I'm Matias.


WHo AM i

Matias Volonte is currently a PhD student in Human Centered computing at Clemson University. His area of study is Virtual Humans and his Academic Advisor is Dr. Sabarish Babu.

Matias's main research interests includes Virtual Humans and the impact of their appearance and animation in users. In his research, Matias focuses on understanding human users, their needs, preferences, interests and requirements. Also he investigates how technology can help users in their daily lives, supporting and improving everyday activities in the health care arena.

Matias Volonte earned his Master in Fine Arts at Clemson University and his Bachelors in Audiovisual Communication at Universidad Blas Pascal, Argentina.

Download Resume


What I can bring to table

Virtual humans specialist

During my PhD I investigated the relationship betweens humans and virtual humans.  I examined how appearance of virtual humans altered users emotions and visual attention.

VR simulations developer

I am trained for building simulations in Unity.


I am trained for designing, conducting statistical analysis and write technical investigations.

VFX ARTIST / 3Generalist

I am visually advanced since I am trained as a visual effect artist. I can convey ideas, concepts and emotions using 3D products.


I am trained for conducting simple and advanced statistical analysis such as ANOVA or Hierarchical Linear Models.


I can proficiently write C# and Python scripts.


My expertise

Body of work

I am keen to become an specialist on virtual humans. My Advisor Dr. Sabarish Babu guided me for studying how rendering style of virtual humans alters users' emotions and visual attention. As the leader of these investigations, I worked on the study design, stimulus creation, data collection, statistical analysis and on the writing of the manuscripts.

Effects of Virtual Human Appearance Fidelity on Emotion Contagion in Affective Inter-Personal Simulations

TVCG Journal. Acceptance Rate 12.6%.

We empirically evaluated the effects of near visually realistic vs. non-realistic stylized appearance of virtual humans on the emotional response of participants in a medical virtual reality system that was designed to educate users in recognizing the signs and symptoms of patient deterioration. In a between subjects experiment protocol, participants interacted with one of three different appearances of a virtual patient, namely visually realistic, cartoon-shaded and sketch-like conditions in a mixed reality simulation.

Empirical Evaluation of Virtual Human Conversational and Affective Animations on Visual Attention in Inter-Personal Simulations

IEEEVR 2018. Conference Track.

This research explores the degree to which animation fidelity affects users’ gaze behavior when interacting in virtual reality training simulations that include virtual humans. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three conditions, wherein the virtual patient either: 1) was not animated; 2)played idle animations; or 3) played idle animations, looked at the participant when speaking, and lip-synced speech and facial gestures when conversing with the participant. Each participant’s gaze was recorded in an inter-personal interactive patient surveillance simulation.

Effects of Virtual Human Appearance Fidelity on Emotion Contagion in Affective Inter-Personal Simulations

IVA 2019. Acceptance Rate 20%.

In this contribution we studied how different rendering styles of a virtual human impacted users’ visual attention in an interactive medical training simulator. In a mixed design experiment, 78 participants interacted with a virtual human representing a sample from the non-photorealistic (NPR) to the photorealistic (PR) rendering continuity. For this study, we employed an eye tracking system for collecting and analyzing users’ gaze during interaction with the virtual human in a failure to rescue medical training simulation.

Empirical Evaluation of the Interplay of Emotion and Visual Attention in Human-Virtual Human Interaction

ACM SAP 2019. Conference track.

We examined the effect of rendering style and the interplay between attention and emotion in users during interaction with a virtual patient in a medical training simulator. We used a cross-lagged panel analysis of attention and emotion to understand their reciprocal relationship over time. We also performed a mediation analysis to compare the extent to which the virtual agent’s appearance and his affective behavior impacted users’ emotional and attentional responses.