We discuss the evolution and current status of investigations at our Graphics, Visualization, and Virtual Environments Laboratory. The progression of user interface technology has led us from display systems evaluation, to performance studies of graphics workstations, stereoscopic and head-mounted displays, user-input devices, and interactive techniques for virtual environments. We have been involved in prototyping applications for terrain visualization, situation awareness for command and control, maintenance procedures training, and interactive design. Our current emphasis is on developing techniques for rapid modeling of virtual environments, to support mission planning, rehearsal, and interactive design and visualization. We discuss in detail three examples of these applications, and we present a set of guidelines that we have found to be useful for quickly constructing effective virtual environments.