Unity VR / AR Getting Started

Please contact rdonovan@cornish.edu for any questions or concerns.

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.

Unity 2017.3.0f3

Get Unity 3D

Android Studio

To build to your mobile phone, if you have an android device you are going to need the android studio.
Android Studio Download
Check out the Unity documentation about Android setup here.
Once downloaded and installed, open the Unity Editor. Go to Edit > Preferences > External Tools.
Scroll down to the android directories that are vacant for SDK, JDK, and NDK. Click the download links for each one respectively. If you already installed android studio you don’t need to install it again, instead you need to provide Unity with the directory for the sdk. On windows this should be found in:


After downloading and installing the JDK, it’s directory can be found in:
C:/Program Files/Android/Android Studio/jre

We are going to try JDK-9 first,
JDK 9 download
if it doesn’t work, use
USE JDK 8 instead
JDK 8 Download

if you still cannot publish to android, you may need to change the tools folder in the Android/Sdk directory, download the windows link in the description from here for tools r25.2.3, go to Android/Sdk directory, rename the current tools folder to tools_Old, then paste in the new tools folder.

youtube video with tools download
After downloading and installing the NDK, it’s directory can be found in:

Now that you have all of the android dependencies, make sure that developer mode is enabled for your device and that you have the correct android sdk installed that supports your device.
To do this, go to your android settings > About Phone > Android Version and take note of your version number, for example, mine is 6.0.1.

Now open Android Studio, select File > Settings, then search for SDK in the searchbar. Select Android SDK and you should see a list of the available SDK’s. Download the version that matches your Android device.

To activate Developer Mode on your Android device depends on which version of the phone you are running, this guide worked for me, Enable Developer Options on Android Devices

For those of you deploying to Apple iOS devices,

Get the latest xcode

X-Code Download

To properly compile and deploy what you publish within Unity to an iOS device, you will need Xcode 9.2, 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 2017.3.0f3, X-Code 9.2 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.

Google Cardboard iOS Getting Started
Google VR Android Getting Started

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 samples and download the samples for Unity. It should redirect you to the unity asset store, Vuforia Core Assets . Download these assets in the unity editor asset store window. Now go here to get started with Vuforia in Unity.

when building to my android device I was returned a strange error, this solution seemed to resolve the problem.

Still be returned an error, I tried downloading the latest tools folder from the android studio website, https://developer.android.com/studio/index.html

Now you will need a way to manage the different versions of your project, to do that, get Github Desktop, Github Desktop
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.


Useful Software

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

Useful Tutorials


Blender Guru – a great tutorial website for how to do 3D modeling, texturing, etc.


Art & Tech Lab @ LAMCA – Arts & Tech lab with Grants


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