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VR as learning tool for university students...

Hey ya guys, I'm fairly new to UE4 (like 2 months).

I work for a university creating animations for new learning experiences for students, but am looking for new ways to deliver that kind of learning. So I was thinking of using Google Cardboard with UE4 but it would have to be on both iPhones and Androids but it seems iOS isn't supported (see here at 01:04:05, https://www.twitch.tv/unrealengine/v/81754832). So am I barking up the wrong VR tree and maybe go in a different direction (keeping in mind I've got a tight budget working with academics)?

Thanks in advance!

Product Version: UE 4.12
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asked Aug 05 '16 at 01:34 AM in VR

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  1. Why VR? And before you answer that, we should ask "What IS VR?"

  2. VR is a new medium. The magic of VR isn't a fancy set of stereoscopic googles, it's a design shift in thinking about the way people see and interact with digital worlds. When you're building a virtual reality world, you're trying to create a virtual reality. This presents a whole slew of new challenges:

  3. Presence: What is it?

  4. Immersion: What creates it? What breaks it?

  5. Motion sickness: Why does it happen? What causes it? How do you prevent it?

  6. Motion Controllers: How do you create a seamless interaction between user intention and desired game response?

  7. User Interfaces: How do you create user interfaces which don't break immersion and presence?

  8. Locomotion Systems: How do people move around? Room scale in a box? Teleportation? Walk a motion? Rails?

So, anyone working in virtual reality will eventually have to grapple with these new areas. The question you're going to have to ask is whether you want to teach an animation class or teach a class on virtual reality with animation added in? All the stuff you learn about animation can be done in virtual reality, but I'm thinking that adding virtual reality to the mix would turn into a distraction from learning the fundamentals of animation.

What would be interesting is to add a virtual reality viewing as a part of the animation and modeling workflow. Is the model built to the correct scale? Is a vertex noticeably off? Is there too much popping between certain keyframes? Are there seams in the texture? Holes in the mesh? etc. Maybe getting a single high powered VR HMD which the class can share and use to view their final product would be a good bonus treat?

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answered Aug 05 '16 at 02:10 AM

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avatar image twistedpancreas Aug 05 '16 at 04:20 AM

Hey ya Slayemin.

It's not for teaching animation, it's more for learning "experiences" for any student who can visit archaeological digs (using photogrammetry), be in a simulation of Occupation Health & Safety in a factory environment, or Law students witnessing a court scene that includes the ability to walk around a crime scene/ car crash etc... Even maybe using a omni (http://www.virtuix.com/)

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