New York Film Academy
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New York Film Academy Virtual Reality

8-Week Intro to Interactive VR

8-Week Intro to Interactive VR Workshop Overview

Futurists, technologists and creatives around the world are investing billions into the rapid development of technologies that put audiences at the center of immersive, interactive story worlds - worlds we've only imagined in sci-fi fantasies like the holo-deck of "Star Trek" and the virtual dystopia of "The Matrix" trilogy. World’s truly deserving of the name virtual reality.

Experts are now suggesting that this future - one where we navigate the web like a RL city, or play the main character in a movie like our own version of "The Game" - is only 5-10 years away, with market estimates in the tens of billions for virtual, augmented, and mixed reality content alone. Alternative realities (VR, AR, and MR) are revolutionizing the scope of storytelling in the digital age. With the capacity to take the audience into the story world and engage them physically with a fictional reality, the gap between imagination and experience grows ever thinner.

In NYFA’s beginner-level Intro to Interactive VR and the advanced VR Game Design workshops, students engage with the tools of computer-generated, 360-degree, interactive virtual experiences - and get to design their own interactive VR environment.

Intro to Interactive VR is ideal for storytellers and creative technicians from other arenas (film, graphic and fine arts, music, game design) looking to translate their knowledge into the VR realm. Working with industry pros, students are introduced to the conceptual underpinnings of immersive entertainment experiences which employ elements of live theater, amusement parks, and interactive games in computer-generated virtual environments.

Working to realize their own, original designs, students get a crash course in interactive programming and 3D modeling and animation: designing, producing, and importing their own 3D art assets (using industry-standard 3D Maya software) into the Unity 3D game engine. Throughout the process, students playtest and refine their work using the Google Cardboard headset, paired with high-end smartphones.

As with all NYFA programs, the Animation and Game Design Department is working with some of the foremost thinkers and creators from the emerging VR and 360-degree immersive industries to design and teach its VR workshops:

Caitlin Burns
Vice Chair of the Producers’ Guild of America’s New Media Council, award-winning transmedia producer, and pioneer in WebVR and 360-degree immersive film-making technologies.

Andrew Garrahan
Founder of Computer Lunch, independent game designer and developer, and creator of the award-winning Swing Star VR game

George Michael Brower
Founder of Always And Forever Computer Entertainment, musician, and creator of the fantasy music VR world, PlaythingsVR

Isaac Kalsky
Professional 3D Modeler and Animator, with commercial and game credits that include: Cars: Fast as Lightning and Spider-Man Unlimited for Gameloft

Anders Oscarsson & Chris Marotta
Anders Oscarsson & Chris Marotta are Product Designers at ustwo New York, specializing in VR. Alongside partners such as Google and Samsung, they're responsible for a long list of current and upcoming VR experiences across multiple platforms worldwide.

Workshop Course Breakdown

Intro to Interactive VR
Week 1: Introduce VR concepts, Google Cardboard, and production pipeline.
Week 2: Start work in Unity3D and Maya.
Week 3: Finalize project concept; complete first round tutorials in Unity.
Week 4: Complete concept art and basic environment models.
Week 5: Complete project Alpha (aka gray box demo in Unity/Cardboard).
Week 6: Playtest and refine interactions in Unity; add textures to models.
Week 7: Finalize and import art assets into Unity (aka project Beta).
Week 8: Playtest and refine in Unity/Cardboard and project launch.

At the close of the eight week Intro to Interactive VR workshop, students will leave with an original, computer-generated VR environment, with which their users may interact in a limited way through the Google Cardboard headset. See "Perfect Beach VR" for an example of the type of environment and scope of interaction.

Please note:
All equipment will be provided.

Dates & Tuition


Tuition: $5,480 (USD) +
Equipment Fee: $1,034 (USD)

Location & Available Dates

For New York City:
Mar 6, 2017 - Apr 29, 2017
May 1, 2017 - Jun 24, 2017
Sep 11, 2017 - Nov 4, 2017
May 7, 2018 - Jun 30, 2018

Please note: Dates and Tuition are subject to change
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