During our first demo of the Unity 3D software, my thought was, “This is like Minecraft for grownups.” All three of my kids play Minecraft, and they’re all much better at it than me. In fact, when they get stuck and ask me for help (only when my husband isn’t here and the situation is dire), I inevitably make a mess of things and they get mad at me. So, my hopes for success using Unity 3D were not too high.
Fortunately, with the help of a few demo videos and some frantic Google searches, I made a passable first landscape and feel like I could get the hang of using this software, given enough time and practice. Here’s a link to a video walkthrough of my first landscape: https://youtu.be/2ZQThaCjp78
I made a few mistakes along the way, like putting my first-person controller too far from the abandoned buildings, resulting in a video walkthrough that’s much too long, or using too small a brush in creating my first set of mountains, so they ended up spiky and foreboding, much like the mountains of Mordor in Middle Earth. But I was also able to do some creative problem solving and figure out how to fix an error and import objects, and let’s be honest, I had a lot of fun.
All joking aside, the functionality of this software is very impressive, and it’s a bit mind-blowing to think of what you can create (and what people have already created). Using the software gave me an idea of how much work goes into creating video games or virtual reality scenes, and how painstaking it would be to recreate a scene with journalistic integrity, like Nonny de la Pena talked about in the TED talk we watched this week about Virtual Reality Journalism.
Despite the hiccups and frustrations I experienced using this for the first time, creating and editing scenes in Unity was another eye-opening moment for me, like when I first learned to do video or audio editing earlier in this program, about the creative possibilities in journalism these days and the fun opportunities that are available to me. Compared to many things, creating virtual reality scenes in Unity wouldn’t be a bad way to earn a paycheck.