100 VRTO members and some curious University of Toronto students assembled for VRTO’s latest meetup at the Bahen Centre for Information Technology in downtown Toronto. Keram opened the evening and gave out a special $150 discount code for the HumanEyes Vuze camera and announced that submissions to FIVARS 2018 were now open.
He then welcomed to the podium Adam Lipper – head of Music and VR for Samsung Canada who described where Samsung VR has been and where it is going. One of the distinctions is that Samsung VR is no longer exclusively tied to Gear VR but is also a website, like YouTube, in its own right that can be accessed from any device. He also hinted that the platform will soon be offering heatmaps for better understanding of useage of content, among other significant updates.
He then unveiled a new partnership between FIVARS and Samsung VR that will showcase past selectees from the festival and offer another way for audiences to discover content that may otherwise be lost in the clamor for attention.
After a brief recess, VRTO invited to the stage Dr.s Karan Singh and James McCrae, co-founders of JanusVR and its free and hosted offshoot Vesta. An hour long workshop demonstrating the various ways to create, modify and write content for the immersive web platform followed.
Then SideFX rep Robert Magee took the floor to demonstrate how the powerful Houdini engine can be used to procedurally generate objects, environments, characters and effects for Virtual Reality applications, ensuring integrity, consistency and enormous flexibility. This was capped by sharing the free trial option or the annual Indie license for only $199 along with many resources for learning how to use this powerful node based architecture with APIs to hook into your favorite IDE or workflow.
The proceedings were followed with a social at a nearby pub where many fascinating conversations continued the night. Thanks to all who were able to attend or spread the word.
VRTO – one of Toronto, Canada’s largest virtual reality meetup groups, presented the January 14th 2016 supermeet featuring various presentations and panelists from the top VR companies in the city. It was a sold out event with over 120 attendees, and 15 volunteers!
The first of these presentations looked at the theme of Natural Virtual Reality Interfaces: Keeping a strong immersion & sense of presence. Dale Rosen presented his 3DUI – Three-Dimensional User Interfaces. The project consisted of a set of three 3D widgets – switch, lever and potentiometer that can be manipulated by natural hand motions using a Leap Motion mounted on the front of an Oculus DK2.
These simple 3-dimensional user interfaces can easily be embedded in any virtual environment. There was also a demo of how the virtual interface can be tied to the physical world, switching on an off an LED on an Arduino using the Leap Motion, Unity and Oculus Rift combination.
The master of ceremonies for the evening – Perry Voulgaris – hosted a panel with:
Stefan Gambert Creative Director – Secret Location Creative artist with twenty years professional experience in a variety of related media – creating interactive and immersive experiences.
Josh Manricks Associate Technical Director – Secret Location
Ted Biggs VP Convergent – Smokebomb 19 years creating, planning and developing interactive media projects, primarily for the film and TV industry.
J. Lee Williams Director of Stuff and Things – OccupiedVR An award-winning VFX + animation director with many alter egos: illustrator, comic book artist, animator, flash developer, VFX director, film producer and his main role as commercial and film director
Perry Voulgaris (Moderator) Chief Business Development – AWE Over 25 years in media, sports and entertainment, 20 years in digital media, 15 years executive management: leading teams in the delivery of successful media, sports and entertainment properties.
…discussing current projects, funding strategies, and a look at the tools for 2016 content creation.
Virtual + Augmented + Peripherals Showcase Area
Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift and Leap Motion demos
Augmented Reality: 4D Augmented reality demo – showing great examples of Augmented Reality with a model of the living, pulsing, heart in AR, as well as a model of a human male/female in AR.
Shok Kreative showed their new 360 immersive video:
GRAFFITI ALLEY | AN IMMERSIVE VR SHORT
BRIEF: Graffiti Alley is a short Virtual Reality film opening in a colorful graffiti riddled alley where the graffiti comes to life bit by bit. Eventually a Graffiti Girl trapped in a colorful 2D Graffiti World comes to life.
She discovers the world existing in three dimensions just outside of her reach and breaks through the barrier. She explores it with wonder and curiosity which eventually erodes into confusion and fear which drives her back into the safety of her colorful simple world.
CAST | CREW Graffiti Girl | Ann PirvuWriter/Director | Isaac Rayment 360 Camera/DP | Terry MyersStitch Master | Stitch Master BSpecial FX/Animation | Isaac RaymentOriginal Sound Score/Sound Design | Matt Redman
Here was the complete schedule:
7:00p – Demos
7:15 – Video Greeting from VRTO founder Keram Malicki-Sanchez + Featurette about L.A. Augmented Reality artist Daniel Leighton
7:35 – Opening remarks, key news details
7:40p – Dale Rosen presents 3DUI
8:00 – Soft break, light refreshments, demos
8:20 – Panel Discussion
8:50 – Moderated attendee announcements
9:00-9:45pm – Demos til close
VRTO will also be hosting a meetup for anyone attending VRLA Winter 2016 – January 24th in downtown Los Angeles. Stay tuned for that meetup! Don’t forget to follow VRTO on Twitter and Instagram at@vrtoronto for around the clock updates. You can also use hashtag #vrtoronto across all social media. Special thanks to Murray Mckercher and Brightlane.ca for facilitating the location.
Attendance is free to all VRTO Meetup Group Members. RSVP is required.