Though virtual reality is becoming an emerging technology today, the spirit of the technology can be traced back to the stereoscope created in 1838. Due to the accessibility and modern advancement in computers and mobile devices, the field has seen a huge spike in popularity. As more progress is made, the demand has increased to utilize this tool beyond video games and augmented reality reaching now into the art of filmmaking.

“VR [virtual reality] is a new pencil, it is a new way of getting your creativity and your ideas across,” said Luis Cataldi, Director, Educator and Learning Resources at Epic Games.

Cataldi packed a classroom in the Digital Media Arts Center for a hands-on workshop last week with over 30 students and faculty members. A leader in game engine technology, Epic Games is enabling creators to push the boundaries of virtual reality with their Unreal Engine software.

“It was wild,” said Professor Madeline Warren, who partnered with The Institute for Creative Reality to bring this workshop to Dodge College. She continued, “He [Cataldi] was showing how you could use Unreal Engine in film and that you could use it not just for previsualization, which is what it is often used for, but also in virtual production.” Those present were able to partake in a truly innovative area of film which is still being actualized.

“We recreated a scene in Blade Runner 2049 from scratch using Unreal Engine, one of the industry’s leading real-time rendering platforms, also used for creating virtual reality experiences,” said Chapman Virtual Reality Club Co-President, Luke Snedecor (BFA/Digital Arts ’20). This club meets regularly and is open to anyone interested in learning new forms of media like virtual reality.

This workshop was a sneak peek into the upcoming Minor in VR and AR that will be offered in the Fall 2018 Semester to all Chapman students.

To see the minors offered by Dodge College including the Minor in VR and AR visit here.