VR Workshops – the ultimate one-hour crash courses on how to utilise the latest VR technology were one of the key sections of the World VR Forum’s Annual Summit, at Le Regent Congress Center, in Crans-Montana, on Friday and Saturday, 12 – 13 May, 2017.
Friday, 12 May
Fabien Benetou, WebVR’s Freelance Developer was the first to run his trendy workshop on WebVR, Friday morning. Benetou discussed the role of WebVR content and demonstrated how to use the Tilt Brush and how to code. As a demo, Benetou showed his two-minute WebVR animation, depicting a Swiss valley with a tiny grey mouse crossing a hedge.
Stefano Baldassi, Head of Neuroscience at Meta along with Stephanie Rosenberg, also from Meta, presented Designing for the Future of Spatial Computing. Baldassi enlightened the participants on Meta’s research, neuroscience and UX design team project on design guidelines for AR (Augmented Reality), which were created to spark conversations on communication, creation and collaboration enhancement through AR.
Richard Johnson, VR Scriptwriter of Zero K added some drama to the workshop mix with Switching from Scriptwriting Movies to VR. Constantly drawing comparisons between traditional scriptwriting for theatre and film, and for VR, Johnson presented the challenges of writing for VR and its advantage over other narrative forms with its immersive nature.
Continuing with the fascinating subject of stories, Loïc Baillard, GoPro’s VR Trainer, held a workshop on What’s New with 360° Video Post Production? Baillard introduced the latest innovations from Kolor – GoPro’s spherical division, explained the challenges experienced by VR creators and shared the step by step tricks on producing seamless experiences with special programmes for editing the visual content.
Hyping things up with sound, Fritz Menzer, Founder and CEO of MN Signal Processing, who comes from a physics background, held his workshop on 3D Audio. The workshop provided an overview of the necessary tools for a perfect 3D audio experience. Menzer discussed the differences between auditory and visual modalities of VR as well as future trends and diverging implementation philosophies of 3D audio.
Sergio Ochoa, SGO’s CEO and Creative Technologist, with the topic, Advanced VR Post-Production workflows: VR 3D Stitching, VR 3D Grading, VR Colour Grading and Finishing, was the final speaker of the day. In his workshop, Ochoa revealed all the exciting and challenging steps of VR post-production. From shooting to mastering 2D, 3D and mixed solutions camera rigs, Ochoa demonstrated a wide range of VR post-production techniques.
Saturday, 13 May
Aimone Bodini, a freelance VR content creator, was the first presenter on Saturday, with VR Language as his topic. Bodini discussed different approaches to storytelling in various mediums: theatre, cinema and VR, as well as the correlation between storytelling and emotions. According to Bodini, many old school storytelling rules need adjustment to push the VR medium forward and learning the VR language is the key factor for creating a successful VR experience to drive attention.
Mark Melynkowycz, Artist and Engineer at Idezo presented next with Story Structure and Immersive Design (VR/AR), exploring story structure, interaction, and user experience design in the creation of VR and AR projects. Melynkowycz highlighted the colossal challenges in developing experiences which combine story structure and immersive design, and emphasized the need to borrow from film/theater, game design, and user experience design to utilize the full potential available with VR and AR technologies for the smooth delivery of relevant immersive experiences.
Moving away from the storytelling theme, Philip Hausmeier, Artist and Founder of Metaphysics VR held a workshop on VR Sculpture. Hausmeier demonstrated the quirks and perks of using creative tools such as Oculus Medium for the Oculus Rift as well as Unbound and Kodon for the HTC Vive. The workshop focused on artists’ exploration of shapes and space beyond physical limits with high-tech VR sculpting tools. Hausmeier also presented his virtual sculptures, as well as a nonvirtual sculpture consisting of dozens of mirror shards.
Patrik Kunzler, Director and Founder of Limbic Life entertained with his interactive workshop, Seated Hands Free 3D Locomotion in your VR Experience. Kunzler showed the possibilities of hands-free, seated, 3D navigation in VR with the help of the limbic chair, specifically designed for this purpose. The participants tried out a diverse set of sample applications with this special chair.
Keez Duyves, Founder of PIPS:lab and Zeynep Gunduz, Dance History and Dance Theory Teacher at AHK (Amsterdam University for the Arts) presented The Luxury of Having a Body. Or Two. The workshop, also very interactive in nature, explored multiple perspectives and inner thoughts in a cinematic VR environment. During the workshop, the participants created their own short VR film about early European settlers in America, a two way story by utilizing PIPS:lab techniques and methods of Anyways (Duyves’s and Zeynep’s VR railroad movie experienced through six train passengers in Netherlands from six different viewpoints).
Seth Socolow, SVP Strategic Partnerships for VirtualSKY was the final presenter with An In Depth Look at Recent Examples of Virtual Reality Advertising. Socolow showed examples of Virtual Reality advertising in: gastronomy, sports and technology on the projection screen and on the VR headsets in their full 360° glory. Debates on which brands lead in VR experimentation occasionally circled throughout the workshop.
Though some of the workshops were more interactive than others, all of them engaged and intrigued the audience with the newest techniques and developments in Virtual and Augmented Reality.