I go to Autodesk University almost every year. It’s a great way to keep up with BIM trends and people, and I love learning about all the new things they are working on. A couple of years ago, I played with an AR app they had in the Hub. Ever since then I have wanted to learn how to create an app for my company that would project a building on a client logo. Unfortunately, I’m not good at learning through Youtube or by reading books online; I need someone watching and showing me.
So, late last year I looked up a class I had heard about at the AR/VR Summit held here in Vancouver BC called “VR/AR Development with Unity” by Circuit Stream. There are two classes a week, and it’s geared to anyone who wants to learn Unity and create VR/AR apps. This class also gives the student 1 class a week spent one-on-one with a trainer who helps develop your app with VR or AR. I loved the class, and think it’s fantastic. I learned how to use Unity and to program actions in the scenes. The class showed me what was possible and how to get there. The class includes 20 online sessions online – my class has 4 students. I had never used Unity prior to the first session, but by the end of that session I was able to create a landscape.
Circuit Stream approached me a few months ago to talk about my experience in their online class, and I was delighted to present at the Industrial AR/VR Forum held in Houston on Monday March 4th. It was a pleasure to support Circuit Stream and their AR/VR Unity class.
Unfortunately I was unable to go to the conference as I already had a vacation booked to New York City with my Mom, and we all know vacation comes first. The conference was very accommodating by allowing me to Skype in so I would be able to promote this fantastic class.
My opportunity to talk about Circuit Stream was focused on:
- What I was building
- Why I was building it
- My experience with the class
1. What I was building:
My first goal was to develop an app that would allow the client to “take” the building with them. I wanted to find a way that I could get their business card or another graphic to show them their building. Once I started to learn Unity and and understand this idea was possible I moved into building a floor plate and developing sliders to cut through the model. I am continuing this work during my one-on-one instructor time.
2.Why I was building it:
I’m always looking for a way to improve my ability to sell our design and concepts to the clients with 3D representation. A few years ago I was introduced to the idea of AR and VR in our industry, and since then I’ve been thinking about ways I could use this technology to help advance our firm. It is very difficult for our clients to visualize the end product or even understand what we are trying to accomplish with our design.
3. My experience with the class:
When I started this class, I had never opened Unity. I can now create AR and VR apps. Now I know how the software works I’ve got lots of new ideas about what I can create. The online class format lets you ask questions and work through problems you are having on the homework as a class, which makes the learning fun. The students in my class had different backgrounds and so asked questions I had never thought of, which helped me think differently and understand several parts of Unity.
Once I’ve completed the class I am going to focus on my own VR app that will let my client to see how equipment works in their space. Proving design concept is key for owner/client approval. Now I can put a headset on a client and show them that the 60 ton and 20 ton crane have enough room to lift the enormous Rad from the ship and put it in the maintenance area (for example) – this is going to make it a lot easier to get their approval.
Unity is a powerful tool, and harnessing that power to give clients better access and understanding to the project has been a goal of mine for several years. Thanks to this class from Circuit Stream I now understand how Unity works and how I can use it to better explain my projects to my clients.