VR App Developer

Category: Journal ENtry

Collaboration

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An the studio we had a project about educating New Yorkers about garbage education. For my part I was making an app for the Gear Vr a virtual reality 360 video piece about where does New York City garbage go. The 360 video shows where does the garbage go after when you throw it inside a trash can.

The project took me roughly 2-3 months to finish as reviews to the project were done while I was making the build. At the piece I was doing I would ask for a person to give one suggestion on how we can solve the garbage problem, write it down on a post it note and post on the suggestion wall. After that I would let the person experience the 360 video on the Gear VR which last for around 1 mins and 30 secs. After they are done with the Gear VR I would ask what you will commit to solve the garbage problem and do the same action as before but on a committed wall.

Our theme at the studio for the project was same but the approach was different as I had the VR experience while others had creative way to throw garbage by adding a basketball net on top of the garbage can and when every a garbage is thrown inside the net it will light up. The other art piece was a voting cigarette box where you will vote by putting your cigarette bud inside the box. And there were other garbage education related piece which was all done in collaboration.

Coding

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To make an app or games using Unity3D you will need to do coding which I didn’t know when I first started using the software. When I first started using Unity3D I was just making simple environments, terrains, and a few little animations. As the time goes by and new projects rolls in I had to do more than just simple stuff and had to do more and it all relied on coding. I started by searching online for specific code that I needed for my project and started watching and reading tutorials online.

The two popular coding language used in Unity3D are C# and Javascript. I have done some Javascript when I took my Web Design one class last year but other than that it was my first time hearing about C#. Unity3D they have their own tutorials on their website and they also have a forum to help answer coding issues. I look into both Unity3D official tutorials and other tutorials others have done on the internet in the form of blogs and videos. So far right now I know how the basic codes work and can edit it so it will work with my project, but without the source codes and the code written by others online I wouldn’t be able to do anything. Even though I have done coding for a while I’m still not good at it and every day it’s a struggle to find and fix problems in coding.

Always Learning

Like I stated in the earlier journal that I am not proficient in using Unity 3D software and I am always learning every time I am using the software. ¬†And Virtual Reality being somewhat new it is still a challenge to make an app for. ¬†When I am making an app and would get stuck at a problem I would search the internet if anyone else had the same problem that I did and if there’s¬†any solution to it. ¬†Not just to find the solution to my problems, I go online to search for tutorials to add more feature in the app and make it more visually aesthetic and works fine as it’s intended to.

The part that I have to work on the most is to code. I don’t have a coding background so it’s very hard to learn a whole coding language by myself. My supervisor has been very helpful as she helped me by sending me to a two days Unity 3D game developing class and helping with learning new skills. Every day I think I am faster and better at making VR apps and would like to hone this skills more.

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Virtual Reality Platform

When I first started using Unity3D software I was making apps that were basically like a game/guided virtual video for PC.  As  I got more familiar with the software I was looking in making apps for different platforms of Virtual Reality devices such as Oculus, Samsung Gear VR, and cardboard. All the projects are made in unity while keeping in mind how it will look on the specific platform. You will be making an app for oculus which is far better in quality than Samsung Gear VR and cardboard. The problem that I faced was I would be making a project with the best quality on the oculus but when I transfer it to be used for Samsung  Gear VR the app would be very laggy and the app almost unusable.  So to make the project be usable again I would have to almost cut the project down to half and make the quality be decent while the app is working fine. The most challenging part is to make the project smaller with decent quality without losing any content of the project. That was the first time I had to deal with such an issue so nowadays all the apps that I make by keeping in mind of all the other VR platform that I would make the app for.

The problem that I faced was I would be making a project with the best quality on the oculus but when I transfer it to be used for Samsung  Gear VR the app would be very laggy and the app almost unusable.  So to make the project be usable again I would have to almost cut the project down to half and make the quality be decent while the app is working fine. The most challenging part is to make the project smaller with decent quality without losing any content of the project. That was the first time I had to deal with such an issue so nowadays all the apps that I make by keeping in mind of all the other VR platform that I would be making the app for.

