Creating VR Experiences

Introduction to Virtual and Augmented Reality

Course Overview

AIE have developed an introductory course to Virtual and augmented reality development, a rapidly expanding field, as the technology becoming increasingly accessible to consumer and enterprise markets alike. The course will teach participants how to create their own VR experiences using the Unity 3D engine, with modules covering subject from the required technical knowledge to the physiological considerations that go into creating a comfortable VR experience.

With access to AIE's VR Lab, participants will complete the course in 10 weeks with the practical skills and knowledge, to create experiences such as VR architectural visualisations, simple VR games, and VR simulations for industry. This is made easier with ready access to current equipment, including HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and a Mobile VR Devices. Participants can expect to be taught by Industry developers and have access to resources that can be used to create your own VR environment.

This course is intended for active participants or interest in VR applications or who have some experience in either programming or game design.

Shinecon VR Headset (included with course)

Subject / Topic Breakdown

Make virtual environments suited for Virtual Reality in a game engine

Topic 1 - Introduction to VR & AR
  • History of VR and AR
  • Types of hardware
  • Current hardware
  • Differences between delivering normal experience vs VR / AR
Topic 2 - How do VR & AR work?
  • VR - HMDs, cameras, lenses, tracking and controllers
  • AR - Slam, Accelerometers, Mixed Reality and Markers
Topic 3 - Practical VR?
  • Practical considerations / current-gen limitations
  • Maintaining framerate
  • Texture fidelity
  • Eye-strain and player fatigue
Topic 4 - Designing a Vrtual Environment
  • Scale considerations
  • Consider player’s ability to lean and change stance
  • Consider locomotion method used by player
  • Cannot force the player to look in specific locations without taking away control
  • Sense of scale can be influenced by manipulation of virtual IPD
Topic 5 - Building a Virtual Environment
  • Demonstrate project setup for VR in Unity or UE4
  • Demonstrate ability to work in the editor with headset attached for testing
  • Demonstrate build process for a standalone Rift/Vive build

Understand the relationship between virtual and physical spaces

Topic 1 - Seated Experiences
  • Best suited for cockpit style experiences, or those where you have a disembodied camera
  • Some users can handle seated playing of FPS style games, others will quickly get disoriented
  • Experiences such as virtual desktop and virtual cinemas
  • QANTAS use of seated VR for inflight entertainment
Topic 2 - How do VR & AR work?
  • Immersion
  • Making the most of the space
  • Making use of different sized spaces
  • Safety considerations
  • VIVE Wireless adapter
Topic 3 - Locomotion
  • Omni-directional treadmills
  • Current research
  • Consumer
  • Research into redirected walking, minimum viable space required
Topic 4 - Untethered Experiences
  • Gear VR
  • Funhouse VR
  • Future technology

Adapt and apply concepts learned to a variety of applications

Topic 1 - Beyond Games
  • Serious games / Simulation / Military applications / Mining
  • Film / Industry
  • Applications / Tools
  • Art and installations
Topic 2 - Film
  • LoTR / Avatar CG directing with VR / AR
  • Cinematic experiences (storytelling)
Topic 3 - Let's Get Serious
  • Training and simulation applications (serious games)
  • Treatment for phobias, PTSD
  • Rehabilitation from brain damage such as strokes (neuroplasticity)
  • Treatment for phantom limb syndrome
Topic 4 - Tools and Apps
  • Capstone project (could be a good, tool or simulation) customised to individual learner needs.

Design interactions with Virtual / Augmented reality

Topic 1 - Methods of Interaction
  • Presence
  • Standard controllers
  • Head movement and gaze control
  • Motion Controllers
  • Hand controls
  • Simulator controls
  • Custom controls
  • Consideration of how input choice will affect environment design
Topic 2 - Physical Interation in VR
  • Lack of physical sensation
  • Haptic feedback
  • Visual feedback
  • Physical exertion
  • Stability of real-time physics in games
Topic 3 - Custom Pheripherals
  • Gun peripheral
  • Motion capture suits
  • Kinect
  • Possibility of markers coming to market that allow you to make any real world object trackable in VR
Topic 4 - Displaying Information
  • Menus
  • Consider player’s ability to lean and change stance
  • Huds
  • Cursors
Topic 5 - Building a Virtual Environment
  • Demonstrate project setup for VR in Unity or UE4
  • Demonstrate ability to work in the editor with headset attached for testing
  • Demonstrate build process for a standalone Rift/Vive build

Understand the physiological constraints of VR applications and how to design around them

Topic 1 - Vestibular System
  • How the vestibular system actually works - humans can sense such as change in orientation and acceleration
  • How these senses can conflict.
Topic 2 - Simulator Sickness
  • Long running research problem, many VR issues are similar to Simulator Sickness issues encountered in the aviation industry
  • Different types of reactions that can occur:
    • Nausea
    • Oculomotor - most difficult to overcome in VR due to limitations of technology
    • Disorientation
  • Not all motion is equal.
  • Tolerance to vestibular conflicts over time
  • Previous VR experience, training, age and even sex can influence susceptibility to some issues
Topic 3 - Building a comfortable Experience
  • Artificial locomotion
  • Strategies that can be used to reduce problems
  • Vection illusions and design strategies that can be used to reduce or enhance them
  • Examples of games/applications that adopt strategies to mitigate issues.
  • Dealing with restricting player movement
  • Future technology
Topic 4 - Designing to Virtual Reality strengths
  • Strategies to most effectively manipulate a user's visual processing
  • Stereoscopic cues
  • Convergence information
  • Environment design for best results
  • Pictorial monocular depth cues

Course Details

Date Tuesday 3rd October 2017
Time 5.30pm - 9.30pm | Tue & Thu session
Duration 10 weeks
Cost $5,500.00