (8 FaVs separated into 4 groups: no deformation, slightly deformed, deformed and strongly deformed). These differences had no impact on consumer behavior. The other study focused on consumer behavior when the environment is more or less immersive (8 FaVs without deformation and 8 FaVs with deformation, separated into 3 groups: laboratory store, non- immersive virtual store and immersive virtual store). There are differences between these environments on consumer behavior.

Finally, we studied if the virtual representation of the consumer had an impact during the purchase of products (including, but not limited to, FaVs). To do so we carried out a third consumer study (N=29) (2 groups: obese avatar and non-obese avatar). There are very localized differences between these representations on consumer behavior.


  • [Verhulst, Normand, Moreau 2015] A. VERHULST, J.-M. NORMAND, G. MOREAU. “Visually-Realistic Appearance Changes of Fruits and Vegetables using Particle Systems”. In Proc. of Computer Graphics International (CGI 2015), Strasbourg, France, June 24-26, 2015. hal-01625956

  • [Verhulst et al. 2017] A. VERHUSLT, J.-M. NORMAND, C. LOMBART, G. MOREAU. “A Study on the Use of an Immersive Virtual Reality Store to investigate Consumer Perceptions and Purchase Behavior toward Non-standard Fruits and Vegetables”. In Proc. of the IEEE Virtual Reality 2017 Conference (VR 2017), Los Angeles, USA, March 18-22, 2017. doi:10.1109/VR.2017.7892231 (23%)

  • [Transon et al. 2017] A. TRANSON, A. VERHULST, J.-M. NORMAND, G. MOREAU, M. SUGIMOTO. “Evaluation of Facial Expressions as an Interaction Mechanism and their Impact on Affect, Workload and Usability in an AR game”. In Proc. of the 23rd International Conference on Virtual Systems and Multimedia, VSMM 2017, Oct 2017, Dublin, Ireland. pp.1-8, hal-01625955

  • [Verhulst et al. 2017b] A. VERHULST, J.-M. NORMAND, G. MOREAU. “Generation of variability in shape, aspect and time of 3D Fruits and Vegetables”. In Proc. of the 23rd International Conference on Virtual Systems and Multimedia, VSMM 2017, Oct 2017. pp.1-8, hal-01625956

  • [Verhulst et al. 2018] A. VERHULST, J.-M. NORMAND, C. LOMBART, M. SUGIMOTO and G. MOREAU. Influence of Being Embodied in an Obese Virtual Body on Shopping Behavior and Products Perception in VR. Frontiers in Robotics and AI, 2018, 5:113. doi:10.3389/frobt.2018.00113

Jean-Marie Normand
Jean-Marie Normand
Associate Professor in Virtual/Augmented Reality

My research interests include perception and interaction in Virtual And Augmented Reality.