• Facebook Brings 3D Content And 3D Photos To Newsfeeds
    Facebook Brings 3D Content And 3D Photos To Newsfeeds

    3D creations and 3D photos have a home on Facebook.

    The social media giant is embracing a new type of content for you to upload alongside text, photos and videos. 3D objects and scenes saved in the industry standard glTF 2.0 format can be dragged straight to a browser window to add to your Facebook account. Update: This article originally published on February 20 of this year, but on Oct. 11 Facebook added 3D photos as well to its platform. The glTF feature was added to the platform’s tools so developers can build ways to export creations to Facebook from various apps, while the photos feature is available on “compatible dual-lens smartphones” — at launch that means iPhones with two rear cameras.

    This means you’ll see 3D objects in your newsfeed that you can interact with in new ways. In addition, Facebook’s social VR software Spaces will let visitors reach out and pull these objects, or scenes, straight from the newsfeed and into their virtual world.

    Facebook managers said they had no plans to let anyone re-download the creations. Put another way, you can put 3D content on Facebook but you can’t pull it back out to use in a non-Facebook app. This makes the approach quite a bit different from, say, Google’s Poly service which offers the option to let anyone download objects for use in other software. Responding to questions about why the feature doesn’t work both ways (you can re-download photos, for example), Facebook representatives said they wanted to get the feature working well first without hiccups so users could express themselves. They added that you can adjust the privacy of a 3D post just like any other. So it can be visible to only you, publicly to the world or somewhere in between. For comparison, Poly lets users make objects read-only or set it so that anyone can download for use in other programs.

    Neither service offers a way for creators to make money from their uploads.

    Facebook also recently launched animation tools for its Quill creativity software to bring scenes and objects to life. These creations, too, might one day come to newsfeeds alongside animations from other programs.

    “It is very much our top priority,” said Lucy Bradshaw, Product Manager, Facebook Social VR.

    Giants like Facebook, Google and Microsoft as well as startups like Sketchfab are racing to provide useful services that turn the Web 3D. Depth-sensing phone cameras and VR software like Quill, Blocks and Tilt Brush are making it possible for people to create 3D content more quickly and easily than ever before. This means 3D creation, which was once the domain of only experts working in fields like video games or movies, is increasingly becoming possible for anyone.

    According to Facebook:

    …artists using 3D authoring software can directly drag/drop their 3D files to Facebook to create a 3D post…people can easily share 3D memories captured with an Xperia XZ1 phone via Sony’s 3D Creator app. On the web, people can share objects directly from the Oculus Medium web gallery and soon from Google’s Poly as well. And 3D modeling

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  • Star Vault AB Release Update For Cat Collecting Title Kitten’d Crazy cat person simulator introduces big content update.
  • Insomniac Games Speaks About Plans for Stormland Chad Dezern, Chief Creative Officer of Insomniac Games speaks about the inspiration behind Stormland.
  • Oculus Home 2.0 And Dash Exit Beta, Now Rolling Out To All Rift Owners
    Oculus Home 2.0 And Dash Exit Beta, Now Rolling Out To All Rift Owners

    When the Oculus Rift launched back in mid-2016, its system software and store were criticized for the relative lack of features compared to other platforms and stores (such as Steam). In fact, the software couldn’t even be installed to any hard drive other than the system drive (nor could VR games/apps from Oculus’ store).

    In the following years, Oculus slowly added the missing features such as custom install folders, ratings & reviews, a wishlist, refunds, and cloud save support. However, the core experience of the “Home” environment and the Rift’s in-VR menu system remained the same until in late 2017 at their Connect 4 conference, when Oculus launched the beta for Rift Core 2.0. Now, Oculus is taking it out of beta and rolling it out to all Rift owners.

    Oculus Home 2.0 brings customization and social

    Oculus Home 2.0 is a total revamp. Instead of the old static environment where the user was locked to one position, Home is now customizable with hundreds of objects and textures. From within VR, the user can spawn and place these objects, or even import their own models from Medium or their PC. It now uses Unreal Engine with dynamic lighting and physically based rendering, which delivers a more realistic look, but with a performance penalty. This extra performance hit has led to complaints from Rift owners on lower end systems, and even the creation of Oculus Homeless, a tool which replaces Home 2.0 with a blank grey room.

