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General Eletric

What is Google Poly

Building your own virtual reality app is not the easiest thing in the world to do. One particular difference, when working in3D rather than 2D, is filling-in all the space. In 2D you are just working on one, basically flat, plane; you can use a bit of artful shading, plop in a few trees and an inquisitive rabbit and you’re away. When you’re looking to create a complete immersive VR world, then things can get a bit tricky. You have got to add depth. There must be objects at different distances away from the camera or the viewer. It’s those objects which will give the thing depth and will create that whole feel of it being, literally, a virtual reality.

2D or not 2D

If the viewer or something the viewer is watching, is not just going to move left to right, then its world must be populated- and the objects that it’s populated with must also have 3D properties. That is what gives the whole thing perspective. Flat trees just don’t work in the world of virtual reality. But where on earth are you going to get all these objects from? Image libraries are almost entirely in 2D, they’re no good at all for VR. There are certain animation programs that will create 3D a character out of a number of drawings done at different angles, but there is a lot of skill involved in that. There must be an easier way.

Enter Google Poly

Well, there is. It’s called Google Poly. It is a library of objects and scenes and they are all in 3D- and what’s more, it is absolutely free. There are relatively simple objects, such as trees and apples along with much more complex structures. They are all technologically agnostic, so should perform on pretty much any platform. What’s more, many of them are modifiable. So you can personalise and really make the whole thing your very own. In all likelihood, most developers will still want to create everything themselves, to give their app their own individual style. But, for the smaller developer, this should help them save time and a lot of effort- which will see them get their work out into the market-place more speedily and more effectively. Developers can concentrate on developing, not taking art classes.

From the Ground Up

Google built the Poly from the ground up, so you know there are going to be no compatibility issues with Google Cardboard, whatever the iteration. As they say themselves, this was a natural extension of their work with Tilt Brush and Blocks, which made the creative side of things much more straightforward. Now, they are looking to enable developers to build on other people’s work. At the end of the day, they recognise, that the more apps there are out there; the more headsets there are out there; the more solid will the market-place be and the sooner true ubiquity will be achieved. For now, just take advantage of having your life made a little bit easier.