Learn React VR (Chapter 9 | Reacting to Our Exploration)

Prerequisites

Chapter 1 | Hello Virtual World
Chapter 2 | Panoramic Road Trip
Chapter 3 | Outdoor Movie Theater
Chapter 4 | Transitions and Animations
Chapter 5 | Star Wars Modeling
Chapter 6 | Vector Graphic Exploration
Chapter 7 | UI/UX Principles for VR Design
Chapter 8 | Building a VR Video App

Scope of This Chapter

My goal for this book was to explore the uncharted territory of React VR and produce several guides for you to be equipped to explore on your own. The idea was that you could learn faster and avoid hours of hurdles and frustrations that I ran into for you. Overall, I think I have accomplished this goal and provided a great ebook for beginners to React VR.

Now that I have equipped you to do your own exploration, I am going to provide some suggestions for moving forward with React VR. This will include skills to improve upon and project ideas that you may want to try out.

Skills to Improve

After spending a lot of time with React VR as I put together this ebook, I believe I was able to get a sense of what skills are really valuable to get better with React VR. I’ll tell you what those skills are so you can look into them more if you feel compelled.

3D Modeling

Hands down, the most valuable skill to improve upon with React VR is 3D modeling. When doing standard React development, I really believe that scalable vector graphics can bring a breath of fresh air to a user interface:

React.js for the Visual Learner

When it comes to making VR apps, the equivalent of this is 3D modeling.

Oculus Video

For example, look at the panoramic show above that is a 3D model from Oculus Video. Now, compare this to the panoramic equirectangular photo that we used in our dashboard:

The 3D modeling is a complete breath of fresh air.

If you possess the ability to write React VR code and craft beautiful 3D models, then the sky is the limit for creating VR applications. You take your skills to game development, product prototyping, visual experiences, movies etc.

I recommend exploring Medium, Google, and other good resources to teach yourself 3D modeling. Particularly, I would choose Blender as the 3D modeling software to learn.

Animation

In Chapter 4 and Chapter 5 of this book, we were able to learn pretty much everything we need to know for doing animations in React VR:

Obviously, there is a tremendous opportunity to learn how to animate 3D models.

Additionally, there is also a huge need for learning how to use animations to improve the user experience (as we discussed in Chapter 7).

Before this book, I had never worked with the Animated API or animating 3D models. Despite that, it was easy to catch on because of my hard work in learning fundamental animation principles.

If you are not familiar with basic animation principles, I learned by practicing animations on scalable vector graphics using GreenSock in non-VR apps.

Focus on the overall workflow of sketching a basic animation storyboard, creating the vector graphic, and applying animations within an organized sequence.

Codepen Editor

There are two really good resources that I used for learning about scalable vector graphics and animations.

The first is Practical SVG by Chris Coyier. This book helped me learn the fundamentals of working with SVG.

The second is SVG Animations: From Common UX Implementations to Complex Responsive Animation by Sarah Drasner. I can’t say enough good things about this book. It taught me about the major JavaScript animation libraries, like GreenSock and fueled my interest in UX.

In order to get better at animations for improving UX design, I just like to read up on Medium. Look at animations people are making and try to remake them yourself. Start to think about the value animations can bring.

Sound Engineering

Because text is not as prevalent in VR apps, sound engineering becomes very important for UX design. If you can become really good at creating and implementing sounds that aid the UX, then you have a really unique and necessary skill-set. I’m not an expert on this type of thing, but here’s a good Medium article to peak your interest.

In addition to sounds for the UX, sound engineering is also taken to a whole ‘nother level in VR development because of the possibility of concentrating sound in 360 degrees. If you have an interest in exploring this, it will come in handy for VR development.

3D Photography and Videography

This one is really straightforward. If you can create your own 3D photos and videos to use in VR apps, then there is a tremendous opportunity for you. Particularly, this is really useful for using VR for marketing which a lot of employers will be interested in.

React Native

VR development seems to have huge promise, but let’s be honest, it’s hard to find a job at the moment doing just that. While this present a tremendous opportunity to stand out, I realize some people want to shift their focus on skills that impact their career right here and right now.

If that’s the case, I would pivot and look into React Native as mobile development is very much a hot skill that potential employers have already embraced.

As I worked with React VR, I quickly realized that there was a ton of overlap with React Native. If you learned React Native before returning to React VR, then you would probably have no issue at all getting back into it. In fact, you will be much stronger than someone who has no React Native experience.

Potential Real-World Projects

There are people way more intelligent, creative, and qualified who can predict the future use cases of virtual reality. However, I’ll still take a stab at some real-world projects that you can create and showcase. I will discuss this on a very high level, but hopefully, it is enough to stir creative juices.

3D Marketing Projects

When I learned how to work with SVG animations, I thought it would be interesting to apply animations to things that were ordinarily static. Specifically, I thought about how this could enhance marketing.

VR Car | Oculus

Here is some marketing content that is typically static that you could take to the next level and bring into a virtual world:

  • infographics (you can animate them and make them interactive)
  • advertisements
  • product previewing (i.e. allow users to preview clothing on a 3D mannequin before buying)
  • blogs/vlogs
  • social media platform
  • live streaming
  • webinars

3D Data Visualization

Look at Dribbble shots of data visualization and try to improve upon them in a virtual world.

Holocard by Cosmin Capitanu

After that, you can take it to the next level and find products on Product Hunt that do analytics and use that as inspiration for a VR analytics product.

3D Entertainment

This is how VR is mainly used nowadays and it isn’t going anywhere.

Eagle Flight | Oculus

Like I mentioned with 3D marketing projects, think of how entertainment is currently delivered and how it could be improved when brought into a virtual world.

Here are some broad ideas:

  • game development
  • books
  • movies/tv shows
  • media streaming service
  • museums
  • tours
  • amusement parks
  • carnivals

3D Misc.

360 Photos by Oculus

I’ve provided the major categories of virtual reality use cases. I’ll conclude with more ideas that came to mind as I wrote this chapter:

  • interactive library
  • pet/child monitoring
  • security
  • spa
  • calendar
  • photo albums
  • fast food ordering

This should be plenty to get you thinking and stretch your creativity.

Concluding Thoughts

I have nothing more to say other than thank you for reading my ebook. I’m just an ordinary developer trying to gain a creative skill-set and teach what I learn in the process. I hope that my material, despite its flaws, was extremely practical and useful. If you would like to support me for all the work I’ve put into this book (and all the other content I create), please pick up an official copy of the ebook.

Cheers,
Mike Mangialardi
Founder of Coding Artist