Introduction to Developing Interactive Videos in Unity

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In July we wrote an article about using 360-degree video in immersive and interactive environments. Today, we show you how you can do it and’ll perform a deeper dive. The full procedure is too long to explain in an article, so we created an explainer video in which we explore the very first step to creating interactive capacities using the Unity game engine: creating your virtual reality (VR) Skybox Panoramic scene.

The short version is that you’ll use the Unity game engine to create the backdrop for your interactive experience. You set it as your own Skybox inside your adventure that is interactive and then’ll add your 360-degree video document as an asset. The 360-degree video will go on to essentially serve as the surrounding background or “skies” to your own experience. Without text from the foreground, animations, or any images is the 360-degree video playing all around them. You may add your expertise and any additional features that you pick As soon as you’ve finished this step. It is possible to add buttons to pause and play a timeline slider, the experience, text, images, animations, interactive choices, menus, and much more, just like you would VR project in Unity.

We do not have the space here or inside a single video to instruct you how you can create every interactive characteristic of Unity. Nonetheless, in the video below you walk through how to get your 360-degree video set up as the desktop using the Unity Skybox Panoramic Shader attribute. From that point, you are only limited by your creativity and your Unity development abilities.

A few notes before getting started

It requires code development abilities and familiarity with the interface while Unity is a powerful tool for creating immersive experiences. Be prepared as you sleuth around to building interactivity into your immersive experiences to make lots of mistakes.
For the example project from the explainer video below we used a short 360-degree video clip which we filmed using the Vuze VR camera. We left the 360-degree video using the Vuze VR Studio program Before uploading the 360-degree video in Unity. Rendering means that the Vuze program stitched the footage from the Vuze’s eight cameras together. Additionally, the rendered 360-degree video we utilized was equirectangular. It is important as you will have to input whether your video is equirectangular or cubemap into Unity, to notice. We go into this in more detail from the video.

You’ll require a gaming computer to conduct a game engine applications program like Unity. In other words, your computer should meet minimal needs for GPU, processor, RAM, hard disk, etc. We utilized Unity version 2019.2.6f1 for this particular undertaking and the corresponding Unity Manual Version 2019.2, which explain how to add a panoramic video to a spectacle in Unity.
Be aware that Unity requires one to download the Unity Hub. The Unity Hub permits you to launch different classes, download the latest edition of Unity, and to see projects you’ve established in Unity. Unity gives you the choice instead of importing it to your endeavor to reference a URL to your 360-degree video. This is important if using video files that are big, as you may not have the hard disk space for quite large Unity project files. For our example project, the 360-degree video was relatively small so we imported it straight and saved it on our own hard disk.

Then the Unity Tutorials library is a resource — make sure they 360-degree videos VR games, 3D games, or even 2D games — if you would like to learn how to build any type of interactivity into your Unity adventures. If you are trying to dive right into the code and create unique interactive video adventures that are 360-degree, you can observe some of those 360-degree video tutorials. Lots of the videos are from 2018, so some of the language or performance may be different, particularly in the event that you have installed a version of Unity. You’ll have to put on your hat that is sleuthing to fix any problems that may arise. By way of instance, we found that we had to upgrade the driver to our graphics card (i.e., GPU) before we could render our 360-degree video (i.e., stitch it into a format that Unity can see).

If you are not already familiar with the basics of Unity, do not be overwhelmed. Start easy. Learn a new Unity ability at one time and begin to integrate it in your training experiences that are immersive. By way of instance, after watching the video above and reading this report, you know how to add a 360-degree video within an immersive Skybox desktop in Unity, which is the most important step for creating interactive 360-degree videos. In the meanwhile, we’d really like to learn how you are currently using interactive videos to your training experiences. What type of performance are you like in your 360-degree videos?

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