27/7/2016

Web VR Starter Kit

 

Create virtual reality scenes in seconds.

Virtual Reality (VR) for journalism is all the rage at the moment. According to the Columbia Journalism Review, "consumer access to VR devices is about to take off thanks to ambitious prototypes from Oculus Rift and, in the past year, several major projects have redefined immersion journalism".

From an immersive experience as a Syrian refugee to the Guardian's virtual experience of solitary confinement, it is clear that VR is becoming an increasingly valuable instrument for journalists.

One tool that can help journalists create virtual storytelling experiences is Web VR Starter Kit. In essence, it is a Javascript library that allows you to easily develop VR content, even if you have very little JavaScript experience.

To create a virtual reality scene, you simply need to include the WebVR Starter Kit JavaScript file as a script tag in a webpage, and then add your objects.

Objects can be added via an image URL for panorama and image types, or audio and video file URLs for sound and video objects respectively. Although these media files must be hosted externally, the kit does offer a library of pre-defined materials for texture maps, like grass, stone, metal, and wood.

The simplicity of this tool has been highlighted by Dan Zajdband's bunny video, which he created with only three lines of code.

bunny.PNG

Image: Screenshot of Dan Zajdband's bunny video with code.

Visit the Web VR Starter Kit GitHub page here.

Image: Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas.

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