Short courses


Interactive VR 360 Film: an Introduction

  • 10 hours (2 hours per session)
  • 5 evenings (7 to 9pm), over 5 weeks


This practical evening course will teach you how to make interactive 360 degree virtual reality (VR) film content.

You'll learn about gaze-based interactions in film environments and discuss these from both a practical and theoretical perspective.

You'll learn how to use the software Unity to create VR environments.

You'll also get an overview of Samsung Gear 360 cameras, which you'll use during the course.

The course runs on Friday evenings, from 7 to 9pm, over five weeks.

This course is run by the Open City Docs School, based in UCL's Department of Anthropology.

Course content

Each session will cover the following:

Session 1 - Unity basics

In the first session, you'll learn how to use Unity, including the basics of the interface and terminology.

Session 2 - Creating a 360 film scene

In the second session, you'll learn about the central components involved in building a 360° scene and create your own scene.

The session will cover the following topics:

  • Video sphere - importing a suitable video sphere and positioning it for your scene
  • Shaders - making a shader that will allow you to view inside of a sphere
  • Main camera - how the virtual camera becomes the user's body
  • Video player - how its components work and playing a scene

Sessions 3 and 4 - Making an interactive 360 film

These two sessions focus on the theory and practice of virtual gaze interaction and applying it to a scene to create movement between a series of 360 videos.

The session will cover the following topics:

  • Virtual gaze interaction
  • Ray tracing
  • Mesh colliders
  • Scene activation
  • Build settings
  • VR reticles

Session 5 - Building and publishing an interactive 360 project

This session will focus on considerations and processes involved in error checking and publishing your project as a Gear VR app. 

You'll also learn how exporting an interactive project, and its platform, will impact the overall project design.

The session will cover the following topics:

  • Mapping a scene
  • Non-linear/linear narratives
  • Platforms and building
  • Standalone
  • VR analytics
  • Gear VR publishing
  • Key processes and troubleshooting for app building
  • OSIG and application signing
  • Publishing platforms

Who this course is for

This course is suitable for beginners.

You don't need to have any programming experience.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course you'll:

  • be familiar with the basics of the Unity interface and common terms used in relation to this software
  • understand the central components involved in building a 360 scene and be able to build a scene
  • be able to apply virtual gaze interaction to a scene to create movement between a series of 360 videos
  • be able to publish an interactive 360 project as an app
  • understand how exporting an interactive project and the platform will impact the overall project design

Cost and concessions

This course fees are:

  • £300 - full price
  • £225 - students
  • £200 - UCL students

Course team

Jeremiah Ambrose

Jeremiah Ambrose

Jeremiah has an MSc in Interactive Digital Media and MPhil in Film Theory and History. He’s in the final stages of a practice-based PhD looking at emergent narratives and interaction aesthetics in VR and interactive 360° film at the University of Brighton. Jeremiah also lectures on the University of Brighton’s MA in Digital Media Arts, guest lectures on UAL’s MA Games Design and tutors on UCL’s VR Strand on the practice-based MA in Ethnographic and Documentary Film.

Course information last modified: 23 Oct 2019, 12:03