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How to Get Started in VR Development

3,505 bytes added, 05:56, 3 January 2017
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The /[[learnVRdev wiki]] has links and resources that you will find useful when trying to learn how to use an engine. It's best to follow through with some tutorials to get a feel for the engine, how to manipulate objects in space, and so on. Both Unity and Unreal offer built in VR support, so you can preview your creative works directly in VR!
==3. Make or find art assets==
Now that you have an engine and headset, you'll need artwork, sound, 3D models, and animations to fill out your virtual world. You may find assets online that are free for reuse, rip assets from popular games (if you don't plan to sell your project), make your own from scratch, or modify existing assets to suit your needs. Remember that virtual realities demand visuals and audio that appear "real" when examined close-up from all sides, even if they are stylized or abstract.
===3D models===
The next thing that's needed for VR dev is 3D models. There are two ways to go about this for a beginner.
The first (and easiest) option is to use openly available 3D models while you learn the other areas of VR development. The Unity and Unreal asset stores have easily available models that can be used for this purpose. There are some links below to other websites with openly available assets. This can be critical for the beginner VR dev, as it's very hard to learn so many things at once!
The other option for 3D models is to learn how to make them yourself. Though this is the more difficult option, it's a good choice for the long term, as the time may come when you're making a more intermediate project and want to make your own assets and visual style. There are a few programs which are very useful for 3D modelling.
Even if you decide to find premade assets, you'll probably end up needing to tweak them in 3D modelling software so so that they're just right. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available online. Professional design software is available at monthly subscription prices comparable to a MMORPG, and there are tutorials for just about every 3D modelling question freely available on YouTube ([[click for example for YouTube resources]]). Use the search function on every website you see! If you demand higher-quality education content, consider subscribing to [[PluralSight]]. Go through the various subreddits listed on the sidebar here and catch up on conversations in the different VR tech communities, and learn new tips and tricks.
* '''3D Modelling and Sculpting:'''
** '''[[Autodesk's Entertainment Creation Suite]]''' of software (including Maya, 3ds Max, Motionbuilder, and Mudbox with native export to Unity and UE4) is available to "students" free for three years -- no verification needed. This includes everything you need to make professional models, textures, animations, etc.
** '''[[Pixologic ZBrush]]''' (from $795, student discounts available) is a 3D sculpting application, which provides more creative flexibility than traditional modelling applications such as Maya or 3ds Max, and is known for its powerful handling of high-polygon and photorealistic models. The functionally-equivalent Autodesk software is Mudbox.
** '''[[Blender]]''' is an entirely free and open source 3D modelling, animation, and game design suite. It is very powerful with great flexibility, but has a much steeper learning curve than commercially-developed software.
You can buy and download models and 3D scans at sites like Turbosquid and Sketchfab.
** '''[[MODO Indie]]''' ($15/month or $300) is an 3D sculpting, painting, and animation tool that caters to game designers and hobbyist artists learning 3D.
** '''[[Speedtree]]''' ($19/month) is useful for designing procedurally-generated 3D models of trees, plants, and all sorts of branching structures. These can later be extracted with many options for use in photorealistic landscapes.

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