To get up and running with virtual reality and augmented reality, you are going to need a few dependencies (things).
There are a lot of paths to pursue in this emerging medium including: 360 photography, 360 video, 360 audio, interactive gaming, simulations, etc. All of these are worth exploring, but for now, we are going to start with a game engine.
Please click on the following link to the Unity 3D archive and download Unity 5.3.1.
We had major issues (constant crashing) with build 5.3.2, and have yet to test 5.3.3, so for now we are going to stick to what we know is stable. Once downloaded, install it. Make sure you include iOS and android build support packages, as you will need them to publish to mobile devices. If you do not, we can always reinstall them later on.
To build to your mobile phone, if you have an android device you are going to need the android studio.
To properly compile and deploy what you publish within Unity to an iOS device, you will need Xcode 7.2.1, DO NOT DOWNLOAD XCODE BETA again, quite notable for being unstable/incompatible. In addition to xcode, you will need an apple developer license, which is provided by the course, or you can purchase for $100 at Apple Developer Enrollment
Now that you have Unity 3D 5.3.1, X-Code 7.2.1 or Android Studio, and an apple developer license, you now have a powerful assortment of tools for producing virtual reality and augmented reality content. With this you can already begin to publish to the Oculus Rift, the GearVR, and your mobile devices. However, there are a few more packages to sweeten the deal.
VR – Google Cardboard
An easy and affordable way to get started with virtual reality would be with the google cardboard, Google Cardboard.
To get started, go to the following link and follow the instructions, by the end of the guide you should be able to successfully publish their demo Scene from Unity to your iOS device. If you are using an android device, there is a supporting link at the top of the iOS guide for android devices. Be sure to follow the extra x-code publishing documentation if you are unable to publish. Just make sure you have the CoreText.framework and Security.framework included in your build or it will not publish.
AR – Vuforia
Vuforia is a powerful tool for creating a variety of augmented reality applications. A starter license is free, go to https://developer.vuforia.com/ to register and login. Once logged in go to downloads and download the vuforia package for Unity. Also, go to samples and download the samples for Unity.
Congratulations, you now have a powerful toolkit for producing and publishing augmented reality and virtual reality content. Next, we will get into publishing some of the demos, then producing our own creative content.
Blender – Open Source 3D software for all kinds of amazingness
Meshlab – a great resource for editing meshes
CCleaner – Clean out your cache, temp files, etc.
eMotion – a powerful tool for interactive performance and experience design
Virtual Reality Resources
Unity Virtual Reality Project Books – A great resource for all kinds of skill levels and projects in Unity for Virtual Reality
Google Cardboard iOS Getting Started – Be sure to read the xcode publishing documentation if you are unable to publish
Unity 3D website Tutorials – General tutorials on getting familiar with all of the goodies in Unity 3D
Virtual Reality Tutorials From Unity – Specific topics surrouding VR in Unity 3D
Blender Guru – a great tutorial website for how to do 3D modeling, texturing, etc.
Art & Tech Lab @ LAMCA – Arts & Tech lab with Grants