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Webinar

The webinar recap video that I watched is from marxentlabs.com (Marxent offers market-leading expertise in the latest Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality for Android, iOS, Oculus Rift, GearVR and more. A Vuforia Preferred Vendor, their team has deep experience with AR and VR.) *Stated at their website

Marxent started about four years ago as a startup company. They are the pioneer¬†in the field of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. ¬†They work with Lowe’s Home Improvement, Speedway, Azek, and Hammacher Schemmer among other leading brands.

VR and AR are fairly new and is a tough field to get into as there are no specific major or classes being taught in colleges.

The Speakers

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As a person myself that is making apps for virtual reality at my internship placement, I was interested in what this webinar has to offer as the title (Work in Virtual Reality! 5 Virtual Reality Jobs & How to get in the door) was very interesting and speaks to me.

VR Team

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In the webinar, they stated that if you are getting into making apps for VR and AR for a big project you will need a team of people that have experience in using Unity3D software as a game designer/developer viewpoint and also people that are experienced in UX/UI designing. The other people that work together or can be done by the same people are 3D modeler and the Animators. The other job field that they stated was the project manager that manages the whole project and the team.

As being the only VR Developer at my internship placement I play the role as the Unity3D Developer, UX/UI designing and some 3D modeling and animation for our small projects for the organization. My supervisor plays the role of the project manager and the ideas of the project for the VR app are also done by my supervisor but later I will pitch in to do some creative reasoning and add some of my own ideas.

The questions that they will be answering

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In the webinar there was a question “What should I study if I want to work in VR?” ¬†and speaker stated that VR itself is not a job title you don’t have to know everything as stated earlier, you can be proficient/experienced in one field and that’s ok as making a huge ¬†VR project needs ¬†a lot of people with different talent to work together.

In the webinar there was another question ” How do I get training in AR/VR?” to which they answered that there is not specific class or major that is being taught in colleges right now so you will be depending upon online tutorials , taking major like computer science, coding classes specifically in language such as C#, Javascript, etc. Video tutorial such as youtube can be very helpful. ¬†Also for people that are non-developer, there are a lot of ways to get involved in work in VR/AR.

They stated that you are qualified to work in Virtual Reality if you are interested in it and willing to commit to it.  Asking questions and searching for information can make you achieve what you want.

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Companies are looking for people that have an interest in the field and has done enough work that they can look into such as portfolio and a good resume. People who have many skills that the company is in need will be highly likely to get hired.  The skills that are most valued when working with AR/VR is to be creative and think creatively and staying ahead of the game and be informed of the new technology all the time.

In the end of webinar before their Question and Answer sessions, they stated that they are hiring people that are an iOS developer, Quality Assurance Analyst, Project Manager, Unity 3D Developer and people that would like to work there in the different field.  As being a person that started using Unity 3D and already have made and still working on apps for Oculus and other VR platforms such as Samsung Gear VR I think I would be able to intern/work with them to know more and get more into this field.

The webinar was done in 2015 so some of the information that they stated have changed a lot and new information has been surfaced. But all in all, it was very informative and helpful to me as I am going for the work field in VR/AR. I was glad to find the information that they were giving was what I am already doing right now and some new information that I will be taking action and improving on to get more into to develop apps/games for VR/AR.

App Review

App no. 1

EyeEm

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Website: eyeem.com

App: Available for both Android and iOS

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EyeEm is an online platform for photographers to share their works and see what others have done and have to offer. The beauty about this website/app is that anyone can take a picture and share it on EyeEm through their website or apps. They have articles specially about photography. It also has a marketplace where anyone can sell their photos but you have to be an EyeEm member. You will always remain the copyright holder of your photos and EyeEm split the revenue from each photo 50/50.

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The unique thing that EyeEm does is they have their photo competition that they call missions where they have a certain theme for the photo and all the EyeEm members can join. The mission has prices related to photography. The mission that is happening right now where if your photo/s gets chosen that photo will be exhibited in be Berlins Pop-up Lab in London after the exhibit is over they will mail a framed print of your photo. The prices differ from very competition/missions.

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EyeEm marketplace: Every photo that you have selected to be sold on the marketplace will go through EyeEm and they will check if the photo can be sold in the marketplace. If the photo is selected it will be available in the EyeEm marketplace with a commercial license from EyeEm. If your photo gets selected for EyeEm collection that photo will be  available for sale also on their distribution  partners  such as Getty image and alamy.

