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August 14, 2017

Learn the Skills and Resources You Need to Master Virtual Reality

Mark Metry Founder VU Dream

Mark Metry, Founder of VU Dream

1.Tee Jia Hen, CEO of VRcollab

In my opinion, there are 4 specializations of VR content professional.
 
VR native app development
 
Why
You can create VR apps or games that will increase the productivity, simulate VR environment to help people learn faster or entertain people. The software that you created will be install in Mac, PC, Play Station or Google cardboard (android or ios).
 
This will be the one of the first frontier of VR. You will need to figure out UI/UX of VR and how to engage the user in a meaningful way that fully utilise the power of VR.
 
How to master
You will need to master a 3D engine. Unity is a good starting point, the programming language that it uses is C# or javascript.
 
If you are new to programming languages. I would recommend you to learn javascript with this resources. sethvincent/javascripting. If you are stuck, read this book. Eloquent JavaScript.
 
This is a good tutorial to make you more familiar with unity. Roll-a-ball tutorial After you are done with it. You can build the VR version of it. Developer Center – Documentation and SDKs
 
In my opinion, the only way to learn unity is create a simple game (I would suggest a VR pacman) with it, then keep google search for the things that you want to achieve. ie. I want to add gravity to the 3d object that I just added. Then show your demo in your local VR community, if there is none, just create one, crowd learning!
 
So, the tutorial above is about VR output or VR HMD. If you are interested work on VR input to create the UI/UX to change the VR environment. Leap Motion is a good option before Oculus touch or HTC Vive came out. This is the resources to do so. VR Setup | Leap Motion Developers
 
After you get all pumped up with VR. Choose a weekend, make a hot chocolate and start to read a book about the math behind game development. This is a book that I would recommend.
 
 
 
HTC Vive don’t have a good documentation. But try to read the SteamVR/extra/SteamVR_teleporter to understand how to use delegate to trigger event in Asset Store.
 
I am writing an open source HTC Vive Menu framework. Stay tuned.
 
Cinematic VR creation
Why
Cinematic VR will be the frontier of VR. The idea is to use special cameras to record the 360 degree view from a point. Wwatch it with a google cardboard.
 
I can see the use cases such as VR journalism, VR films (horror film), VR documentary, VR tutorial, VR property viewing.
 
How to master
You will need a VR video rig. There are multiple way to create it. I will link you to this google search page because I think this will change frequently.
 
Because I think light field camera will be a game changer.
 
360Heros is a good option, one of my friend setup this rig and it works perfectly.
 
Normally if you are doing a normal video to share with your friends, a raw VR video is just enough. But if you want to create a short film or movie, you will need to edit the video. A normal video editor won’t cut it. You will need a Cinematic VR Video Editor.
 
By mastering the cinematic VR video editor, I am sure that your company will be the go to company for Cinematic VR locally.
 
Photogrammetry
 
Why
360 video can capture the reality in one or a few points of view. You can’t move around or have 100% control of the reality that you captured. With photogrammetry, you can capture the reality in three dimension. With that, you can move around the three dimension reality that you captured and even alter or add 3d models that you created on it.
 
This is how it looks like in action. SteamVR destination.
 
You will feel like you are in mars.
 
 
Sure, you can capture a stereo 360 video. But, a real landscape that you can move around and add interactivity to it is more powerful for education and simulation.
 
How to Master
 
This is the best article I can find about it.
 
“The general principle behind photogrammetry involves having at least two photographs from different angles of every point you want three-dimensional information for – it will identify visual similarities and, using maths, figure out where these similar points are located in space. This does mean it is limited to static scenes containing opaque, non-specular surfaces – as mentioned, it’s not magic.”
 
 
 
VR web development
 
Why
There is no doubt that the first wave of VR will be Cinematic VR and Native VR apps and games. But it will go to the web eventually. Recently with the implementation of WebVR in chrome and mozilla pre-release, we can anticipate 3D version of world wide web coming soon, Metaverse.
 
With the user demand that created by native VR games/apps and VR video, they will expect web developer to create the website in VR too.
 
At first, the VR web experience will be you browsing a website like facebook or youtube. It will be a video like content that people will click to expand to VR mode. Different than Cinematic VR, the user can move around in this VR environment to do VR shopping, VR meetup, VR dancing, VR Kungfu learning.
 
You will need to click the full screen button on the middle to go VR mode. But you get the idea, browse in 2D, click to go to VR.
 
I can imagine the future browser will allow user to go to a different VR website by controlling your VR watch that you wear in your virtual hand. A holographic UI panel will display for you to type in which VR website you want to go to.
 
How to master
First you will need to learn threejs. Try to create a simple cube and change the color to green. This will give you a sense of what threejs is about. Follow the instruction from here. mrdoob/three.js
 
Then follow the instruction from here to setup a simple VR website. borismus/webvr-boilerplate
 
remember to use Chromium or Mozilla nightly to test your VR website. Follow the instruction here. Bringing Virtual Reality to the Web
 
Then try to add 3d models to your scene to get a sense of creating a dynamic VR website. Click the view source of this example to learn how to load a 3d model to your VR website. After this, try to change the position and rotation of the 3d model. It will give you a good sense of what threejs is about. three.js / examples
 
If you wanted to add Physics system to it, you can follow the instruction from here. https://github.com/schteppe/cannon.js/wiki/Hello-Cannon.js!
 
Since you are reading until this paragraph already, allow me to promote the open source markup language that I created.
 
If you trying to create a simple VR environment, you can use Aframe
 
 
And join this WebVR slack group to join the WebVR community. Join the WebVR × Slack community on Slack!

2. Krill Karev, Founder of Dream Girl

If you are totally new to VR, you have to learn the basics. The guys from Oculus did a great job by writing the best practices for motion, tracking, UI and lots of other things. You can start here.
 
Also, you’ll have to deal with the game engine. It’s the code your game will be based on. The two most well-known are Unreal Engine (created by Epic Games) and Unity.
 
Fortunately, both of these engines can be coded using visual scripting language, so you don’t have to know any programming language, actually.
 
Those visual scripting languages are:
  1. Blueprints for Unreal Engine;
  2. PlayMaker for Unity.
Here’s how Tommy Tran defines Blueprints visual scripting on Ray Wenderlich’s tutorial website:
“Blueprints is the visual scripting system inside Unreal Engine 4 and is a fast way to start prototyping your game. Instead of having to write code line by line, you do everything visually: drag and drop nodes, set their properties in a UI, and drag wires to connectIn addition to being a fast prototyping tool, Blueprints also makes it very easy for non-programmers to dive in and start scripting.”
It looks like this:
 
 
You can start with the Unreal Engine course that is approved by Epic Games. It includes 15.5 hours long and has 85 videos. You’ll make two games during the course and get a Certificate of Completion from Udemy afterwards.
 
Unity is a bit harder. Although PlayMaker visual scripting is a third-party extension of the engine (which does not have its own visual scripting language), you can also find some PlayMaker courses on Udemy.
 
And I totally agree with the others: learn and have fun!

Conclusion

Check back on this page frequently for updates and additions.

We’ve seen a tremendous amount of disruptive change coming from the Virtual Reality Industry. It is surely certain that this kind of content will accelerate based on trends in the future.

You most likely have some other VR ideas that can change the world! Share them with us on social media!

Thank you for Reading

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