XR Lab (formerly Virtual Reality Lab) is a 3 to 4-month (12-16 sessions) program that provides media creators and technologists with an opportunity to create VR/AR/MR prototypes, brainstorm and explore complex formats using immersive technology, and collaborate with like-minded members of the XR community.

In partnership with the Media and Games Network (MAGNET) at the NYU Game Center and supported by TIME Inc. and Oculus, the lab will take place from September 30, 2017 to January 19, 2018. Four-hour sessions will be held weekly on Saturdays from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM.

For the finale, labbies partake in a Demo Day/Night Splash hosted by TIME Inc. and share XR projects with the public.

The lab progresses in 3 phases: Train, Design and Build.

Phase 1 Train: Unity Bootcamp

The first three sessions (3 weeks) are dedicated to acquiring a foundation in XR development and training in Unity 3D. During Phase 1, Participants will develop a simple XR application using a game engine and Cardboard. Weekly assignments will help people to gain XR development skills on a step-by-step basis. Participants more knowledgeable in Unity will be encouraged to instruct others or craft their own path in the lab.

Phase 2 Design: Concept, Story & Interaction

The next few sessions (2 to 3 weeks) will cover designing XR concepts, stories or games and forming teams to implement a demo. During this phase, participants will address the various components of an XR application – e.g., narrative flow, art, interaction design and input devices. This phase tends to be the most fluid; teams and concepts may morph and change. Each session will also include mini-tutorials, such as Maya to Unity workflow, animation in Maya and Unity, live-action VR, and motion capture etc.

Similar to ITP Camp, participants can post their skills on a whiteboard and offer to teach mini-tutorials.

Phase 3 Build: Implementation & Demo

Six to seven sessions (6 to 7 weeks) will focus on building an XR application for Cardboard, Gear VR or the Oculus Rift. At the beginning of each session, participants will share their progress and any difficulties that emerge during development. Advisors will also be available to help address design and technical issues.

Please note: the second and third phases will bleed into each other. Concept and story will evolve as participants play with the technology.

Who: Media Creators, Writers, Storytellers, Filmmakers, Designers, UX, Developers and Creative Coders

Dates: September 30, 2017 – December 16, 2017 (Saturdays)

Time: Noon to 4 PM.

Location: NYU Game Center

2 MetroTech Center, 8th Floor, Brooklyn NY 11201

Cost $125. Students 30% discount with proof of ID or university affiliation. Repeat VR Labbies also receive a 30% discount.

Note: the lab’s wait list is full and we will not be able to accept any more applications for the fall lab. Full scholarships available for NYU Game Center, ITP/NYU students and talented artists in need of financial assistance.

To express interest in the spring program, please send letter stating 1) your interest in XR or the XR project you intend to work on 2) your area of specialization – e.g., technologist, designer, artist, etc. – and 3) CV to: xrlab@timewavefestival.com

What you’ll need: Laptop and Cardboard.

XR Lab (formerly Virtual Reality Lab) operates under the fiscal sponsorship of Fractured Atlas, a 501(c)(3) public charity. Contributions for the purposes of Virtual Reality Lab are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. Online profile on Fractured Atlas can be viewed here.

