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This course will begin your journey to creating Virtual Reality experiences. A Virtual Reality experience is a new world that you step into and are entirely immersed in. Creating a VR experience means creating that world and all the objects in it.
In this course you will learn the basics of 3D graphics: how we create objects and how to lay them out to create an environment. You will learn techniques like materials and texturing that make your objects appear realistic. You will also learn about audio techniques to ensure that your experiences sound great as well as looking great. In all of these topics we will pay attention to the particular requirements of Virtual Reality, including pitfalls and performance issues: making sure your environment runs fast enough in VR.
You will learn all of this using the professional game and VR engine, Unity3D. Unity is one of the most used game engine and is a relatively easy, but fully featured, introduction to 3D development.
The course will culminate in a project in which you will create your own VR scene. VR development is something you can only learn by doing it yourself, so working on your project will be the best way to learn.
This week you will begin developing 3D Virtual Reality Environments. We will cover the basics of 3D graphics, including a number of 3D engines and development environments that you can use. We will particularly focus on the Unity3D engine.
In this module you will carry on learning about 3D graphics, including how to use transforms to lay out a 3D scene and how to use materials to give your objects a distinctive appearance. You will also submit the first draft of your project.
In this week you will learn about using sound in Virtual Reality and how you can use advanced 3D Audio techniques to enhance your experience.
Content Creation: What works in VR?
In this final week of the course, we will put together everything we have learned to think about how to create compelling VR worlds. We will start by looking behind the scenes at how 3D graphics hardware works and why VR can be so demanding of computing power. Then we will think about the particular requirements of content creation for VR. You will finish by submitting the final version of your project for a peer review.
Dr Marco Gillies and Sylvia Xueni Pan