Author: vrcreators

The VR Job Hub: Framestore Galore, nDreams & More

Depending upon where you are in the world and the company you work with of course you may be finding yourselves heading towards the end, not of the physical year but the financial one. As such it may very well be time to take stock of your personal aims and goals and see if perhaps you want to try your talents elsewhere. New challenges, new faces, and the VR Job Hub is here as usual to list down some opportunities.

View the new listings below for more information:

Location Company Role Link
London, UK Framestore Lead Gameplay/Engine Engineer (VR) Click here to apply
Montreal, CA Framestore Head of Production (VR) Click here to apply
Montreal, CA Framestore Lead VR Engineer Click here to apply
Montreal, CA Framestore Pipeline Technical Director (VR) Click here to apply
Montreal, CA Framestore VR Engineer Click here to apply
Montreal, CA Framestore Senior VR Engineer Click here to apply
New York, USA Framestore VR Engineer Click here to apply
New York, USA Framestore Technical Artist (VR) Click here to apply
Newcastle, UK Luminous Group, Ltd AR/VR Developer Click here to apply
Swindon, UK Rendermedia 3D Game Artist / Environment Artist Click here to apply
Farnborough, UK nDreams Gameplay Programmer Click here to apply
Farnborough, UK nDreams Tools Programmer Click here to apply
Farnborough, UK nDreams VFX Artist Click here to apply
Farnborough, UK nDreams Lead VFX Artist Click here to apply

As always you can check last week’s post for more listings. If you have a role within the VR or AR tech space and would be interseted in having it feature on next week’s VR Job Hub please send details of the role to either pgraham@vrfocus.com or keva@vrfocus.com

Check back with VRFocus at 3PM UK time Sunday for the latest positions.

Competition: Win A Pair Of VRWC 2017 Tickets With VRFocus

thumbnail_Win Tickets for VRWC

February is almost at an end already and the virtual reality (VR) calendar shows no signs of slowing down. In the UK, VR World Congress (VRWC) is rapidly approaching, bringing over 2000 attendees from across the globe representing all fields of VR and its related industries to Bristol. Running from April 11th to the 13th, VRWC 17 is set to once again be another landmark VR expo crammed full of talks, experience, software and hardware. With representatives from Microsoft, Leap Motion, IBM, AMD, the Royal Opera House, Samsung, Ultrahaptics, Oculus Story Studio, the BBC and many more already confirmed.

It sounds like it will be quite an event – which is why we at VRFocus have teamed up VRWC to offer our followers the opportunity for one lucky winner to win a pair of full conference and expo passes for VR World Congress 2017, worth £600!

These tickets grant the holders access to the vast majority of events at VRWC:

  • An open pass to the huge VRWC expo for the entirety of the 12th and 13th of April

  • Access to all VR World Congress talks across all three days

  • Opportunity to attend official after party – and organise meetings if so desired

VR World Congress has been designed to cater for a wide audience. From those looking to simply try out the latest VR software and hardware to game developers looking for tips, tricks and investment. The event is also focusing on individuals from fields such as healthcare, marketing, education, entertainment and property looking to learn how VR is shaking things up, and how it can be used practically moving forward.

Whatever your interest in VR, be sure to enter the competition via the Gleam tool below. There’s a host of ways you can enter and if you’re a follower of ourselves or VRWC on social media you’re already well on your way. You can even visit the VRWC webpage for an additional entry each day! The competition ends at 11:59:59 PM (GMT) on March 4th 2017.

Win A Pair Of Tickets To VRC 2017 With VRFocus

VRFocus will, of course, be bringing you more updates and stories of all things VR, and indeed VRWC related but you can also sign up for the VR World Congress mailing list, to get updates on the event straight to your inbox.

Life In 360° Extra: The Making Of Dragonwatch 360° VR Experience

Dragonwatch Fisheye View

No you’re not mistaken, you’re reading a Li360 on a Sunday. But this is one occasion where we’ve actually received some more information about a video after publishing that is actually worth a follow-up. So welcome to Life In 360° Extra – an extremely irregular addition to the VRFocus line-up.

On Friday we brought you a 360 degree video from Shadow Mountain Publishing, promoting the latest book in Brandon Mull’s Fablehaven series of fantasy novels. One which put you in the centre of the circle formed by returning Fablehaven characters the Singing Sisters.

Now, we’ve more on the creation of the video from it’s Prodcuer, Lowell Oswald Jr of Strillogy Productions. As well as some behind-the-scenes images from the production.

