I spent the first wave of COVID lockdown in 2020 creating a digital version of South London, where I live and work. More than just a cathartic exercise and the opportunity to virtually explore the outside world, this was intended as the setting for many of the VR experiences we make at the VRLab.
The scenarios we create for our users are designed as realistic recreations of real-world events in their lives. Whether an autistic child learning to cross the road, someone with anxiety overcome by large open spaces or simply the setting for bullying at a bus stop. Unlike many experiences which are restricted to 'on-rails' movements, we work hard to develop open world environments that allow users to feel immersed in the moment through facilitating free-roam exploration.
On a technical level this can be quite a challenge to pull off well in VR. Limitations on polygon count, draw calls and shader complexity, especially for mobileVR such as the Oculus Quest, has made this a tricky project to pull off. The use of LODs, occlusion culling and careful texture atlasing and mesh combining has made this virtual film set possible after a great deal of testing and many iterations.
Software used: Blender / Photoshop / Unity.
- Client: KCL IoPPN Psychology VRLab
- Status: Ongoing
- Themes: Simulation, VR
- Team: Jerome Di Pietro