Chris Kairalla – chris @ mailtochris.com
Mondays 6:30pm to 9:00pm
Part 1- Creating new worlds. Dreaming, meditation, and psychedelics are all challenges to what we think of as reality. So what better theme to start with for a class about creating new realities! We will begin by building worlds from the ground up, in spaces where we make the rules. Our first experiments will likely be abstract and strange, and we will embrace “happy accidents” as we learn new skills.
Week 1, Sept 14- The first steps
Get set up with Unity and do a “Hello World” project
- Register an account and then sign up for a presentation slot.
- Do Unity “Roll a Ball” Tutorial if you’re just starting out with Unity
- Read “The Metaphysics of Virtual Reality”, Chapter 8
- Download and modify “Hologram Pyramid” project
- Watch Jaron Lanier speak about the history of VR
Week 2, Sept 21 – Hello VR
- Hello VR Project
- Adding images and audio to a Unity Scene
- Basic scripting
- Homework: Read “Understanding Comics”
- Read Unity’s Documentation
- Browse Unity’s Scripts Tutorials and watch at least 3.
Work on first project – Create a “self portrait” scene.
Week 3, Sept 28 – Moving
- Movement, Tweening, and orienting
- Viewer Movement in Unity
- Look at the Transform component, and how to manipulate the location, size, and rotation of your objects.
- Homework: Read Oculus and Cardboard Best Practices
Week 4, Oct 5 – Rapid Prototyping Worlds
- Terrain and Lights
- Walking techniques
- Talk about first projects.
- Download vrse and watch “Evolution of Verse” and “Clouds over Sidra”.
- Read Unity’s manual on Terrains
- Watch Terrain tutorial
- Read Oculus Story Studio’s blog post on Story Design
- Start thinking about midterms
Week 5, TUESDAY OCT 13, Networking
- External Input
- Networking with OSC Github demo
Week 6, Oct 19 Midterm workshop
Week 7, Oct 26 Midterms
Part 2- Remixing the real world. VR is great for creating and exploring new worlds, but what about the world we already live in? For the next 3 weeks we will re-visualize the world around us, and use VR for commentary on culture, society, and politics.
Week 8, Nov 2 – Networking, Continued
- Look at examples of recontextualized media.
- Realtime Networking
- Photon Unity Network
- Sean Kelly’s Example
- Photon Unity Network
- Read Ways of Seeing
- (Or you can watch the 2 hour documentary)
- Read Unity’s Documentation on UI
- Read Ways of Seeing
Week 9, Nov 9 – UI
- UI in VR
- Interacting with a VR scene
- Using the Input API
- Interaction techniques
- Fuse button
- gaze and tap
- external Input
- Read at least 2 chapters of “Mythologies”.
Week 10, Nov 16 – navigation
- 3D – Physics, joints, and springs
- Shaders, Particle Systems and Effects
Week 11, Nov 23 – Milestone 2 Projects
- Show Remix projects (or next milestone on midterm project)
Week 12, Nov 30 – Final Projects Workshop, part 1
- Special Guest: David Lobser
Week 13,Dec 7 – Final Projects Workshop, part 2
Week 14, Dev 14 – Final Presentations
There will be no “Incompletes”. In order to pass this class you must meet the following criteria:
- The Metaphysics of Virtual Reality – Michael Heim
- Understanding Comics – Scott McCloud
- Mythologies – Roland barthes
- Ways of Seeing – John Berger
Class Participation and Attendance:
- Please contribute to class discussion. Your comments are valuable and should be shared.
- Attendance is mandatory. Unexcused absences could be grounds for failure.
- Interactive Virtual Reality requires a diverse range of skills, and not everything will be covered in class. In order to get the most out of the class, you must be proactive about learning new skills.
- Excessive lateness is unacceptable. Don’t be late.
- This class will have weekly homework assignments, readings, a midterm, and final project. All are required.
- Failure to do assignments or participate in class discussion on readings will jeopardize a passing grade.
- Assignments will be posted on the syllabus each week. Please check syllabus for current assignment even if they aren’t mentioned in class.
- Virtual Reality is a fast moving medium that changes almost daily. Virtual Reality also has a longer history than you might expect, and has had dramatic influence on culture. Unfortunately, 14 weeks is not enough time to cover all of the emerging technical aspects nor the rich cultural and societal impact that VR has had. In order to add more variety into the course material each student will give a short (10 minutes maximum) presentation on one historical, cultural, societal or emerging technical aspect that we are not covering in course material.
- Your success is based on your own personal progress in the class. You are not judged against the progress of your fellow classmates.
- Laptop screens down while other students are presenting. Laptops may be used for note taking or class related work during lectures.