Professional Certificate in AR/VR Development and 3D Graphics

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Course Dates

STARTS ON

December 9, 2021

Course Duration

DURATION

7 months, online
15-20 hours per week

Course Duration

Pay Nothing While You Learn. Financing Options Starting At US$40/Month.

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Why Take This Program?

The rapid growth in the development of commercial applications for extended reality (XR) has led companies from every industry to seek out experienced or trained developers and engineers with AR/VR experience and skills that they can bring into XR development.

Developed by a team of XR professionals associated with NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering, the seven-month Professional Certificate in AR/VR Development and 3D Graphics with Unity provides the skills and knowledge that companies such as Apple, Wayfair, Google, and Verizon value as they make the shift to XR development.

Traditional software engineers and developers (or those with computer science-related degrees) can learn the XR essentials needed to build experiences in a game engine, use scripting to create, navigate, and customize 3D graphic assets to construct virtual environments, and create a presentable prototype.

1,400%

Growth in interview demand for AR/VR engineers in the past year

SOURCE: 2020 Hired State of Software Engineers Report

74%

Of software engineers predict we will see the full impact of AR/VR within the next 5 years

SOURCE: 2020 Hired State of Software Engineers Report

$393 billion

The global XR market is expected to reach approximately $393 billion by 2025, a CAGR of 69.4% throughout the forecast period

SOURCE: Market Research Future

Who Should Attend

This comprehensive program is designed for professionals or students with a computer science degree or equivalent development background who want to learn XR essentials and fundamentals to build AR and VR experiences in Unity. It is also geared toward technical artists, who have created art in a tool like Maya but want to start making their own games and create animations and riggers. Participants in this program will have a foundational understanding of mathematics (i.e., Algebra I, at a minimum) and scripting language experience, so they can advance to the next level and sharpen their scripting skills to create, navigate, and customize 3D graphic assets to construct interactive, virtual environments.

It is ideal for:

  • Software Developers/Engineers looking to understand the working fundamentals of XR development using Unity (and the C# interactions that apply to it), learn how to create AR/VR prototypes, and develop the skills to build their career in XR.
  • UX/AR/VR/XR Developers seeking to gain a deeper understanding of XR technologies and how to use them, learn how to create a complete XR project pitch for their clients, and expand their technical knowledge of virtual reality development.
  • Game Developers who want to understand the game design principles that guide XR, gain mastery of the Unity editor and build end-to-end XR solutions for client organizations, learn how to construct a VR environment, and understand the functioning of computer graphics.
  • Creative Developers/Technologists seeking to understand what enhances the front-end user experience (and the tools to implement it), learn how to edit and optimize 3D assets, develop an understanding of the mathematics applications needed to create and customize 3D experiences as well as the ability to produce functional prototypes.
  • 3D Artists with prior knowledge of scripting and coding, who want to move into technical artistry and develop an understanding of how a game engine converts raw art assets into optimized, game-ready assets.
  • Aspiring Technical Artists working in large project development teams who serve as the integration point between artists who make the models, animation, textures, etc. and the development team who write the code for game play.

Key Takeaways

  • Build foundational skills and knowledge to develop XR experiences within Unity
  • Apply C# programming to customize Unity components
  • Apply AR and VR concepts and 3D graphics programming to develop XR applications
  • Understand the roles, interactions, and workflows within the XR development ecosystem
  • Apply 3D mathematical foundations to game engine development
  • Construct an interactive virtual environment
  • Utilize rendering pipelines to achieve realistic effects within a virtual environment
  • Create a portfolio with a variety of digital samples, including a final project that features a prototype, pitch, and documentation

Program Topics

The seven-month program is divided into five sections that explore the foundations of XR, 3D math and Unity development, construction of virtual environments, and high definition XR. It culminates in a project development phase and capstone project.

Week 1:

Introduction to Extended Reality

Get an overview of the past, present, and future of extended reality.

Week 2:

XR Design Principles

Explore the design principles essential for effective XR development, and consider the roles, interactions, and workflows within an XR project.

Week 3:

Developing with a Game Engine

Recognize the role that game engines play within XR architecture, and set up Unity for successful development.

Week 4:

Unity Basics and Vector Mathematics

Develop knowledge of the Unity GUI, learn how to import assets and GameObjects to utilize in project development, and create a Rube Goldberg machine. Explore the use of vector mathematics in Unity.

Week 5:

Scripting in Unity

Utilize C# to create custom Unity components. Apply the concepts of prefabs, transform API, materials, vector multiplication, and projection in Unity to create an obstacle in a third-person platformer scene.

