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25 VR Twitter Accounts You Need To Be Following

 

UploadVR published an article recommending 25 people you should be following if you're interested in VR.

I'm very happy they've included me on the list, alongside some people I very much respect - and some personal heroes of mine! 

To be included with such people as John Carmack, Tim Sweeney, Timoni West, Alan Yates, Chet Faliszek, Shuhei Yoshida, Robert Scoble, and of course, the man who kickstarted the VR revolution - Palmer Luckey - is pretty amazing! Thanks UploadVR!

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Unity VR Samples: Remixed

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Unity VR Samples: Remixed

After working on the VR Samples with Unity, I thought it might be entertaining - for me at least - to try 'remixing' them in the style of some of my dioramas

Here's a few hours of playing around with the Flyer minigame, and adding a bunch of Asset Store things in, and lots of tweaking of various properties.

Runs at a solid 75fps on my DK2, with 780ti. This is in no way designed to run on mobile :)

Assets used include:

Gallery of my WIP below.


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Unity VR Samples

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Unity VR Samples

Unity asked me to work with them on the Unity VR Samples, which is aimed at people who are interested in starting VR development in Unity. I'm very happy to say it's now been released!

It consists of a VR Sample project for Gear VR and DK2, with a menu scene and four minigames:

It's also backed by extensive documentation about various aspects of VR and how they're applied in the VR Samples:

 

If you're new to VR dev, take a look! There's tons of information in there that's bound to be useful to you.

Big thanks for the Unity team for their hard work and putting up with me :)

 

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Speaking at Unite Europe 2015 - A Quick Summary

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Speaking at Unite Europe 2015 - A Quick Summary

This was the second time I attended the fun and inspiring Unite Europe conference in Amsterdam, and this time I was on stage - twice!

A huge, heartfelt thank you to Unity and the team who organised it. Not only for organising a wonderful event for ~1500 people, but also for accepting my session, and putting me on the main stage.

First up was the brief mention in the Unite keynote at 1:46:50 (thanks Andy!) - followed by my session on the main stage: "Turning It Up To Eleven: Making Unity 5 Look AWESOME". For those of you surprised I wasn't talking about VR, making Unity look amazing is my other passion!

This was my first time speaking at an international tech conference, and it seemed to go down well - see the tweets embedded below. Although it's a lot of work to prepare, the payoff is definitely worth it, and once you're on the stage any worries just disappear.

On the second day of the conference I was on the "So You Want To Be A Unity Freelancer?" panel with Cat Burton, Kerry Turner, and Emil Johansen - which was genuinely interesting to be on from my point of view. It was great sharing thoughts, tips, and strategies with other experienced freelancers - I definitely learned some new things, and perhaps we convinced some people to go freelance too.

I believe both talks were recorded, and will be available on YouTube over the next few weeks. I'll update this when they're available, and upload my edited slides soon.

[Edit: Link to Turning It Up To Eleven: Making Unity 5 Look AWESOME!]

Various tweets about the two talks below. I think my favourite is "@yezzer is the Michael Bay of Unity scenes".



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Unity 5 FX and composition test - LD Dropship

Over the weekend I spent a few hours creating a diorama from Assets Store purchases, with a focus on making Unity 5 look good through lighting and image effects. 

 

Watch this video at 1080:

Here's a couple of stills to compare before and after:

Before image effects

After image effects

I'm now working on the next partof the sequence. It's a little tricky to see, but here the door is falling off:

Door falling off

I'll be blogging about my process soon - a lot of people have expressed interest in this, and it really was only a few hours of playing around (and years of knowledge and experience which I'm willing to share!).

Worth noting that this is only designed to run on my machine: i7 4790k @ 4.6Ghz / 16GB / 780ti.

 

 

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Vuforia just made Augmented Reality 10x more interesting with Object Recognition

While I really enjoy making AR content with Unity, I realise that its real-life applications are few and far between. This could be set to change with Vuforia beta 4.0, which introduces Object Recognition.

In short, this means we are no longer bound by flat planes with markers on them, such as business cards, posters, boxes, and menus. Vuforia now allows us to use a physical product as a marker, which is very, very exciting.

A great example is toys, and Vuforia uses an augmented toy car in their promotional video:

 

As soon as I was notified about the release, I had to take a look. Although it's beta software, it works well. My first test of the tech was with a toy car, which was a bit boring. Time for something a bit more interesting, and relevant to my interests. Since I'm obsessed with Iron Man, I thought I'd try using an Arc Reactor prop as a marker.

First of all, place the object to track on the special scanning marker, and use the scanning App to build up a model that Vuforia can track.

Then send the tracking data to yourself, and upload to the Object Tracking manager. Download the Unity package, import into your project, then just add whatever you want to it.

In this case, I had some assets that I thought might work well with it. So here we go, an Arc Reactor with Iron Man flying above it, with a few other elements. 

It works! It's remarkably robust too, considering I'm using quite a symmetrical marker. I'll see if I can capture a video of it when I have some time, as it's much more impressive than a boring static screenshot. 

In all, this took me around an hour. About half of that was waiting for the assets to download. Once again, basic AR is easy.. it's all the functionality that's added on top that take time!

I wish I had an accurate 3D model of the Arc Reactor, as it could be made a lot more interesting augmenting parts of the reactor (see the car bonnet in the Vuforia video above).

This tech could have great applications for use with physical objects, including and also far beyond toys. I'm very excited about what we can make with this, it could have huge uses in training, education, marketing, and advertising... anything that involves a physical product that doesn't deform.

One thing I'm interested in is how much they're going to charge for this. No details are released yet. It should be fine for prototypes for clients, but anything 'out in the wild' is unlikely to be completely free.

I'll post more experiments with Vuforia Object Recognition in the coming weeks.

If you want any more info on this, use the contact form and give me a shout.

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