    At Connect 5, Oculus also announced custom developer items, letting developers add unlockable objects for Oculus Home in their game. The developers of Superhot VR, Moss, Echo Arena, Job Simulator, OrbusVR, and Arizona Sunshine have all already added such unlockables. It’s worth mentioning as well that SteamVR Home has had custom environments, collectible items from games, and the ability to explore the Home space for quite some time already.

    But arguably the biggest change to Home from before is that it is now social. Whereas the old Oculus Home was isolated to the user, Home 2.0 lets up to 8 Rift users hang out in each others homes in real-time using their Oculus Avatar.

    Oculus Dash brings desktop windows into VR

    The other major component in Rift Core 2.0 is Dash. With the old Rift system software, if the user wanted to control something on their PC or bring up a traditional app like their browser, they needed to take the headset off and do this with their monitor. The competing SteamVR platform had a virtual monitor view from its menu system, as well as apps like OVRDrop.

    With Dash, a virtual view of the user’s monitor can be brought up at any time (in Home or in any VR app). But better yet, specific desktop windows can be “pulled out” of the virtual monitor and “pinned” in place, so even when the Dash menu is closed they will remain. This allows for use cases like watching Netflix in Elite Dangerous (as if your ship had a TV), or for positioning

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  • Feature-Length VR Film ‘7 Miracles’ Debuts At Raindance Film Festival

    A VIVE Studios production about the miracles performed by Jesus Christ was the winner of the “VR Film of the Festival” grand jury category. 7 Miracles – one of the longest feature-length cinematic VR films ever produced – premiered last week at the 26th Raindance Film Festival, Europe’s leading independent Film Festival and the largest

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  • RealWare Rolls Out AR Wearables At Colgate-Palmolive The RealWear HMT-1 AR headset is being deployed at Colgate-Palmolive facilities.
  • Vive Studios’ 7 Miracles Delivers A Sunday School Lesson In VR
    Vive Studios’ 7 Miracles Delivers A Sunday School Lesson In VR

    If you’re reading this, JesuSavesSouls, this one’s for you.

    I have to admit that, when I was first invited to watch a feature-length 360 degree movie about recounting the seven miracles of Jesus Christ, I hesitated. I confess it’s not a subject I have much interest in, nor has there been any 360 degree content yet published that’s so convincing I could spend over an hour watching it. Pairing the two didn’t exactly fill me with enthusiasm, then.

    In truth, though, the end product isn’t quite the biblical endurance test I thought it would be, though it’s far from a miraculous achievement (sorry, I’ll stop those now).

    Though billed as VR’s first feature-length piece, 7 Miracles actually arrives in an episodic format similar to other ‘movies’ like Nicolas Cage’s The Humanity Bureau. It consists of seven chapters, each lasting around 10 minutes and focusing on a different miracle. Odd as it may seem, I can see publisher Vive Studio’s thinking behind its support; there’s thought to be over two billion Christians in the world, why not push VR to them in the ongoing effort to popularize the tech? The result is what very much looks like a Sunday School lesson in VR, and that’s likely where this makes the most sense. It’s certainly in line with the specificity of Studio’s target audiences (which also include ocean conservationists and interior designers), if nothing else.

    I was initially a little wary of 7 Miracles, though. The first episode, which recounts Jesus turning water into wine, doesn’t do much to validify its existence. It sees us join Jesus at a party, but it’s hard to shake the feeling that you’re simply watching a school production rather than really immersing yourself in an authentic recreation of the time and setting. Perhaps that’s just the experimental nature of the format itself shining through but the piece struggles to find much you’d call cinematic in its first ten minutes.

    Subsequent episodes I was shown, however, fared far better than the introduction. The first, in which Jesus helps a man to walk again, is shot with a stunning backdrop of mountains in a city nestled between them. It lends the production a lot more weight, as does one particularly convincing scene in which a series of fast cuts have us trying to keep pace with Jesus as he angrily lectures those around him. It was here that I really got a sense of why this project should be in VR; there was unparalleled intimacy and communion to being part of the group huddled around him.

    Jesus certainly looks like Jesus, I’ll give him that.

