The impact of simulations and visual effects in VR training

Reinier Elderson
Client Services Director

As a company specialized in VR learning experiences, we consistently strive to provide our clients with the most effective and realistic training. Visual effects can play a pivotal role in achieving this goal. In this blog post, we would like to discuss using Visual Effects (VFX) for 360-video based VR training.

What are Visual Effects (VFX)?

Let's start by defining Visual Effects (VFX). VFX refers to digital, computer-generated images, effects, or animations added to films, videos, or, in our case, VR training. These effects enhance the visual experience, taking scenarios to new heights. VFX range from simple visual adjustments to complex simulations of natural phenomena such as smoke, fire, water, and more.

Different types of visual effects

There are several types of VFX that we can use in a VR training.:

Overlay

Overlay involves a 360 VR video with VFX overlaid, creating a realistic outcome using actual video footage. However, integrating effects to respond to the environment can be challenging and time-consuming. Take a look at this example, where smoke that has interaction with an object.

Full 3D

In full 3D, the entire environment is created in 3D software. This approach provides complete control over the environment and facilitates easier adjustments to effects. However, it may be less realistic, and rendering times are longer.

The significance of VFX in VR training

In the context of VR training, visual effects can play a crucial role in enhancing the learning experience. Here are some reasons why VFX can be invaluable in VR training:

  • Realism and Immersion: VFX, like smoke simulations, elevate VR training by creating an incredibly immersive environment. Participants can fully immerse themselves in virtual worlds and experience situations that would be challenging to replicate otherwise.
  • Safe Learning Environment: VR training with VFX enables participants to experience complex and hazardous situations without any risk. By crafting realistic scenarios, users can practice skills and improve decision-making in a safe environment.
  • Flexibility and Adaptability: VFX allow us to tailor training modules to specific needs and objectives. Whether simulating different weather conditions or presenting various scenarios, VFX enable the creation of flexible training experiences.
  • Emergency Scenarios and Evacuation Drills: In emergencies like fires or accidents, smoke can limit visibility and induce panic. Smoke simulations enable employees to train on staying calm and evacuating safely.

Why choose VFX over real effects

There could be a number of reasons to choose to use visual effects over the real deal:

  • Control over the Environment: VFX provides complete control, allowing specific effects to be created, adjusted in intensity, and scenes to be repeatedly modified until the desired result is achieved.
  • Safety: Some scenes involve dangerous elements like large fires or heavy rainfall. VFX eliminates the risk of accidents, injuries, or property damage, making the set safer for everyone involved.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Setting up real scenes with flooding, fire, or smoke can be costly. VFX often present a more budget-friendly alternative, especially for projects with limited resources.
  • Time Efficiency: Creating real scenes with flooding, smoke, or fire can be time-consuming. VFX allows for the quicker recording and editing of complex scenes, significantly reducing production time.
  • Consistency: Weather conditions can be unpredictable, causing inconsistencies in footage. VFX ensures filmmakers achieve consistent effects regardless of conditions.

In summary, VFX empowers us to realize creative visions safely, cost-effectively, and consistently, enabling the creation of scenes that would be practically impossible or unsafe otherwise.

Examples

We've created a few VR training scenario for illustration. Click here to explore four examples of simulation effects we have developed:

  1. fire with overlay,
  2. fire in full 3D,
  3. water simulations with overlay, and
  4. water simulation in a full 3D space.

Conclusion

The incorporation of Visual Effects in VR training opens up a world of possibilities for a safer, more effective, and engaging learning experience. By combining realism and immersion, we prepare participants for diverse situations, helping them enhance their skills. At Warp VR, we take pride in applying VFX expertise to elevate training and provide our clients with the best learning opportunities possible.

In a next blogpost we will go deeper in how to make your own VFX.

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