VR technology is developing at a rapid pace and students at the Centre for Digital Media have been busy testing different technologies and exploring the possibilities of VR.
A group of 23 students from Communication University of China came to the Centre for Digital Media for the month of July for the IDEA-X program to explore digital media through VR. This summer’s program was the largest IDEA-X ever and the first time that VR technology has been incorporated into the program.
Students spent the first 2 weeks going through an intense bootcamp to learn the different technologies and then spent the last 8 days (and nights!) working on teams to come up with a VR project to show the skills that they learned.
When asked why the program decided to focus on VR this summer, Jason Elliott, one of the IDEA-X instructors, said
[We chose VR] because it’s a good opportunity for the students to explore a new technology and we are lucky enough to have access to the Oculus, Samsung Gear VR and the HTC Vive. It’s good because no one coming into the program has any experience with VR yet so their preconceived knowledge has to be rethought.
Last week, students presented the incredible projects that they were able to produce in just 8 days, showing their digital prototype and discussing what they learned in the 4 weeks here:
Film students worked on a 360 degree video project. They took a dramatic video and explored ways to put it into a VR space. For example, they put a camera on a plate and moved it through space. A part of their project was about exploring how to deal with 360 degree space and not make users sick.
A group of gamers created a Van Gogh experience where users step into one of his paintings and interact with objects in the painting.
Another group of gamers worked on a chemistry lab experiment project where users pick up test tubes and mix chemicals. The students were remaking the lab experience by encouraging users to mix chemicals you aren’t normally allowed to mix.
A group of students created a game related to human anatomy where users dive into different body parts using the HTC Vive. So far users can go into a mouth and pull out teeth and the students are working on allowing users to go into the heart and a skin wound.
The IDEA-X program will continue to grow throughout the next year and students from Brazil and India are interested in enrolling. The program also plans on expanding its curriculum, and according to Jason Elliott, “next year we hope to start exploring AR projects, too.”
Find out more about the IDEA-X program.