In this weekly series, 3D artist and expert Craig Barr explores different kinds of immersive realities—including virtual reality, mixed reality, and augmented reality—and provides tips, tricks, and techniques for effective VR projects.
- [Instructor] Today in our weekly series, I want to take a look at Audio Considerations for Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. So first I want to start out with some audio formats that are typically utilized in the VR and AR world. Now this is borrowed from the games development world. Typically the formats you'll see there are things like MP3 or this ogg Vorbis format, wave, and even aiffs. These are the most commonly used that you'll see typically out there. Now this '.ogg', or '.o-g-g', is a really good choice for a couple of reasons.
It's open source, it's constantly being updated and developed, really because of open source. So in the community, you'll have people building their own versions or their own tools around that format as well. And it holds the quality with compression really well. Some good free audio editing tools that are available include things like Audacity and Oceanaudio. So you should check those out. Audacity's one of the more popular out there, it's free. Again, this idea of adding to it and developing over time, and you can grab it from their site at any time to jump in and start to use it.
It's very quick and easy to learn as well. So let's take a look at some VR and AR audio tips. Get audio into your project early. This is crucial, it's very important. As you're developing your 3D content, your overall style and look of your Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality project, it's important to remember that audio is a crucial component when it comes to the believability of the project. So you really want to get that in there to enhance the overall experience of everything. Audio-visual sync really is the key to add the overall believability of an experience, this idea of the visuals and audio syncing up properly to really give the viewer the experience that it's happening.
And we want to make sure that when we're creating Virtual or Augmented Reality experiences that it is this kind of escape. We want people to be immersed into there, we don't want them to deal with something that takes them out of that moment of believability as well. We want to keep our User Interface and our Heads Up Display sounds separate with effects to cretae their own space. What I mean by that is, if you have the overall ambiance or the overall theme or feel of a project as it relates to audio, it's important to kind of separate the UI and Heads Up Display into something that has its own unique sound.
Perhaps it's on its own completely different space, so that those tweaks are understood by the user as they're experiencing things, that that's not part of the experience perse, but is more of maybe a Heads Up Display or a Menu Option, or something related to the overall User Interface. Be aware of overall audio levels. Too loud and it's way too distracting, too low and your audio can be lost. So you really want to spend that time to dial in the proper overall levels of your audio. Libraries are a great resource for diversity as well.
Taking sounds that may exist out there and being able to integrate them into your project. There are many great audio libraries available online as well. So sound packs can often provide balance themed audio for projects. These are packs where you can get online from something like a sound library, but they're packed up to be, maybe they're related themes, or maybe they're related to the exact same kind of scenario of where they're recorded. Maybe a warehouse, for example. But they could also be within the same type of sound or overall kind of theme or the overall ambiance, which is going on.
Something themed, like maybe a Halloween sound pack for example. Libraries are great. But if unique sounds are needed, go ahead and create them. Don't br afraid of trying to create your own audio. Of course we all think of the fact that there are these great pro audio engineers and people out there to do this. But we usually don't have access to these people, unless we're a shop, a studio, or a big production that has our own people employment. By all the means of all the great tools out there, for some of the more simple sounds that you might need for a project, don't be afraid to try to create them.
You'd be surprised what you can cretae on your own. So off setting sound was sampling and layering for uniqueness is another important point. And this is the idea of being able to use different layering techniques or different sampling by taking existing audio and sampling it into something a little bit different to be able to reuse that and maybe create something a little more unique. But at the same time, fitting into your overall audio kind of package or overall audio theme of your AR/VR project. So here's a quick overview of some VR and AR audio tips.
I hope you enjoyed this, thanks for tuning in.
Skill Level Intermediate
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