While scouting the locations for the Dragonwatch trailer, I came across a place I hadn’t been in years. The Homestead Crater in Midway, UT was somewhere I had visited many times growing up during the winter seasons. It had been more than ten years since my last visit to this unique local hotspot. Upon entering, the warm moist air and smell of the crater brought a rush of memories from my childhood.

As I stood on the dock surrounded by water I knew this place would be perfect..but only if I could capture the feeling I had as I stood looking at the mist rolling off the water and the light bouncing around the cave walls.

While discussing the location options with Julia, the marketing manager for Shadow Mountain, she also mentioned this exact same location so I knew we had to use it.

I began working with our storyboard artist to capture the scenes as I had envisioned them. When we got to the cave section I felt disappointment that we may not be able to capture everything I had envisioned. With all the blocking, equipment, and limitations of filming in such a small area I knew it would be a struggle to bring the full effect of the crater to the screen.

Dragonwatch Video 1

Just a couple months prior to all of this I had been working more with VR/360 content and exploring the potential to bring this incredibly new immersive experience to more of our clientele. The costs had been prohibitive until new cameras from Samsung, Nikon, Ricoh (to name a few) starting popping up. The quality of the videos and images these produce still leaves much to be desired, but I knew it might be just enough to capture a little extra that wouldn’t be seen in the main video book trailer we were creating.

Dragonwatch Video 2

Our original budget for the trailer only covered enough to make a single trailer shot with our C500 4K camera and cinema lenses. However, since I had recently purchased a Samsung 360 camera for smaller projects and personal use I decided this was something I could bring on set to help capture everything I wanted to see.

After the storyboards were complete and the script was locked I began planning our each piece. I was drawn to the scene with the Singing Sisters. In the story, each of their hands/arms is fused to the other creating a full circle of the three. While working through the blocking challenges of this I realized that a 360 view of them surrounded by the crater would be an incredible way to capture a piece of this story in a more immersive way.

Dragonwatch Video 3

Our thanks to Lowell Oswald Jr and Andrea Thatcher for their help in bringing us new information on the video. Dragonwatch by Brandon Mull is out next month.

You can of course read and watch the next edition of Life In 360° tomorrow on VRFocus at the usual time, where we will be stepping from fantasy books into the world of medicine.

Create Cutscenes and Trailers Using the VRCameraman Unity Tool

VRCameraman image 2

So you’ve downloaded Unity, one of the biggest videogame development engines in the world, used by tons of virtual reality (VR) developers to create the latest experiences. And you’ve made your new title and want to showcase it. You can release some screenshots to spark some interest, but one of the best ways of gaining attention is with an impressive video, whether a teaser trailer or something more elaborate. If you’ve been using Unity’s EditorVR, then one way to do this would be to use a plugin like the recently released VRCameraman.

Created by Abyssal Arts Ltd. and GSProductions Ltd., VRCameraman enables developers to enter game worlds to create and record camera shots like a real-world cameraman. Using the tool anyone with a HTC Vive can capture and play with camera angles, movement, and animation through direct, physical control of the camera in VR.

Camera control ranges from hand-held shots through to setting up waypoints for the camera to move between to create dolly, crane, and other complex camera movements. Due to the ease of placing objects in VR with the Vive controllers setting up cameras becomes a more straight forward process, helping reduce the amount of hours involved.

VRCameraman outputs content as native Unity animation files, allowing every shot to be adjusted with Unity’s built-in tools or any other plugin compatible with Unity’s native animation files.

You’ll find VRCameraman on the Unity asset store for $25 USD. For the latest VR developments on Unity, keep reading VRFocus.

This Week in VR Sport: Training And Trade With Both Kinds Of Football

STRIVR_header2

Saturday means another trip into the area where the world of virtual reality (VR) interesects with the world of sport, presumably represented by some sort of Venn diagram. This week in there is an incredible mix of sports – whether or not you consider them all to be one – but it is all still a bit US-dominated.

VR Praised By College Football Coaches

Not a week goes by without some kind of American Football related story being included in our Saturday sport round-up, and if you were hoping the Super Bowl spelt the end of those for a while I’m afraid you’re mistaken. We may be in the post-season but that only means it is a time for reflection, and after its first season in full use as a coaching tool for many professional and college teams VR has proven its worth as an aid – at least according to one coach.

Speaking in a video to Fox Sports, Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury described the vital role the team’s system – provided by STRIVR – is playing in developing younger players.

