Last week, we published an interview and Customer Success story with Tim Doherty of Zimmer Biomet Dental. One of the key takeaways was how quickly he was able to author and publish an Oculus Rift app using InstaVR. We wanted to explore more in-depth some of the steps you can take, when under a tight deadline, to generate an awesome VR experience — using learnings from Zimmer Biomet Dental.
1. Storyboard prior to doing your 360 image/video capture
To capture the 360 media for his app, Tim visited one of the educational institutes run by Zimmer Biomet Dental. He used a Vuze 360 3D camera to capture a 360-degree image to use as the Oculus Rift Home screen image, along with three videos of dental restoration that booth visitors could view. All of this was captured by Tim in a very short period of time.
The key to his success during filming was approaching that day with a plan. If you can envision your app before authoring it, you’re more likely to be happy with the outcome. That’s because you’ll have a goal to work towards.
One of the approaches we advocate strongly is storyboarding your VR experience before you start filming. There’s lots of potential software you can use. I personally use Trello, a fairly bare bones web-based platform that allows easily visualize and share your plans.
Storyboarding helps you better plan and organize your 360 shoot, saving valuable time.
2. Organize your 360 media on your laptop prior to upload to InstaVR
Zimmer Biomet Dental created a very straight-forward application, designed for maximum ease-of-use at the Convention they were exhibiting at. To that end, the only final media needed was one 360 image (the Home image), 3 icon images (for users to select from in Rift), and 3 360-degree videos. Organizing that media prior to upload allowed for easier authoring once in InstaVR’s platform.
Each project you create in InstaVR will have its own File Manager, which contains the media that can be included in the final application. Rather than uploading all of the media you record, limit your File Manager folder to only the 360 images/videos and 2D hotspot media you plan to use on that project.
A smart approach to downloading from your camera and uploading to InstaVR will save you a significant amount of time. It’s also important to name your files in an easy-to-identify manner. In InstaVR, because many pano previews look the same, we enable you to toggle between name of file and preview image of file. To really maximize this though, you have to have a clear naming convention.
Organizing your media — including giving files easily identifiable names — will save you time while authoring.
3. Publish, view, and iterate quickly with InstaVR
“What was great was that I was able to upload the material, make tweaks, and then publish right away, with a file that I could then download and put on my Oculus Rift to view right away.” As evidenced from Tim’s words, his goal was to author and view with a minimum of friction. He could then edit and make tweaks, refining quickly to get to the finished app without a lot of interruptions.
Because InstaVR doesn’t charge per published app, it makes sense to iterate and publish quickly, testing apps as you add more media. Since publishing is so easy, you can view the end user experience before quickly making changes and publishing again. You can also publish to Web with one click, if you want the fastest way to view a completed VR experience. We also highly suggest using our Live Previewer feature if publishing for iOS, Android or Gear VR. Live Previewer lets you see the end user experience in real-time as you author.
Publishing to Web or using Live Previewer will help you to quickly visualize the finished app as you author.
4. If you have any questions, there are numerous resources you can use
Tim was pretty familiar with VR, having created an Oculus Rift app the year prior. He used InstaVR primarily because of the speed and ease of use. But many users are turning to us specifically because they have no experience coding but want to create a VR app. If you fall into this category, we have a number of resources you should take advantage of:
- Interactive Tutorial – Accessed from a Link in the upper right of your InstaVR Console, the interactive Tutorial overlays on top of the interface to show you the main features you’ll use while authoring and publishing a VR app.
- Feature Explanations – If you ever see a question mark next to a Feature, click on it for an explanation of what the feature does.
- Technical Blog – We frequently update our technical blog with new information. The blog can be accessed at https://www.instavr.co/articles/category/support
- 24 Hour Support on Weekdays – If you have any specialized questions not found in our technical documents, the fastest way to get answers is to use our Live Chat support. It can be accessed in your Console pressing the green support button.
- Thursday Live Training – Every Thursday at 10am EST, we have a live training. It’s the easiest way to get a complete overview of the entire platform and have your questions answered verbally. You can access it at https://join.me/instavrandrew
Our tutorial is one of the five main ways to educate yourself on InstaVR as you work on your project.