    You continue to catch glimpses of that purpose throughout, including one scene in which Jesus resurrects Lazarus, though I couldn’t help feel like the piece ultimately wasn’t doing enough to elevate itself beyond traditional 2D footage. Tellingly, I watched the experience in a cinema seat, but never felt the need to uncomfortably crane my neck around to get the full scope of a shot. It is, at the very least,

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  • Vulkan Could Bring Oculus Go Performance and Battery Life Improvements To Quest
    Vulkan Could Bring Oculus Go Performance and Battery Life Improvements To Quest

    While gaming PCs have powerful CPUs and graphics cards drawing enormous amounts of power, in all-in-one “standalone” VR headsets like Oculus Go and the upcoming Oculus Quest, things are very different. Such headsets have very limited GPU power and run off a battery, making energy consumption an important concern.

    Better hardware like newer more efficient chips and bigger internal batteries can help lessen these restrictions, but also make the headset heavier and more expensive. Another solution is more efficient software – and this is where Vulkan can help.

    Vulkan is the successor to OpenGL, the industry standard graphics API that has been in widespread use for over 2 decades. OpenGL is similar to DirectX (up to version 11), but open and cross platform.

    Vulkan, like DirectX 12 for Windows and Metal for iOS, is a “low level” graphics API (LLAPI). LLAPIs give developers more direct access to the GPU than regular APIs,  allowing them to optimize their engine more specifically. The main benefit to these APIs, when a developer uses them right, is that more “draw calls”, instructions from the CPU to the GPU on what to draw, can be used each frame – or the same number of draw calls will use less CPU power & energy.

    At GDC 2018 in April, Oculus told the crowd that Oculus Go would get Vulkan support from custom drivers made in a partnership with ARM and Qualcomm. The headset did not ship with this support, however, and there was no word on Vulkan for months after launch. In August, Oculus added ‘experimental’ support to the Vulkan API for Oculus Go in the Oculus Mobile Software Development Kit, which is used to make apps for Gear VR, Oculus Go, and the upcoming Oculus Quest.

    Vulkan could improve one of the most common complaints about Oculus Go – the limited battery life. If apps use less energy, the battery will last longer. But where Vulkan could really shine is on the upcoming Oculus Quest, where Oculus is trying to deliver a console level experience, ultimately competing with the Nintendo Switch. While a mobile chip is unlikely to ever deliver the same performance as a home console or gaming PC, Vulkan may help narrow the gap and deliver more realistic graphics than OpenGL would.

    A spokesperson from Oculus told us that they will have more to share on stable Vulkan support for Go “soon”, and that they would have more to share about Vulkan for Quest next year. We should also note that most VR games are made with Unity or Unreal Engine, so for Vulkan to receive widespread adoption on Go and Quest, these engines will need to add support for Vulkan on Oculus Mobile and the timeline for that support is not known yet either.

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  • NASA Use Microsoft HoloLens for Assembling New Spacecraft Engineers working on the new NASA Orion spacecraft are using the HoloLens to aid in construction.
  • GIVEAWAY: Win A Free Copy Of The Exorcist: Legion VR On PSVR
    GIVEAWAY: Win A Free Copy Of The Exorcist: Legion VR On PSVR

    The Exorcist: Legion VR is a very, very good VR horror game. It’s one of the best we’ve played hands-down and now as of this week all five chapters are finally out on PSVR. The whole experience lasts about three hours in total and it balances an excellent mixture of jump scare, slow-building tension, and downright horrifying imagery. You can watch us play through the whole thing on HTC Vive in our two-part livestream of The Exorcist: Legion VR (Part 1 and Part 2) to get a taste.

    We’re giving away five codes for The Exorcist: Legion VR on PSVR. Winners will be randomly selected. All of our keys are PSVR Season Pass keys, which means they will unlock all five chapters of the game completely for the whole experience.

    Enter the giveaway for a chance to win right here.

    For more on what we think of the game, here is an excerpt from our full review:

    The Exorcist: Legion VR is without a doubt one of the best VR horror experiences available. The slow-building tension is expertly paced, each and every scare feels visceral and dangerous, and the sheer sense of terror you feel while methodically exploring the richly detailed environments is staggering. It honestly felt like I could hear the voices inside my own head and I could feel the heat from my crucifix as I stared down the faces of demon and eradicated the evil within. The Exorcist: Legion VR will turn even the most hardened horror fans into whimpering piles of fear.

    Winners will be selected at approximately 4PM PT on Monday, October 15th, 2018. If you’d rather not click the link above, here is the embedded contest widget:.