Week 6:

Scripting for Interaction

Explore the Input System Package to create a character controller. Apply C# scripting, physics, rigidbodies, colliders, matrix mathematics, and Unity coroutines to GameObjects to create interactivity and to create your own roll-a-ball scene.

Week 7:

UI and Animation

Use tools within Unity to create a functioning UI with a scene. Add animations to and interactions between GameObjects, and apply matrix mathematics to Unity development.

Week 8:

Raycasting and Quaternions

Utilize Unity’s physics engine to apply raycasting to inform interactions, and explore how Unity employs quaternions and matrices to represent rotations in 3D space.

Week 9:

AR Development—Image Tracking

Get an overview of AR development frameworks and learn to develop image tracking-based AR using Vuforia with Unity.

Week 10:

AR Development—Object Tracking

Create AR experiences leveraging object-recognition techniques and interactions.

Week 11:

AR Development—Surface Tracking

Learn about SLAM and AR Foundation and use Unity's AR Foundation to detect surface types and create code to load on a mobile device.

Week 12:

Introduction to VR Prototyping in Unity

Explore Unity’s XR Interaction Toolkit with its powerful library that allows you to quickly prototype and build AR and VR experiences to improve user experiences. Use the XR toolkit, grey boxing, and 6 DoF room-scale VR to create an end-to-end XR experience.

Week 13:

Complex Interactions

Complex interactions between hand avatars and physical 3D interfaces create more immersive experiences for users. Create and customize interactive controls within a scene.

Week 14:

From Zero to Shaders

Get a crash course on computer graphics rendering and an introduction to writing shaders in Unity. Create a custom mesh and custom shader and apply these to objects in a scene. Apply matrix math and linear algebra to transform objects.

Week 15:

From Shaders to Shader Graphs

Explore scriptable rendering pipelines in Unity to create shaders using the shader graph. This graph-based approach is applicable to many tools in programming, 3D modeling, and more.

Week 16:

Lighting Virtual Worlds

Conceptualize and construct a virtual lobby to link your VR environments using ProBuilder and other tools in Unity. Explore and implement lighting technologies in Unity’s Universal Rendering Pipeline.

Week 17:

Managing Virtual Worlds

Diagnose and solve lightmapping issues within virtual environments. Build and implement a system to manage scene loading and transitions, and deploy an application to the Oculus Quest.

Week 18:

High-Definition Visualization with the HDRP

Utilize Unity's High-Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP) to kick technical artistry to the next level. Leverage the advanced materials and lighting workflows in the HDRP including probes, materials, lighting, textures, and more to create realistic scenes with stunning graphics.

Week 19:

Creating a Realistic Visualization

Achieve more realism through rendering visuals for XR environments. Add interactivity through teleportation, configure the occlusion culling system and dynamic resolution to improve performance.

Week 20:

Creating Realistic Interactions

Work with Unity’s animation rigging package to create custom, dynamic hand poses for your hand avatars to increase the realism and immersion of XR experiences.

Week 21:

Procedural Animation

Use the VFX Graph technology in Unity to create visual effects and procedural animation that will add rich visuals to XR experiences. Also delve into particle systems to simulate a variety of effects within a scene.

Week 22:

Project Planning, Scoping, and Designing for Documentation

Align your career and project production goals and think through your project in detail to build a production schedule. Practice trailer and documentation analysis, and learn to analyze and effectively communicate through documentation.

Week 23:

Styleframe and R&D

Explore project management tools to further organize your project plan. Apply lessons from case studies to your professional practice. Develop a styleframe, shot list, or storyboard as well as conduct a motion test to further define your project.

Week 24:

Designing UX and Getting User Feedback

Consider user onboarding and UX design for your prototype. Design your own user survey to elicit user feedback and determine how user feedback impacts your project development.

Week 25:

Strategic Project Development

Evaluate your project development schedule and dedicate time for development. Through case studies, consider how user experiences can shape project development.

Week 26:

Feedback

Use feedback and other tools to re-examine the goals for the final stretch of project development. Hear real-world stories about the complexities and factors that can impact project development.

Week 27:

Distribution

Identifying your target audience and what they care about impacts your communication and distribution decisions. Improve your project MVP and polish your curated assets and documentation for final project distribution.

Week 28:

Project Presentation

Present and share your capstone project.

Week 1:

Introduction to Extended Reality

Get an overview of the past, present, and future of extended reality.

Week 15:

From Shaders to Shader Graphs

Explore scriptable rendering pipelines in Unity to create shaders using the shader graph. This graph-based approach is applicable to many tools in programming, 3D modeling, and more.

Week 2:

XR Design Principles

Explore the design principles essential for effective XR development, and consider the roles, interactions, and workflows within an XR project.