“College football is incredibly competitive. You have some of your top-tier programs who get the five-star players. If you aren’t getting those players, you better find advantages elsewhere. And virtual reality has helped us dramatically.” It’s also changing the way players prefer to look back at archive tape of their opponents and themselves, as Kingsbury explains. “One of the bigger things is that I see them wanting to go use the virtual reality,” Kingsbury said. “It’s not easy to get them to watch the standard film anymore because they want to put [the VR headset] on, they want to see it and hear it from that perspective. Because that’s how they play.”

Another college coach Matt Rhule of New Baylor will be bringing the technology on board next season after being thoroughly impressed by what he has witnessed in his previous coaching role. “I’m a huge, huge believer in virtually reality. We had it for the last two years and won 10 games in each of those years. I think the eyes are one of those untrained aspects of football. Everybody talks about ‘speed’ and how fast a guy is. But it’s also about recognizing players and structure, and I think instincts can be learned and taught, so that intangible thing becomes tangible.”

Manchester United Tean With Swissquote For 360 Degree Series

Manchester United’s captain Wayne Rooney, along with teammates Sergio Romero, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial have teamed up with Swissquote, one of Manchester United’s commercial partners, to be a part of a new series of videos that will see show the “synergies between FX trading and football”. With the first video in the 360˚ series called “Take the Lead” looking at the direct similarities between a player and a trader.

If this sounds a bit silly to you, yes you’re right, it is.

It does however use the 360 degree vision in an interesting and creative manner however, offering a splitscreen view, or two lots of 180 degrees between both parties. Episode 1: “Take security” features Rooney preparing to leave for a game, with future videos set to show Romero going through his morning routine, Rashford engaging in a video call with former Red Devil’s star Andrew Cole, and Martial getting dressed up smartly for an event. All with a trader equivalent doing the same thing.

NullSpace VR’s New ‘Hardlight’ Haptic Suit is Heading to Kickstarter

NullSpace VR are poised to launch a new haptic vest focused toward immersive, virtual reality gaming, via Kickstarter soon. The Hardlight suit integrates 16 haptic pads that allow you to feel directional impact linked to actions inside the VR experience.

We’re all for amping up immersion on Road to VR, via whatever means necessary frankly. But our experiences in the world of wearable haptics as a mean to do so has not been exactly stellar so far. Nevertheless, the appeal of having directional, accurate force feedback which allows your chosen VR experience to punish you for your failures, or indeed merely give you a prod into action, is clear.

NullSpace VR, are poised to unleash their solution to this gap in the VR haptics market and they’re calling it the Hardlight Suit. This upper-body vest contains 16 haptic pads for delivering feedback to your chest, back, arms and shoulders. These pads can be triggered by any software integrated with NullSpace VR’s APIs and indeed, the company (who’ve made substantial progress since we first covered them) have persuaded a number of VR developers, including recent Indie favourite Sairento VR, to add Hardlight Suit support.

The team recently took their latest prototype to the World’s Fair ‘Nano’ event to show off their progress, filming attendee reaction for posterity.

The key concern for us is still the accuracy at which the suit can detect your orientation in relation to the virtual world. The Hardlight Suit contains inertial sensors, which detect rotational movement, but these sorts of sensors are not absolute and therefore can suffer from drift and positional inaccuracies. That said, since we first covered the suit, we now have room-scale capable positional tracking for both headsets and motion controllers, which adds more data to guess the user’s body orientation, but there are still gaps in that data which will need to be filled in order to be truly immersive.

The vest has been cannily designed, with a simple, open design and adjustable straps which should allow the system to be worn by people of varying shapes and sizes.

The team are adding the finishing touched to their Kickstarter campaign as I write this and we’ll pass on more details on that once they go live. In the mean time, if you’ve gone hands on with the Hardlight Suit in the past, why not share your experiences in the comments section below.

The post NullSpace VR’s New ‘Hardlight’ Haptic Suit is Heading to Kickstarter appeared first on Road to VR.

Rogue-like VR Shooter Battle Planet Hits Daydream

BattlePlanet_04

If you bought one of Google’s Daydream View headsets, chances are you’re keen for more content to launch as the device hasn’t exactly been inundated with titles. That does look to be changing as earlier this week Climax Studios released Bandit Six with sequel Bandit Six: Salvo due this coming week. But there’s more. Arriving in time for the weekend is Battle Planet, a rogue-like shooter from German indie studio THREAKS.

The first virtual reality (VR) title from the team, Battle Planet is a top down shooter with players protecting micro planets from destruction. Facing a barrage of enemies from all sides, they’ll have to unlock new weapons and upgrades if they want to survive, making sure they’re ready for some massive boss fights.

There are loads planets to save and highscore ranks to compete against others players.