    GIVEAWAY: Win A Free Copy Of The Exorcist: Legion VR On PSVR

    Good luck!

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  • Dark Eclipse Review: Real-Time Battles At Your Fingertips
    Dark Eclipse Review: Real-Time Battles At Your Fingertips

    There is a style of game for virtual reality that is “X–but in VR!” A flight sim–but in VR. Or a first-person shooter–but in VR. Many of these games offer little except for a direct migration of genre standards and maybe inventive controls schemes.

    Dark Eclipse for PlayStation VR attempts to avoid this by mixing two genres: the MOBA and the RTS. You have heroes, like a MOBA, but you control 3 of them. You direct them around the map, to collect resources to build structures, like an RTS. But they fight random monsters to gain XP and power up, like a MOBA. This combination comes together well, with no obvious jagged edges or glaring issues.

    And how does Sunsoft — venerable Japanese developer behind 80s classics like Blaster Master or the NES Batman games — justify this game for VR? Well, basically through the point of view and the controls. The player looks over the board with that same angle I think of as “simulated tabletop,” as if the whole thing is a magically moving miniature war game out on a huge dining-room table, albeit with a Japanese folklore-meets-gritty comic book art style. Your heroes and soldiers seem small, the battlefield stretching into the distance.

    You have a floating hand, via the DualShock 4 being tracked, or a pair of hands, via the PS Move controllers. You move them around to grab a unit’s pointer above their head and then move the pointer to a spot you want them to walk to, for an enemy to attack or a place to build a tower. If you hold down one of the face buttons when moving the hand, it moves not just around the screen, but around the battlefield, allowing you to designate a destination in the distance or to move yourself back, to get a better view of the battlefield.

    To activate a Hero’s special ability, you grab the unit’s pointer and press a different button. So, you mostly use 2 buttons besides the motion control. It is a streamlined and effective control scheme for VR. You can even see opponent’s hands in the beginning of a match, to wave hello.

    The more awkward choices the designers made are in some of the gameplay mechanics. Heroes walk slowly. You often have to have them stop to let their soldier’s slowly chop down trees, to get resources to build the different kind of RTS towers across the battlefields. Couple that with the slowly chipping away at the battlefield’s random monsters, makes for a slow-paced game.

    And when the more lively battle between my heroes and the enemy heroes do finally happen, it seems to simply come down to who gained more levels from killing more random monsters and building towers quicker. The build-up doesn’t quite justify the relatively stale combat. But perhaps RTS fans will prefer the more deliberate gameplay. My matches took about 20 minutes in total.

    There is a fog-of-war effect, where you can only see

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  • ARena Space Announces European Expansion Location-based VR company ARena Space secures funding injection for expansion into Europe.
  • Community Download: Do You Think Magic Leap Lives Up To The Hype?
    Community Download: Do You Think Magic Leap Lives Up To The Hype?

    Community Download is a weekly discussion-focused articles series published every Monday in which we pose a single, core question to you all, our readers, in the spirit of fostering discussion and debate.

    Look, I’m sorry. I could sit here and write out a bunch of excuses for why I didn’t post a Community Download topic at the start of this week like usual, but I’d just be lying to you and myself. The honest truth is that I am a human and I made a mistake: I forgot.

    But it’s okay — you know why? Because waiting until near the end of the week is paying off. On Monday morning I’d have been hard-pressed to find a good, topical discussion point but now on Thursday, the day after the inaugural Leap Con event from Magic Leap, we have lots to talk about.

    In addition to a slew of game announcements and reveals, such as Angry Birds, Invaders, Star Wars: Project Porg, Insomniac’s Seedling, and more, Magic Leap also discussed their road map for the next few months and revealed details on their AR social experience, Avatar Chat.

    Regardless of whether or not you’ve had the chance to try a Magic Leap One yet (you can read our initial impressions here) you still likely have some thoughts after Leap Con yesterday. So, the question at hand is this: Do you think, from what you’ve seen, Magic Leap lives up to the hype? Does it seem like the company is going to deliver on their multi-billion dollar promises? Why or why not?

    Have at it! Let us know what you think down in the comments below!

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  • Marxent Announces VR 3D Room Designer 2.0 US retailers can offer customers new inspiration in room design using photos combined with VR.
  • Framestore Teams With Air New Zealand For First Magic Leap Project How's your knowledge on all things New Zealand?