Since the introduction of the movie Avatar in 2009, developers and people alike have been fascinated with the possibilities offered by two images put side to side, each projected into one side of the brain. VR comes along to offer the possibility to view 3D content in new ways that are so amazing and so thrilling that VR is considered the future that can potentially eclipse all “traditional” screens, paper, images etc. VR has been steadily gaining ground and being augmented into all types of media. It soon will become integral to visualisation and a permanent block in most 3D production workflows.
VR or virtual reality is a brand new technology that holds the promise to virtual parallel universes that are built by designers, developers …. And eventually …. Everyone. A couple of years ago it was predicted that very soon VR content consumption will be available and accessible to everyone much like how the TV and mobile phones are. Only recently have we witnessed that prediction becoming reality with the introduction of the infamous Oculus Rift VR headset, connected to a PC it can project 3D content into virtual reality. More affordable options are Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard that are made to be used with mobile phones.
Chaos Group’s latest studies show a significant increase in the utilisation of the VR technology in architectural visualisation as well as in other sectors of the visualisation industry. This means that very soon we’ll be seeing more design firms and development companies rely on VR to showcase their products.
What does it mean for developers?
Keeping up to date with the technology is very important to ensure they stay ahead of the curve while providing their customers state of the art ways to experience and try their products before actually using\buying them. Having engaging content means more clients will be attracted to their designs. A room built in 3D for VR is more engaging than a still image, VR gives a sense of scale that cannot be compared to an image projected onto a screen. That feeling of being there is priceless to customers who will make the decision that is more informed, more quickly and decisively.
What does it mean for 3D artists architects and designers?
Architects design better with VR because it offers a more accurate scale and feel of the space under scrutiny. For 3D artists it means more focus on UV is required and pushing the line deeper into gamification is necessary. So having a good experience with texturing and UV mapping will be key to future success in the field. A good understanding of off-line renderers, as well as real-time renderers, is especially essential for VR as the tendencies in the industry are going in the direction of real-time renderers when it comes to VR interactive VR and gamification.
The Present, VR is used by many companies around the world most notably Mercedes. Unreal engine is widely used by designers. And Vray for unreal engine is one of the latest features introduced to the delight of the offline renderer Vray users around the world. The far future holds so much promise. VR will become integral to 3D design and it won’t be too long before it replaces all traditional methods of modelling texturing and rendering. Everything will eventually be done in VR for VR.
Beyond glasses. Glasses\headsets are at the moment a complication to VR viewing. Attempts to replace glasses with more convenient apparatus have been made with 3D monitors for example. A tracker that projects images remotely into the eye can be used and can benefit from the fact that images are actually projected at a frame rate which means switching between projectors at certain ranges can be seamlessly implemented. Nanotechnology holds so much promise with the implementation of VR solutions on the cellular level for instance … and much more…
A starter pack would be a Samsung mobile phone with Gear VR headset. These two devices can get you exploring the realm of Virtual Reality easily and quickly. Samsung VR library is full of VR games and experiences and there are so many websites out there that offer their products in VR, so go get exploring.
Jamal, is an Engineering Director & Partner at the Gallarii Design Practice. — www.gallarii.com