Immersive technologies like VR and AR can be powerful learning tools. They transport students into different worlds – past, present or future – and give them a first-hand experience that’s otherwise impossible, difficult or expensive. As the leading university in innovation in the US, Arizona State University was looking for a partner to kick off a ground-breaking VR project for their new online high school – ASU Prep Digital.
The Gaspee VR Experience
The goal of Gaspee VR was to dramatise the events leading up to the American Revolution through an engaging, narrative-driven learning experience using mobile-based VR. ASU’s learning specialists set out clear learning objectives from courses including American history, US government and science, and we transformed their objectives into an immersive creative learning experience.
Seamless Integration With ASU’s Systems
Gaspee VR was designed to work seamlessly with ASU’s learning management system. Administrators get data on each student’s individual progress and mastery of the subject matter – which means teachers are able to provide individualised support to each student.
One of the main considerations for the project was accessibility. To cater for distance learners, the VR experience needed to be available for students without access to high-end technology – which is why we chose Google Cardboard. It’s the most accessible VR platform because it runs on most smartphones.
Working Smarter With True Time Rendering
Although most animation is approached in a linear way, this amount of content required a more strategic approach. Gaspee VR was easily the longest script we’d tackled – the storyboard alone was 100 pages long, and there were hours of animated content to make for the VR experience.
Because of the sheer size of the project, we needed to find a solution that allowed us to recycle and reuse assets across the deliverables. Developing the True Time Rendering workflow provided a much more streamlined way to create bankable scenes, props and characters. It also allowed us to slash 3D rendering time – a huge boon for a project this size. To bring a project of this size in under budget without it would have been impossible.
Being on the forefront of innovation is something ASU prides themselves on – and we’re thrilled to have been a part of it. The Gaspee VR project was an invaluable experience, pushing us beyond our comfort zone and forcing us to develop entirely new processes and technologies. As a result of the success of the Gaspee VR Experience, we’ve picked up other VR projects in the education space – stay tuned to hear more. Interested in talking about innovative learning experiences?
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