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F22 Introduction to Interactive VR 360 ° Film


Course Information

Open City Docs

This practice-based course is designed for people interested in making VR interactive 360 ° film content. It will be specific to 360 ° film and will require no programming experience. It will deal with gaze-based interactions in film environments and discuss these from both a practical and theoretical perspective, providing pre-built examples for users to work through and understand the central principles of this approach. The following topics are indicative of the planned course structure.

Course Code


Course Dates

17th January 2018 – 14th February 2018

Places Available

Course Description
  • (Session 1) Unity Basics
  • (Session 2) Creating a 360 ° Film Scene
  • (Session 3) Making an Interactive 360 ° Film Project 1 (Key Concepts)
  • (Session 4) Making an Interactive 360 ° Film Project 2 (Practice)
  • (Session 5) Building and Publishing an Interactive 360 ° Project

Course Tutor:

Jeremiah Ambrose (M.Sc, M.Phil, BA (Hons))

Working in the areas of digital art, media futures and experimental practice, Jeremiah’s research cements ideas explored in both his M.Sc in Interactive Digital Media and his M.Phil in Film

Theory and History. Currently he is in the final stages of a practice-based PhD looking at emergent narratives and interaction aesthetics in VR and interactive 360° film at the University of Brighton. Talks, workshops and installations include the: Brighton Digital Festival, London

Science Museum, VR Diversity Initiative and the British Science Festival. He also lectures on the University of Brighton’s MA in Digital Media Arts, guest lectures on UAL’s MA Games

Design and tutors on UCL’s VR Strand on the practice-based MA in Ethnographic andDocumentary Film.

Course Contents Overview:


Session 1 - Unity Basics

Key elements:

  • Introduction
  • What is Unity?
  • Main Windows
  • Scripting
  • Console
  • Game Objects
  • The Asset Store
  • Publishing Build
  • Why Build 360 ° Film in Unity? 

Learning outcomes: Familiarity with the basics of the Unity interface and common terms used in

relation to this software.

Materials: These discussions will be covered via slides that will be provided to people attending

the course.


Session 2 - Creating a 360 ° Film Scene

Key elements:

  • Video Sphere - Importing a suitable sphere and positioning it for your scene.
  • Shaders - Making a shader that will allow you to view inside of a sphere.
  • Main camera - Explaining how the virtual camera becomes the user’s body.
  • Video Player - Understanding how its components work and playing a



Learning outcomes: Understanding the central components involved in building a scene and

applying these by creating your own 360 ° scene.

Materials: All of the relevant scripts will be provided along with comments for people to

understand how they work. These will be discussed to give a brief insight into programming



Session 3/4 - Making an Interactive 360 ° Film 1/2 (Key Concepts/Practice)

Key elements:

  • Virtual Gaze Interaction - Define and explain in the context of this course.
  • Ray Tracing - Brief overview to contextualise VGI.
  • Mesh Colliders - Explain how these work and their role in relation to VGI.
  • Scene Activation - Show how to trigger a scene change.
  • Build settings - Covering how scenes need to be added to the build.
  • VR Reticles - Defining and discussing different reticle approaches.


Learning outcomes: Introduction to the theory and practice of virtual gaze interaction and

applying it to a scene to create movement between a series of 360 ° videos. This will be done

with invisible object interaction, imported 3D models and discussed briefly in relation to script



Materials: You will be provided with a project folder that will include 360 ° videos to work with, but

this could be combined with material shot from other workshops at UCL.

Session 5 - Building and Publishing an Interactive 360 ° Project

Key elements:

  • Mapping a Scene
  • Non-linear / Linear Narratives
  • Platforms & Building
  • Standalone
  • VR Analytics
  • Gear VR Publishing
  • Key Processes and Troubleshooting for App Building
  • OSIG and Application Signing
  • Publishing Platforms

Learning outcomes: Either previous work or an example provided will be published as a Gear

VR app. This process will demonstrate the nuanced considerations and processes involved for

error checking and publishing an app this way. People will also be made aware of how the

exporting of an interactive project and its desired platform will impact the overall project design.

Critical considerations of the available platforms will also be introduced.

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