Virtual Reality (VR) is one of the areas of knowledge that have taken advantage of the computer technological development and scientific visualization. It has been used in different applications such as engineering, medicine, education, entertainment, astronomy, archaeology and arts. A main issue of VR and computer assisted applications is the design and development of the virtual environment, which comprises the virtual objects. Thus, the process of designing virtual environment requires the modelling of the virtual scene and virtual objects, including their geometry and surface characteristics such as colours, textures, etc.
This research work presents a new methodology to develop low-cost and high quality virtual environments and scenarios for biomechanics, biomedical and engineering applications. The proposed methodology is based on open-source software. Four case studies corresponding to two applications in medicine and two applications in engineering are presented. The results show that the virtual environments developed for these applications are realistic and similar to the real environments. When comparing these virtual reality scenarios with pictures of the actual devices, it can be observed that the appearance of the virtual scenarios is very good. In particular the use of textures greatly helps in assessing specific features such as simulation of bone or metal. Thus, the usability of the proposed methodology for developing virtual reality applications in biomedical and engineering is proved. It is important to mention that the quality of the virtual environment will also depend on the 3D modelling skills of the VR designer.