This will be the first post of a continuing series I’m planning on doing to document the process of our Computer Science degree capstone project. The course is titled “Software Engineering” and lasts a full two semesters, giving us plenty of time to work on our project.

For some background, the University of Oklahoma is planning on building a new testing facility called the National Environmental Simulation and Testing (NEST) Facility. The facility is still in the design phase, and for our project we will be helping with visualizing the prototypes of the facility in virtual reality.

We are tasked with reproducing a 3D model of the designs given to us by the architects with high accuracy in terms of scale and textures, then put the model into VR to walk around and explore the facility with life-sized scale. They are hoping this will help prospective users to decide whether they can find a good application for the facility.

With this virtual reality assignment for the capstone along with being a part of the Virtual Reality Association at the University of Oklahoma, this gives me a great opportunity to get around to learning to use Unity, C#, and get into the basics of 3D modeling which are all things I had an interest in but hadn’t had a chance to look at yet.

With respect to the assignment, we haven’t started on any development yet seeing as we have not yet received any designs yet. This gives us all time to get familiar with Unity and 3DS Max first, and work on some smaller projects to get used to using these tools. That way we are prepared to work on the main assignment when it comes.

I’m looking forward to seeing how far we can take this project. Virtual reality can be a great tool in learning, research, and planning when used properly and hopefully we’ll be able to do this medium justice.