Unity’s VR Editor Lets You Create VR Content Like a God

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At a special event at GDC this morning, Unity’s Principal Designer Timoni West showed off the latest prototype of Unity’s new Virtual Reality editor that lets you build VR applications and games as if you were a god.

The two biggest game engines out there are laser focused on making developers’ lives as easy as possible to create immersive content. What’s more, both Epic Games, creator of the Unreal Engine and Unity believe that the next step for fast prototyping and intuitive VR creation is to let the creator build his VR world inside VR itself. It’s a logical idea, but throwing away decades of 2D menu design and accepted knowledge is no mean feat.

On stage at a special event at GDC last week, Unity’s Principal Designer Timoni West donned an Oculus Rift and, wielding 2 Oculus Touch controllers, demonstrated to the audience what progress their team has made toward that VR in VR creation goal – be creating an entire virtual scene from scratch in just a couple of minutes.

The video above shows off lots of interesting features, most immediate is the user interface, which should be fairly transparent from the video. But West was focusing in this presentation on a new feature that’s designed to speed up the world building process, they call it the Chess Board. Think of this as an overarching mini-map, displaying an aerial view of the world you’re creating but positioned within the world itself.

unity-vr-editor-chessboard
Source: VR Scout

You can zoom out and in for different scale operations, but the most powerful aspect of the Chess Board is to allow creators to rapidly drop assets into your scene wit minimal scrolling or physical movement. This sounds fairly pedestrian, but watch as West uses the Chess Board view to grab and move an entire mountain range via the board and the world around her alter to match. Aside from making workflow in VR more efficient, as you’re in VR you instantly get a feel for the scale of the object that’s being moved and whether your intended new location for it works. Designing just as you might were you a God.

Also note the use of dual wielded Oculus Touch controllers for for intuitively ‘handling’ virtual objects, scaling, moving and rotating them before dropping them by hand onto the chessboard. Seen slightly more clearly in VR Scout’s video below.

It all looks extremely promising, so when can developers expect to get their hands on it? Unfortunately West said there’s nothing to share yet, merely that they’re working hard to get it ‘done’ as soon as possible.

  • http://joey1058.wordpress.com Joey1058

    Okay, I’m impressed. Not bad at all for a 5 minute demo!

  • DiGiCT Ltd

    UE4 are the ones had the idea and made it even way better as this, just a copy idea for unity to keep up with UE4.
    The lady looks better as the demo, just wondering what people most where looking at :D

  • Matthew Lynch

    I cannot wait to get my hands on this!

  • http://www.justintrimble.me Justin Trimble

    She did a longer presentation at the Vision Summit Conference a few weeks ago. For those of us who couldn’t attend the first Vision Summit Conference here is a link to 50+ videos of the talks. The head of Playstation VR, the head of Unity, the head of Google Tango, Palmer Luckey (the creator of the Oculus Rift), the list goes on and on. You get a free pass to about 24 hours of video. It’s a great insider look at how level the playing field is for VR/AR:

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrpm-M0DBMlEQwmQHm12GYg/featured

  • Ramesh Ramloll

    We have developed and been using this approach for years now. Awesome to see that others are finding it useful. The work has been presented at conference venue twice at the opensim conference … it https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/111431562812525396224

  • Words

    RezMela using the Wizard of Oz Concept. My own interest is from a Virtual Learning Perspective. We are enabling subject matter experts create virtual training environments relevant to their daily practice in several domains including the emergency preparedness domain and working with mental health experts to test ways to help youth with mental challenges.
    There will be a free access and demo within the next couple of days. Watch this site to find out access details. http://bit.ly/1S8SpXN