Battle Planet is available today for $11.99 USD/£10.49 GBP exclusively on Daydream.

Checkout the release trailer below, and for the latest Daydream releases, keep reading VRFocus.

Wecast Network Finalising Work On ‘V Market’, A VR/AR Powered Commerce Service

Wecast Network Inc

It has been said many times, but it still bears repeating that virtual reality (VR) is not just about videogames. There are many organisations out there who are working to use the technology of VR, and other high level technologies such as augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI) in order to evolve existing products and create new service solutions.

One company that is using all three currently is Wecast Network, Inc (known formerly as YOU On Demand) Announces Q3 2016 …. A licensing, sales and video commerce already working in the field of AI, and a company with ties to large film and video distributors such as Paramount, Disney, Miramax, 20th Century Fox, NBC Universal as well a number of Chinese distributors as part of its role in an ongoing video on demand service within the country. As part of its work Wecast Network is in the process of finalising what it is terming “a VR, AR and AI-enabled commerce technology solution” called V Market.

A Business-to-Business (B2B) marketing tool to be provided as part of Wecast’s services, it is looking to leverage AR and VR into unlocking new revenue streams as for clients via interactive experiences, 360 degree videos or augmented information overlays. Allowing customers to shop and browse in new ways and, more importantly for the end client, to buy in new ways.

Due to launch in Q2 of 2017, you can see two demonstration videos showing the possible ways V Market may be used in the future below. VRFocus will continue to bring you news and updates on how VR technology is used.

Training to Craning in 60 Minutes: Putting My VR-learned Skills to the Test with a Real 22 Ton Crane

Last week, I traveled to the Houston Area Safety Council in Pasadena, Texas, to put Industrial Training International VR’s new crane simulator through its paces. While ITI has been training crane operators, riggers, and signallers for 30 years, the inclusion of VR in their training programs is a recent development. To test the effectiveness of their VR crane simulator ITI offered to let me—someone who has never operated heavy machinery in their life—spend an hour training with the system and then apply what I learned to operating an actual crane.


Guest Article by Eric Liga

Eric is the co-founder and co-organizer of the HoustonVR Meetup, and an event manager for the Immersive Technology Conference. He was the VR technical adviser for the VR Pain and Anxiety Management pilot program at Memorial Hermann Prevention and Recovery Center, and has been actively involved in the VR scene since the 2012 Oculus Kickstarter. He has been a professional computer programmer for over 20 years.


Unlike traditional simulators, which physically replicate a crane’s cab, surrounded by oversized monitors, ITI’s VR crane simulator is compact and rather modest looking. A laptop outfitted with a GTX 1070 drives output to an Oculus Rift, and a metal bracket with four joysticks (interchangeable to match a range of crane brands and models) attaches to any available table using a pair of clamps. The simulator weighs 30 lbs and packs neatly into a rolling Pelican case (at a total of 68lbs) for transport, making it reasonable to take the simulator to on-site locations for training or evaluation of job candidates.

iti vr crane simulator (3)ITI plans to sell the hardware elements of its crane simulator at-cost (a fraction of the $100k starting price of most traditional crane simulators), plus a yearly software license fee. Access to upcoming features, including new types of cranes (such as Overhead Cranes) and multi-user scenarios, is included in the licensing cost. Simulators will allow networking to support scenarios with multi-crane lifts and integrated training of signal people outfitted with VR hand-trackers.

iti vr crane simulator (4)If haptic feedback is desired, the “Motion Base” model of the simulator includes a platform with hydraulic lifts at each corner and bass transducers to simulate engine rumble. This version of the simulator wasn’t available to demo, but I tested an equivalent base integrated into ITI’s Aerial Work Platform simulator. In that capacity, it did a fine job of adding to the sensation of “actually being there.” At 400 lbs, the inclusion of the base would negate many of the simulator’s advantages in compactness and portability, but in a permanent installation, it could add nicely to the experience.

Paired with a monitor instead of a VR HMD, the simulator was functional, if unexceptional. Adding in the VR headset, however, moved the experience into a different category. The addition of depth perception made understanding the motion of the crane’s distant chain far easier, and being able to glance up to check the boom tip, or lean around to check mirrors made the experience much more comparable to actually operating a crane.

Having never operated a crane before, let alone any type of heavy machinery, a number of the required skills turned out to be neither easy nor intuitive for me, and my initial forays in the simulator were less than promising. Suspended loads swung perilously close to signalmen or knocked over boxes and barrels. Virtual overseers chided me for taking too long or setting down loads too hard. By this point, Caleb Steinborn, ITI’s Product Manager of VR Simulations, may have begun to regret ever offering to let me operate a real 22 ton crane after the VR training.

