Sunday, May 26, 2013

VR Cinema 3D

May 26th, 2013

I read about VRCinema3D earlier in the week. It is a theater simulator that is compatible with the Oculus Rift. You can find it here:

This was very convincing. I really felt like I was in a movie theater, except without all the people. Although I hate having the tallest person in front of me that I can't seem to see around, having a room full of people would be a nice feature.

The interface requires a mouse. If you right click it pops up a menu that allows you to pick where you sit. You can also skip to any point in the movie or switch to 3D. 3D requires a video file that is split in half. I didn't have one handy but I intend to test it. 3D in the Oculus should be amazing.

Video File Woes:
This simulation will only play one file. It needs to be named "movie.avi". I tried a variety of movies and discovered that only video files with 2 channel audio would work. The video file would play file in windows media player but the audio didn't work in the theater. I read on a forum that non-avi files would work. I renamed an mp4 file to movie.avi but it didn't work.

This is a really great idea. I use XBMC at home and if I could use the rift with XBMC it would be an amazing application. I have seriously considered making this my summer project.

Update (5/29/2013):
I have done some research on streaming video to a texture/surface in UDK/Unity. It turns out this is rather difficult and expensive to license. I have heard XBMC can render onto a 3D surface. I wonder if this is custom code that avoids any gaming  engine. I need to compile the XBMC codebase and try to figure out what is possible.

Update #2 (5/30/2013)
As usual, I chose the wrong initial path for doing this and started learning UDK first. RockerC from XBMC forums suggested enhancing the existing code base first. This sounds more promising. I'm seeing Star Trek Into Darkness tonight. When I get home I am going to check out the xbmc codebase and start working from that direction.

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