Last November, Unity 3D demoed a few of the tools that they've recently made available in Unity. If you're curious about the cutting edge of VR technology, Unity 3D is a good piece of software to pay attention to. We're going to highlight two of our favorite features here.
Full disclosure: we use Unity 3D to build Edorble, and we couldn't be bigger advocates of this incredibly powerful, accessible software. When we hear from teachers and students that they'd like to learn about programming interactive VR experiences, we mostly point them to Unity 3D unless they are elementary students. It's free, the folks at Unity 3D take education seriously yet playfully, and there's a vast, growing community of Unity 3D enthusiasts. Unity 3D is one of the most forward-looking companies in the world when it comes to enabling mainstream, advanced VR creation.If you're interested in turning your Unity 3D scenes into collaborative, social VR environments with Edorble, let us know.
First check out this demo of the video and 360 degree video features in Unity.
I know some of you might be thinking that 360 photo/video stuff has been around for a while, and there are tools like Thinglink or Roundme that make this sort of thing possible from a web browser. Web based tools like those do indeed let you take 360 photos and sometimes videos and create certain, limited experiences with them. You can add visual hotspots and cause information bubbles to pop up, and you can navigate around a few different scenes. However, being able to do this type of creation within Unity allows creators to bring the whole range of Unity's scripting and design capabilities to the table, allowing you or your students to make dynamic experiences that aren't limited to the feature set available in web-based tools. One exception here might be Vizor.io, a 3D creation tool which is really pushing the limits of browser-based technology. In Unity, though, you can also embed these videos within the context of beautiful, graphical environments that you have in your Unity 3D scenes. Also, sick of publishing to one platform? Unity lets you quickly publish to a wide array of platforms: Oculus, HTC Vive, Cardboard, Daydream, Facebook Gamerooms, Playstation VR, iOS, Android, and more.
We can't wait to see how we can bring 360 photo and video features to our own 3D world, Edorble. We love the idea of students being able to display their 360 degree work inside the context of our collaborative environment.
Next check out their demo of their VR creation tools. By "VR creation tools", I don't just mean tools that help you create VR experiences. I mean tools that help you create, in VR:
As easy as this presenter makes it look, I'm sure this takes some getting used to. Input devices like the HTC controllers or Oculus Touch are great for things like dragging and dropping, but they are notoriously bad at helping people do things like typing. For setting up the visuals of the scene, though, and seeing how the scene will look in VR, this is functional, powerful technology. We're curious to see how Unity will push the limits of immersive creation tools by allowing people to use the Unity editor inside VR. Knowing Unity and the wide array of tools in it, this is no easy feat. I'm sure they are up to the challenge.
These are just two of the exciting features that Unity made available in the recent version of Unity 3D. We encourage you to see for yourself what else is there.
If you or your students use Unity 3D to create scenes, models, or worlds, we'd love to get in touch with you. At Edorble, we can help you take 3D models or scenes and publish them as social, collaborative environments - Edorble worlds. Doing this will let you and your students come together from PC, Mac, Oculus Rift, or HTC Vive and explore the scene together, discussing it or even holding a class within it. Curious to try this out? Reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org