Week 16:

Lighting Virtual Worlds

Conceptualize and construct a virtual lobby to link your VR environments using ProBuilder and other tools in Unity. Explore and implement lighting technologies in Unity’s Universal Rendering Pipeline.

Week 3:

Developing with a Game Engine

Recognize the role that game engines play within XR architecture, and set up Unity for successful development.

Week 17:

Managing Virtual Worlds

Diagnose and solve lightmapping issues within virtual environments. Build and implement a system to manage scene loading and transitions, and deploy an application to the Oculus Quest.

Week 4:

Unity Basics and Vector Mathematics

Develop knowledge of the Unity GUI, learn how to import assets and GameObjects to utilize in project development, and create a Rube Goldberg machine. Explore the use of vector mathematics in Unity.

Week 18:

High-Definition Visualization with the HDRP

Utilize Unity's High-Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP) to kick technical artistry to the next level. Leverage the advanced materials and lighting workflows in the HDRP including probes, materials, lighting, textures, and more to create realistic scenes with stunning graphics.

Week 5:

Scripting in Unity

Utilize C# to create custom Unity components. Apply the concepts of prefabs, transform API, materials, vector multiplication, and projection in Unity to create an obstacle in a third-person platformer scene.

Week 19:

Creating a Realistic Visualization

Achieve more realism through rendering visuals for XR environments. Add interactivity through teleportation, configure the occlusion culling system and dynamic resolution to improve performance.

Week 6:

Scripting for Interaction

Explore the Input System Package to create a character controller. Apply C# scripting, physics, rigidbodies, colliders, matrix mathematics, and Unity coroutines to GameObjects to create interactivity and to create your own roll-a-ball scene.

Week 20:

Creating Realistic Interactions

Work with Unity’s animation rigging package to create custom, dynamic hand poses for your hand avatars to increase the realism and immersion of XR experiences.

Week 7:

UI and Animation

Use tools within Unity to create a functioning UI with a scene. Add animations to and interactions between GameObjects, and apply matrix mathematics to Unity development.

Week 21:

Procedural Animation

Use the VFX Graph technology in Unity to create visual effects and procedural animation that will add rich visuals to XR experiences. Also delve into particle systems to simulate a variety of effects within a scene.

Week 8:

Raycasting and Quaternions

Utilize Unity’s physics engine to apply raycasting to inform interactions, and explore how Unity employs quaternions and matrices to represent rotations in 3D space.

Week 22:

Project Planning, Scoping, and Designing for Documentation

Align your career and project production goals and think through your project in detail to build a production schedule. Practice trailer and documentation analysis, and learn to analyze and effectively communicate through documentation.

Week 9:

AR Development—Image Tracking

Get an overview of AR development frameworks and learn to develop image tracking-based AR using Vuforia with Unity.

Week 23:

Styleframe and R&D

Explore project management tools to further organize your project plan. Apply lessons from case studies to your professional practice. Develop a styleframe, shot list, or storyboard as well as conduct a motion test to further define your project.

Week 10:

AR Development—Object Tracking

Create AR experiences leveraging object-recognition techniques and interactions.

Week 24:

Designing UX and Getting User Feedback

Consider user onboarding and UX design for your prototype. Design your own user survey to elicit user feedback and determine how user feedback impacts your project development.

Week 11:

AR Development—Surface Tracking

Learn about SLAM and AR Foundation and use Unity's AR Foundation to detect surface types and create code to load on a mobile device.

Week 25:

Strategic Project Development

Evaluate your project development schedule and dedicate time for development. Through case studies, consider how user experiences can shape project development.

Week 12:

Introduction to VR Prototyping in Unity

Explore Unity’s XR Interaction Toolkit with its powerful library that allows you to quickly prototype and build AR and VR experiences to improve user experiences. Use the XR toolkit, grey boxing, and 6 DoF room-scale VR to create an end-to-end XR experience.

Week 26:

Feedback

Use feedback and other tools to re-examine the goals for the final stretch of project development. Hear real-world stories about the complexities and factors that can impact project development.

Week 13:

Complex Interactions

Complex interactions between hand avatars and physical 3D interfaces create more immersive experiences for users. Create and customize interactive controls within a scene.

Week 27:

Distribution

Identifying your target audience and what they care about impacts your communication and distribution decisions. Improve your project MVP and polish your curated assets and documentation for final project distribution.

Week 14:

From Zero to Shaders

Get a crash course on computer graphics rendering and an introduction to writing shaders in Unity. Create a custom mesh and custom shader and apply these to objects in a scene. Apply matrix math and linear algebra to transform objects.

