Product Designer

Product Design Explorations

Exploration, Thoughts & Pitfalls of Designing

VR Explorations 1

Maya as a prototyping tool, who would of thought!? 

Well, I finally got Domemaster to work for Maya 2011.5. I did a super simple animation just to confirm the process. I used a Equirectangular Camera.  I compiled the sequence in After Effects and once I had another output I injected that with Spacial media meta data to make it officially 360 for Youtube to accept it as such. Although this is not mind blowing in terms of interactivity you CAN view in Google Cardboard which really changes the way you experience your VR mocks.

If you are not familiar with Maya but you do know After Effects the Mettle plug-in could be for you!  

Figured I would take a stab at a simple selection task. What could this look like? How should these cards be labeled?

My next step is to figure out a nice way to show controls. Is it a swipe of the motion stick or is it using the actual trigger? Showing this would be helpful to understand the interaction.

Next is to figure out a good 2-3 meter range for UI.

So, I decided I needed a good template when wire framing for VR. Below, is what I came up with. I will also link it here so anybody can use it.

Well, I encountered a few issues with my old version of Maya 2011.5 and Domemaster and the way the camera was rendering was being funky(I could not define a distance from the geometry). I do not want to waste tons of time on getting a camera set-up properly in such an old version. I decided to purchase Mettle to see if I could get the same output quality. So far renders are much faster. No real surprise there. Below is my first go with Mettle Skybox V2.

Sweet, I feel like this is going to work really nicely for VR prototyping and animations. Setup is about 75% less than Maya. That really does not surprise me. I should note that 360 video is not quite the same thing as a VR environment, but it is a heck of a lot closer than a PDF!

Side Note: Although I moved away from Domemaster in Maya I should say that I had asked Andrew Hazelden for some help and he was absolutely great.