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VR Digest: Developers explore Windows Mixed Reality

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VR Digest: A VR newsletter brought to you by Studio Transcendent
written by John Dewar (@jstarrdewar) Issue 132 – August 10, 2017

VR Digest: A Virtual Reality newsletter brought to you by Studio Transcendent

Developers Explore Windows Mixed Reality

Developers have been receiving their Windows Mixed Reality devices since early last week and several interesting videos have been published showing the devices and the Windows VR user interface.

One of the most fascinating is simply the transition animation that plays when visiting a WebVR application in the Microsoft Edge browser.

There are actually a lot of slick transitions in the system, as you can see in this video, which shows how the “media room” in the “cliff house” transitions from interior to exterior mode, and how you can walk out of the nighttime media room area and into the daytime living room area.

UploadVR put up a video showing the Microsoft HoloTour app. It demonstrates some cool interface design work. For example, notice the small animated arrow that shows you where to look, and the photogrammetry foreground integrated into the 360 video giving the illusion of a position tracked video.

One developer even got ahold of the Microsoft tracked controllers and made an unboxing video.
 

Bits

AltspaceVR posted a touching video of users’ avatars describing how the community affected their lives.

In Issue 128, we wrote about Google’s Blocks, a simple answer to 3D modeling in VR. Google’s team has recently been experimenting with ways to animate objects and characters in Blocks. Senior UX engineer Logan Olson states that users will be able to “create expressive animations without needing to learn complex animation software.” [Road to VR]

Unreal Engine released version 4.17. For VR developers, the release gives several interesting new capabilities. First is experimental ARKit support. There is also support for spectator mode in VR mode, meaning that the game screen can render a separate camera and UI for additional users outside the headset. This technique showed up in VR The Diner Duo and Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes. Finally, there is a new framework called “Composure” that is designed for real-time compositing. This isn’t immediately useful for VR, being designed for inserting real-time assets into cinematic backplates (here is an impressive example), but it looks as though it could be the basis for mixed reality compositing features.

This week’s release of the Firefox 55 update is an important one for VR users. The browser will support Rift and Vive through WebVR 1.1 right out of the box, no need to turn on a hidden developer setting. [Road to VR]

VR Digest™ is a Virtual Reality Newsletter brought to you by Studio Transcendent, a producer of premium Virtual Reality experiences. We publish weekly on Thursdays.

 
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