XR Lab Schedule*

DATETIMELOCATION
SAT, September 3012:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.NYU Game Center, 2 MetroTech Center, 8th Floor, Brooklyn NY 11201
SAT, September 3012:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.NYU Game Center, 2 MetroTech Center, 8th Floor, Brooklyn NY 11201
SAT, October 712:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.NYU Game Center, 2 MetroTech Center, 8th Floor, Brooklyn NY 11201
SAT, October 1412:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.NYU Game Center, 2 MetroTech Center, 8th Floor, Brooklyn NY 11201
SAT, October 2112:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.NYU Game Center, 2 MetroTech Center, 8th Floor, Brooklyn NY 11201
SAT, October 2812:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.NYU Game Center, 2 MetroTech Center, 8th Floor, Brooklyn NY 11201
SAT, November 412:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.NYU Game Center, 2 MetroTech Center, 8th Floor, Brooklyn NY 11201
SAT, November 1112:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.NYU Game Center, 2 MetroTech Center, 8th Floor, Brooklyn NY 11201
SAT, November 1812:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.NYU Game Center, 2 MetroTech Center, 8th Floor, Brooklyn NY 11201
SAT, November 2512:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.NYU Game Center, 2 MetroTech Center, 8th Floor, Brooklyn NY 11201
SAT, December 212:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.NYU Game Center, 2 MetroTech Center, 8th Floor, Brooklyn NY 11201
SAT, December 912:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.NYU Game Center, 2 MetroTech Center, 8th Floor, Brooklyn NY 11201
SAT, December 1612:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.NYU Game Center, 2 MetroTech Center, 8th Floor, Brooklyn NY 11201

* Please note: XR Jubilee (public demo) will take place at the end of the program as hosted by TIME Inc.

XR Lab Advisors

Ken Perlin

Ken Perlin

Ken Perlin is a professor in the Department of Computer Science at New York University and directs the NYU Games For Learning Institute. He is a participating faculty member in the NYU Media and Games Network (MAGNET). Perlin was also founding director of the Media Research Laboratory and director of the NYU Center for Advanced Technology. His research interests include graphics, animation, augmented and mixed reality, user interfaces, science education and multimedia. He received an Academy Award for Technical Achievement from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his noise and turbulence procedural texturing techniques, which are widely used in feature films and television, as well as the 2008 ACM/SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics Achievement Award, the TrapCode award for achievement in computer graphics research, the NYC Mayor’s award for excellence in Science and Technology and the Sokol award for outstanding Science faculty at NYU, and a Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation. Dr. Perlin received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from New York University, and a B.A. in theoretical mathematics from Harvard University.

Clara Fernández-Vara

Clara Fernandez-Vara

Clara Fernández-Vara is a game scholar, designer and writer. She is an Associate Arts Professor at the NYU Game Center. Her area of expertise is narrative in games and how it can integrate with game design, focusing on adventure games. She is particularly interested in applying methods from textual analysis and performance studies to the study of video games and transmedia artifacts. Clara’s videogame work is grounded in the humanities, informed by her background in literature, film and theatre. Before joining the NYU Game Center, Clara was a a researcher and game developer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She holds a Ph.D. in Digital Media from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Masters in Comparative Media Studies from MIT. Clara has presented her work at various international academic and industry conferences, such as DiGRA (Digital Games Research Association), and Foundations of Digital Games and the Game Developer’s Conference (GDC). She has worked both in games for research as well as in the commercial sphere. Her first book, “Introduction to Game Analysis” has been published by Routledge.

FAQs

  1. What kind of lab is it?
  2. What equipment will I have access to?
  3. What software can I use?
  4. How do I join a team?
  5. Do we get API decks to work with?

1. What kind of lab is it?

Created in response to the need for longer-term development vehicles, XR Lab is a hands-on maker space. While a hackathon can be an effective sprint, the XR Lab offers creators more time to develop XR applications and experiences.

2. What equipment do I have access to?

We expect most lab participants to bring their own gear. We have a variety of headsets (3 Rifts, 2 Vives, 5 Gear VR and Cardboard), a 360-camera rig, and other VR tools (e.g. Leap Motion kits) on hand. You will need a laptop.

3. What software do I use?

We recommend that you download Unity 5 personal edition. It’s free. To learn the software, Unity has provided tutorials, documentation and live training. Visit Learn with Unity.

4. How do I join a team?

We expect teams to form during the first 3 weeks of lab… buddying up in bootcamp!

5. Do we get API decks to work with?

Currently, we have the Leap Motion API deck to distribute.

If you have other questions, shoot us a mail at xrlab@timewavefestival.com.