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Introduction

Welcome session for setting out the vision, roadmap, delivery format and expectations from the learners

Who this course is for? What will you learn? How do we deliver it? What do we expect from you?

Vision
Welcome! This course is designed for learners who are new to VR applications and medium. A few of you may have used or interacted with VR before and may even own VR hardware. Some of you may have wondered how you could go about creating a VR experience of your own. This course is designed to get you thinking about the design and development of VR experiences. We really want you to focus on thinking about the “what” of the VR experience rather than “how” to implement. We will use a light-weight approach to implementation which can literally run out of a browser window. At the end of this course, learners should be able to design, test and implement basic VR experiences on their own. They should also be able to deal with simple interactive mechanisms and the challenges or best practices involved in designing virtual world applications.

Delivery
We will tackle concepts of Virtual Reality (VR) experiences through a series of lectures, exercises and discussions. The lectures introduce core or key concepts. Exercises will test and deepen your understanding of the concepts. The discussions will help you to evaluate your understanding and cross-pollinate ideas with other learners. Each week’s concepts build upon the previous week. The content is spread across four weeks.

Week 1:
Here we will introduce you to basic concepts of VR experiences and provide an opportunity to explore a simple VR experience. We will also provide a brief introduction to the programming approaches for putting together a VR experience. We expect you to start thinking about the idea of your very own VR experience and share your approach within the discussion channel. Over the remainder of the course, we will introduce concepts and show you examples of implementation that will help you convert your idea into a working VR experience.

Week 2:
We will introduce you to spatial coordinates, colours, object rotation and scaling. You will have the opportunity to explore the concepts in a practical setting. Further, you will be expected to flesh out your own VR experience in terms of the concepts we have introduced in this week and share your thoughts with your peers.

Week 3:
This week is dedicated to learning the basics of motion for virtual objects and users. Just like in Week 2, you will have exercise to practise on and you will further define and discuss your VR experience.

Week 4:
This week will introduce basic interactivity and advanced concepts of models and textures. The hands-on focus will be on finalizing your VR experience, sharing it with peers and providing feedback to your peers about the VR experiences they have shared with you.

Expectations
The hands-on elements of the course require you to write code and build small examples as well as the main VR experience that you propose in Week 1. This requires some programming experience. While we use a light-weight approach to programming using AFrame, learners will find basic proficiency in web-technology like HTML and Javascript to be extremely useful. This course assumes you can write simple programs in Javascript, are able to understand simple concepts related to the HTML DOM and are able to use browser-based development tools to view source-code and debug errors. Firefox is our browser of choice and all examples are built and tested on it. However, Chrome should also work without issues. Remaining browsers may work but we don’t guarantee compatibility.

Course Evaluation & Assessment
During the course, you will engage with several practical exercises. We will provide source files for these exercises under the ‘See Also’ section of the course steps. You are encouraged to share your VR design with peers in the discussion forum within the course and participate in constructive conversations related to others’ ideas. Short quizzes will be used to further evaluate your understanding. None of these activities are enforced. We hope you will find the course exciting and you are self-motivated to complete the exercises and activities.

Working with Source-code
The links in the “See Also” section of a step will often point to VR web-apps. If the link you click on is a VR web-app, you will be given an option to first download the source-code of the HTML file containing the VR web-app. The VR web-app will also load in a separate tab of your browser. We encourage you to save the source-code to your device and explore it in detail using your favourite code-editor. Additional files (like assets, images and JS libraries) are not automatically downloaded. Familiarize yourself with the WebDev Console of your browser. The Console, Inspector and Network tabs will be particularly useful for debugging errors and identifying the URLs to additional files used by the VR web-app.

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Construct a Virtual Reality Experience

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