One challenge for me was “booming up and lowering the load.” This involved maintaining the cargo at a set height while angling the boom arm up. Imagine the motion of a lure at the end of a fishing line: when you angle the fishing pole up, the dangling lure moves up with it. On a crane, an operator must extend the chain (hoist) at the same rate as the boom would be raising it, to keep the load level while maneuvering the boom at the same time. This may also need to be done while rotating the boom, in which case the operator must manage two joysticks with one hand and a third joystick with the other.

iti vr crame simulator software (2)Another task, even more challenging for me, was “catching the swing.” Once the crane arm stops moving, momentum will cause the suspended load to continue on its path, setting the chain into a 1 or 2-axis swing. To stabilize the load, the crane operator must then move the boom arm to follow the load’s center of gravity, overshooting slightly at the end of the swing in each direction, to compensate for momentum and keep the load stable.

While the simulator’s full training sequence includes over 18 hours of content, I only sampled one or two scenarios from each unit, completing a heavily abbreviated course in just under an hour. The final test, a simulation of the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators Z-Corridor Practical Exam, required me to guide a suspended barrel through a zig-zag corridor lined with tennis balls balanced on poles. Knock a ball off of a pole? You fail the test. Bump the ground with the barrel, or raise it higher than the short length of chain trailing below it? You fail the test. Take longer than 4 minutes to complete the task? Fail.

iti vr crame simulator software (1)Did I pass? Well… no. I did make it perhaps three quarters of the way through the course before failing, though. This seemed to satisfy the training supervisor that I could perform some basic operations on a real crane—under supervision—safely. So after some hurried consultation with the higher-ups at HASC, our small group was loaded into a golf cart and whisked out to meet the 22 tons of yellow-painted metal which I would now attempt to operate.

iti vr crane simulator (7)Rather nervously, I climbed up onto the crane, clambered awkwardly into the cab, and listened as Amanda Jordan, the ITI Houston Branch Regional Director, gave me a run-down of the this specific crane’s control scheme. Within a minute or two, I had adapted to the new set of levers and pedals and had the “headache ball” crane hook at the end of the hoist gliding in various directions around the testing area.

Could I “boom up and lower the load”? Yes.

Could I “catch the swing”? Yes.

iti vr crane simulator (1)Could I maneuver a suspended barrel through a tricky obstacle course? Well… probably not. And I didn’t try. But I did feel confident that more time spent in the simulator would bring my abilities up to snuff. And the simulator did a superb job of replicating the experience of operating an actual crane—an assessment which appeared to be shared by a handful of crane operators and trainers we convinced to stop in for a moment to run through a test scenario or two.

It’s worth noting that ITI’s development partner, Edmonton-based Serious Labs, took the software side of ITI’s crane simulator from concept to final product in 8 months. Doubtless, this was aided by the ability to reuse assets from other simulators (the Aerial Work Platform simulator shared much of the same environment), but the end result was impressive nonetheless.

ITI’s VR crane simulator will officially debut at ConExpo in Las Vegas and will begin shipping to clients in the latter half of March.


Photography by William Golden, Director of the Immersive Technology Conference.

The post Training to Craning in 60 Minutes: Putting My VR-learned Skills to the Test with a Real 22 Ton Crane appeared first on Road to VR.

Vive Tracker Dev Kits Are Shipping to Developers, Applications Remain Open

HTC promised to give away 1,000 Vive Tracker dev kits in an effort to kick start an ecosystem of accessories and VR game implementations for the motion-tracked accessory. Now the company says the first shipments are on their way to developers.

After receiving 2,300 applications for the Vive Tracker dev kit, HTC says the first units have been shipped. The Vive Tracker is slated to launch to consumers in Q2, though an official price and exact release date has yet to be given.

“We are already seeing fresh thinking for VIVE Tracker and we couldn’t be more excited by the breadth and depth of the applications we’ve received,” said Daniel O’Brien, GM, US and EMEA, HTC VIVE. “For us, the tracker represents an important investment in the VR community to grow the future of VR without limits on experimentation.”

HTC says that despite the number of requests received, they’re keeping the application process open. It isn’t clear if among those 2,300 applications all 1,000 allotted units were claimed and the company is considering handing out additional units, or if there’s still some of those 1,000 units yet to be assigned to developers.

The post Vive Tracker Dev Kits Are Shipping to Developers, Applications Remain Open appeared first on Road to VR.