A Jump-start Spark for Virtual Reality Development
August 4, 2016
Around three dozen young men and women took their first steps in the exciting new world of virtual reality during the “Hello, Virtual World” seminar held last 29 May 2016 at the Pointwest Building, UP-AyalaLand Technohub.
The participants went through a day of learning how to create 3D objects, animating them, and making them work in virtual space. Coming from various colleges and universities with a sprinkling of staff from companies, most were beginners in VR, as the seminar was designed for those new to the platform.
Hosted by Pointwest, the event was co-organized by VR Philippines and Samsung Mobile, who provided units of their mobile virtual reality platform Gear VR for use by the participants. The event is also in preparation for the Philippine Mobile VR Jam on June 10-12.
Rene Canlas, Pointwest’s Technical Security Officer and a leading member of VR Philippines, welcomed the participants.
“This is my passion. I’ve been working with the people of VR Philippines for a long while, and you’re in good hands,”
said Canlas, who helped fund the Kickstarter that launched VR pioneer Oculus with its Rift Dev Kit 1.
3D Modelling and Animation for Virtual Reality
The sessions began with Gabriel Enriquez of VR Philippines giving an introduction to Blender, a freeware 3D modelling software, during the morning session. After giving examples of what the program could do, Mr. Enriquez guided the participants through the various features of Blender and made them do simple shapes and figures. One task they had was to create a 3D scene involving a snowman and some trees. Their final exercise involved designing a gun-like shape.
The second session after lunch was on using Unity 5.1 to animate the gun designed during the morning session. Session speaker Neil Joshua Realubit led the participants through the basics of using Unity as well as simple programming using C# to simulate shooting sounds and actions. Afterwards, the participants installed their projects into the Samsung Gear VR units using Android Build Module to see if what they made would work.
The final session for the day was a short talk on Best Practices and the reasons for making VR applications. Session speaker Christopher David explained that VR was the future not only of gaming, but communications and interaction as well.
Virtual Reality as a New Disruptor
After pointing out how mobile already disrupts how we interact with information and communicate with people today, Mr. David said that “in 3-5 years, VR will disrupt mobile platforms. It is expected to be a 150 billion-Dollar industry by 2020.”
He finished his talk with a look at the various VR platforms currently in the market, paying attention to their strengths and weaknesses. Mr. David cited Gear VR’s ability to give users a topnotch virtual reality experience in a mobile platform, where many comparable systems required a powerful desktop PC.
Pointwest’s Rene Canlas thanked the participants for attending “Hello, Virtual World” and encouraged them to continue with their foray into virtual reality.
“I’m glad to see so many, especially young ones, getting into virtual reality; this is the future, after all,” Canlas said. “With the help of organizations like VR Philippines, and companies like Pointwest and Samsung Mobile, we can be ready to take advantage of the opportunities virtual reality presents.”
Founded in 2003 by pioneers of the Philippine Global Sourcing industry, Pointwest creates value for its list of satisfied clients — including top Fortune 500 and local companies — with world-class IT and BPM services backed by international-standards methodologies and innovative practices.