VR development: Unity explainer 3 of 8

Send a scene from Unity to the headset.

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Install VRIF and send a VR scene to a Quest 2 headset


Name of explainer:
Install VRIF and send a VR scene to a Quest 2 headset

Creative theme: VR development

Software used: Unity


This is explainer 3 of 8 in this series

This series includes:

  1. Install the Unity hub and Unity LTS
  2. Download Oculus integration, create a new Unity project and set it up for VR
  3. Install VRIF and send a VR scene to a Quest 2 headset
  4. Import a low poly city scene and add a VR camera rig
  5. Edit a 3d object so it can be interacted with in VR
  6. Import and set up animated people to populate the city
  7. Animate a police car to race around the city streets
  8. Add a soundtrack and attach sounds to individual objects

The Software

This series of explainers uses Unity, one of the most popular real-time 3d development environments. It’s used by millions of creators to develop games, create animations and visualisations and even produce short movies. Need inspiration? Check out their showcase.

Unity personal edition is completely free. If you start to make money commercially from your Unity creations you’ll need to upgrade to a paid professional license.

Over the course of eight explainers we’re using Unity and various free and paid assets from the Unity asset store to test a workflow from Unity to a Meta Quest 2 headset, send a city scene to the headset and add objects we can interact with. We go on to add animated people and a speeding police car! Finally, we import an ambient soundtrack and attach sounds to specific objects.

Our city at the end of this series

This is how our city looks at the end of this series. Remember the environment is designed to be experienced in a VR headset and not viewed as a ‘flat’ video!

The pre-requisities

This is an INTERMEDIATE workflow explainer series. We’re starting from scratch so don’t worry if you’ve never used Unity, but you’ll find this series easier to follow if you have basic knowledge of the Unity interface and how to navigate a 3d scene.

If you’re new to IT / computing, this workflow series is not likely to be suitable. To get started with 3d software in a beginner-friendly environment, we recommend the free Tinkercad. See makeuseof for a helpful overview of 3d design and the specialisms available to you.

Why would I do this?

The Unity asset store includes hundreds of VR-ready assets, from low-poly environments like the city we’ll be using to interaction frameworks such as VRIF.

VRIF includes a VR character controller, giving us an easy way for us to move around in the VR environment without manual set-up or needing to code. It also provides built-in interactions for common functions including opening doors, picking up and throwing objects, climbing and even flying!

VRIF also includes a demo scene ready for us to test in a VR headset – See the images below. Once we’ve got the process working we can go on to send any 3d environment to the headset!

The VRIF demo scene
The VRIF demo scene

Let’s do it!

Click the play icon to watch this video. Subtitles are available – Click the settings cog at the bottom right for options. You can also watch this video full-screen by clicking the full-screen icon at the bottom right.

Good to know

As you learn to navigate scenes in Unity you’ll discover it’s easier to use a ‘proper’ mouse than a laptop trackpad. This applies to most ‘3d’ software. USB and bluetooth wireless mice can be purchased for less than 10 GBP / 10 USD.

It’s worth spending time navigating the VRIF demo scene to see exactly what’s possible! For help with VRIF start with their web wiki.

If you’ve connected a Quest device to your computer but it doesn’t appear in the ‘Run Device’ field (below), start by ensuring you’ve enabled developer mode for the Quest, then check in the headset for messages which may need to be confirmed before the USB connection will work.

If the scene opens in the headset but is the ‘wrong’ scene (E.g. A previous version), check the ‘Scenes In Build’ section.

Where to next?

Remember, this is part of a series of explainers for this software – Join us again for the other explainers in the series 🙂

Notes and updates

There are no notes or advisories at this time. This video explainer was last updated in May 2022. This page was last updated in May 2022.

We at pixels.cool are not responsible for the content of any external webpages or software downloaded from third party sites. Links are included in good faith at the time of writing. All explainer content is compiled in good faith using processes and methods used by the team. Modern software offers users many ways to accomplish a single task, and for reasons of clarity we choose not to refer to multiple options. All computer users should run up to date virus / security software at all times to minimise risks of data loss.

This is number 3 of 8 explainer videos in this series. Make sure you check out the others!