EyeEm app and the website is very user-friendly and I like the idea of sharing my photos and looking at the images that other people like me has taken and also the photos taken by the professional in one place. If you are a photographer I would highly recommend this app/website. As for me I only uploaded the images that I have taken while I was taking digital photography 1 class.

App no. 2

VivaVideo

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Website: vivavideo.tv

App: Available for both Android and iOS

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Vivavideo is a video editing app that I use when I am not near my PC or laptop and in need of editing a video to be uploaded on social media such as Facebook, Instagram, etc. There is two version of the app Vivavideo and Vivavideo Pro which removes the apps watermark and ads. When you first open the app you will be welcomed with this simple UI which is very straight forward.

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The app is very user-friendly and easy to use and has a lot of features to offer while being free with some ads and watermark. The tools are very easy to use and have a variety of feature to make your video more enjoyable to share.

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After the video is done editing you can simply save the video on your phone or upload it to the social media directly.

There is a lot of video editing apps for both iOS and Android but for me ,I choose this app because of how user-friendly and simple it is to use and very fast and responsive.

Workplace environment

At the first day as an intern at RPGA studio, I was dressed formally and was coming there after my class. As soon as I stepped into the studio I noticed that everyone was all wearing comfortable clothing and was told by my supervisor to wear comfortable clothing next when coming to the studio we don’t have a dress code. When I first came into the studio I noticed it not like a work area but like well a studio with an open space. We all had our own tables and laptops or desktop, but we are never isolated.¬†The full-time employees and the supervisor usually are at the studio for 8 hours or less, the hours are flexible to the interns and the if you works more than 6 hours you can get 30mins to an hour lunch break.

Rego Park Green Alliance Studio

I got my internship at RPGA Studio through CUNY Service Corps by going through their training and workshops. I had to choose 5 Internship sites that I had to choose and RPGA Studio was my first choice.  I went through the CUNY corps interview sessions with the companies/organizations and had to do 5 interviews on the same day back to back with 10 minutes slot with the interviewers and 5 minutes break in between.  The RPGA Studio interviewer asked me mostly about if I knew any 3d software or if I have taken or taking any classes on it. I had tried and used 3d software to model and make animation at high school so told them about it and also I told them I will be taking few 3d animation and modeling classes (which I am doing right now).

Through the intense interviews and the waiting after it, I got accepted as a intern at Rego Park Green Alliance Studio in the position of graphic designer through CUNY Service Corps. Rego Park Green Alliance Studio is a non-profit organization that solves community problem by using creative approach. Just like any intern at the first day you would be doing small works like sending and replying emails. I would be given the graphic design to work on at the organization but graphic designing is not where my heart is as it was my minor and required subject to get to my major, which is Game design and animation. My supervisor knows what my major is and where my heart is at doing which is to create game and animation. One day my supervisor told be about a project that they will be doing which will involve creating apps for VR (Virtual Reality). She wanted me to learn how to use unity, which is a game developing software which I have heard of but never tried it. This got my attention and I started to research/find tutorial and free lessons that I can find online. And now after making numerous virtual reality apps my title is virtual reality app developer at the studio.

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Non profit organization

The non-profit organization that I intern/work at is Rego Park Green Alliance Studio.  RPGA Studio is a Social Practice non-profit, founded/headed by Yvonne Shortt, that uses art + design + education + technology to address community issues. Our areas of focus are: Youth, commercial corridors, transportation safety, garbage, revitalizing outdoor spaces. (Sited from their website)
At the studio, we have 8 employees and 6 interns and we are located at Long Island City.

Selected Partners that we work for or together with: NYC Department of Education, Woodside on the Move. Manhattan Lab School, Queens Library, International Arts and Ideas Festival, National Trust for Historic Preservation, People for the Pavilion, DIVAS for Social Justice, Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning

I am currently interning/working at Rego Park Green Alliance Studio as a Virtual Reality App Developer, creating virtual reality app for the organizations on the projects that they are onto.  I also teach student 3D design and 3d printing.

http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/news/2016/07/11/contest-inspires-residents-to-dream-about-nys-pavilion-restoration-ideas.html

http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/news/2016/05/12/community-initiative-drives-local-business-in-rego-park.html

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