Virtual reality developer Mohen Leo decided to recreate his apartment in VR using Unreal assets to use with his new Oculus Quest, and the results are pretty dang cool. Leo then posted videos and explanations on Twitter, as spotted by Digg.
Using his phone as a camera, under his nose, Leo tracked his movement around his actual apartment while walking “virtually” through his VR-recreation of his apartment. It’s the kind of thing you really need to see for yourself, so check out the short video demonstration below.
Quick experiment on the Oculus Quest:
Lined up a VR environment with my real flat. On the left that's me, fully in VR (can't see the real world) walking around and sitting on furniture. Right side is simultaneous video from my cell phone held under my nose. #vr #gamedev #ue4 pic.twitter.com/NE3lrxFZxp
— mohen (@mohenleo) June 3, 2019
So how did he do it? To make a long explanation short, Leo first took many photos of his empty San Francisco apartment to create a photogrammetry scan of the space.
“The first steps date back two years, when I moved into an apartment in San Francisco,” Leo told Digg. “My rooms were completely empty, so I thought, ‘What if I used VR to visualize what different furniture options would look like before I actually buy the pieces?'”
Leo then used Unreal Engine 4 and assets from the Unreal Marketplace (Assetsville Town pack, specifically) to put the virtual furniture in his virtual apartment space with accurate dimensions compared to his real space and furniture.
This is a pretty exciting experiment, as VR use that is tied to accurate dimensions in the real world (“location-based AR,” as Leo explains) means movement in, say, a VR video game will feel less restrictive. The user can make full use of the space they’re in, without being led straight into objects that the VR world can’t account for, like a coffee table that’s in the way or having to go into a separate room. Check out the demo Leo posted below on how he tied his physical space to a VR space that’s not modeled after his apartment, in which gaps are used to keep users away from objects that should be avoided.
Follow-up to yesterday's Oculus Quest test:
This technique is often used in "location-based VR". The objects you are supposed to touch (in this case the seats) match the real world, while a gap/drop keeps you away from things that don't match (e.g. door frame). #vr #gamedev #ue4 pic.twitter.com/OqcdiYYMek
— mohen (@mohenleo) June 4, 2019