Week 28:

Project Presentation

Present and share your capstone project.

Capstone Project

For your capstone project, you will take an idea from pitch to prototype to presentation. While your project will be unique to your interests and professional needs, it will incorporate essential elements, skills, and principles of XR design and development.

Real-World Applications

Decorative image relating to Medivis

Medivis

Hear from a Medivis developer as he discusses being on the cutting edge of bringing AR and AI into the medical industry.

Decorative image relating to Oculus

Oculus Quest

Develop and try out interactive environments and tools with this VR headset.

Decorative image relating to Workflows

Workflows

Explore the roles and responsibilities of XR developers within workflow ecosystems, as well as essential skills.

Decorative image relating to Pitch to Prototype

Pitch to Prototype

Follow a process to develop an idea from pitch to prototype as part of the capstone project.

Decorative image relating to Industry examples

Industry Examples

Explore non-gaming industry XR applications.

Decorative image relating to Scatter

Scatter

Hear from a Scatter developer as he discusses the product development pivots and experiences for a room-scale VR experience that premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival.

Program Experience

Decorative image relating to Video Lectures

Video Lectures

Decorative image relating to Assignments

Assignments

Decorative image relating to Discussions

Discussions

Decorative image relating to Real-World Tools & Technology

Real-World Tools & Technology

Decorative image relating to Capstone Project

Capstone Project

Decorative image relating to Career Support & Mentoring

Career Support & Mentoring

Decorative image relating to Dedicated Program Support Team

Dedicated Program Support Team

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Mobile Learning App

Career Preparation and Guidance

Stepping into a career in XR development requires both hard and soft skills. The Professional Certificate in Extended Reality Development with Unity program offers guidance for navigating a career path in XR development, including:

  • One-on-one and small group mentoring with industry experts
  • Best practices for developing and presenting technical content to lay non-technical audiences
  • Guidance in preparing and delivering a portfolio-ready final project
  • Support in navigating technical interviews and take-home challenges
  • Career coaching for resume building, presentation skills, interview preparation, and negotiation skills

These services are provided by Emeritus, our learning collaborator for this program. Our program support team includes course leaders to help you reach your learning goals. It is our primary goal to give you the skills needed to be prepared for a job in this field; however we do not guarantee job placement.

Program Faculty

Faculty Member Michael Allison

Michael Allison

Senior Software Engineer, Scatter

Michael Allison is an XR developer and enthusiast hailing from the world of creative technology. After receiving his master’s degree in interactive telecommunications from NYU, he spent a year as a research resident at the university to continue to work on his graduate thesis: experiments... More info

Faculty Member Alex Lotsos

Alex Lotsos

Co-Founder and Lead Developer, Unseen Media

Alexandros Lotsos is a Brooklyn-based creative technologist and STEAM educator with a background in mathematics, philosophy, and digital media. He is a co-founder and XR developer at Unseen Media and a former adjunct faculty member... More info

Faculty Member Rui Pereira

Rui Pereira

Creative Technology Lead and Spatial Computing Consultant, (IDEO, Havas, Google, Microsoft)

Rui P.G. Pereira is a Creative (and) Technologist passionate about (dis)embedding technology in people's lives to make them better and happier. Previously, Rui worked at Google where he collaborated strategically with brands like Coca-Cola, HBO, and Procter & Gamble... More info

Faculty Member David Lobser

David Lobser

Lead Creative Technologist, Luxury Escapism, Creator, Cosmic Sugar

David Lobser is a designer, animator and XR developer. His VR work includes multi-user, location-based experiences such as Flock, developed at NYU’s Future Reality Lab. He taught animation and creative code at Harvard, NYU, SVA, CU, and Parsons... More info

Guest Speaker

Faculty Member Wenbo Lan

Wenbo Lan

Full-stack AR/VR Engineer, Medivis

Wenbo Lan is a full-stack AR/VR engineer for Medivis, and its SurgicalAR platform, which is one of the only XR applications that has FDA clearance for clinical use in the U.S. Wenbo is a software engineer whose specialization in the XR field began with work as a researcher focusing Human-Computer Interaction in VR and AR environments under Professor Ken Perlin at NYU’s Future Reality Lab, obtaining his master’s degree in computer science. Prior to Medivis, he worked on various XR projects that featured in Future of StoryTelling, SXSW, SIGGRAPH, and the Sundance Film Festival.

Certificate

Example image of certificate that will be awarded after successful completion of this program

Certificate

Upon successful completion of the program, participants will be awarded a verified digital certificate by NYU Tandon.

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Pay Nothing While You Learn. Financing Options Starting At US$40/Month

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