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Virtual, Mixed and Augmented Reality in The Workshop

The Workshop has a variety of tools and resources for creating content for and in Augmented, Mixed and Virtual Reality

Physical Location

Workshop logo red square.jpgThe Innovative Media department is located in The Workshop on the lower level of the James Branch Cabell Library.

901 Park Avenue, Suite 078

Oculus Rift S in The Workshop

The Oculus Rift S is available for in-house use to the VCU Community. If you need assistance beyond this guide, email or call 804.827.3594 to set up an appointment. 

Oculus Rift

Required for checkoutUsers must have attended an XRAM (+VR) orientation to become an authorized user.

In the Oculus case you will find one Oculus headset, two Oculus Touch handsets with 1 AA Battery in each. If batteries get low, consult with service desk.

Connecting the Oculus Rift S in the XRAM Studio or App Development station

Connection: XRAM Alienware 

  1. Turn on wall display with TV remote.
  2. Turn on Alienware, making sure its HDMI cord is connected to the display HDMI cord with the attached adapter.
  3. By default, the Alienware boots to a public profile and the wall display should be showing the Alienware desktop.
  4. The headset has two cords coming off the back of it, one is USB and the other Displayport.
  5. Plug the headset DisplayPort cord into the DisplayPort slot in the same graphics card behind the Alienware that the wall display is plugged into. 
  6. Plug the headset USB cord into any of the open USB3 slots in the back of the Alienware

Connection: App Development Workstation

  1. By default, the App Development station boots to a public profile.
  2. The headset has two cords coming off the back of it, one is USB and the other Displayport.
  3. Plug the headset DisplayPort cord into the DisplayPort slot in the same graphics card behind the workstation that the wall display is plugged into. 
  4. Plug the headset USB cord into any of the open USB3 slots in the back of the workstation

Room Setup and Oculus Library

Setting up your space

  1. Launch the Oculus app from the Desktop
  2. Click Devices and choose the Oculus Rift S, expand it's menu options.
  3. Choose Device Setup which will walk you through pairing the headset and controllers.
  4. Repeat no.2 above, this time choose Guardian Setup, which will walk you through mapping your environment, this time with the headset on.
  5. The trick to getting a clear focus is to move the headset up and down until you find the sweet spot, then use the tightening knob on the back and Velcro on the top to hold it in place. .

Oculus Library

  1.  At the end of the setup, you will be taken to a virtual room with a dashboard where you can find the library of apps by using the trigger on your controller.
  2. Most of the apps have tutorials on how to use the buttons on the controllers. 
  3. For switching between left-handed and right-handed use, just tap the bottom of the two controllers together.
  4. When you take the headset off, the app will go to sleep, both in the headset and on the monitor.
  5. Occasionally, the Oculus software will require an update and will not work until it has completed. This may require staff attention.
  6. Some apps allow you to export your work to social media or on the local computer.  The local location varies from app to app, but the first places to look are under the app's name somewhere on the D:\ drive or C:\Users\imvculpub\Documents\ 


Accessing the Steam Library

  1. If you wish to use Steam with the Oculus Rift S, launch Steam from the desktop at this time.
  2. Launch SteamVR from the View menu or by clicking the VR icon in the top right and wait for SteamVR to load (takes a minute). SteamVR should indicate that it has recognized the headset and controllers.
  3. If you have run Guardian Setup in the Oculus app previously, you will not need to run Room Setup in Steam. If not, Room Setup can be found in menu behind the three tiny horizontal lines at the top left corner of Steam VR.
  4. When done, launch an app from the Steam Library on the PC and it will open in the headset. From in the headset, you can access the Steam Library too.
  5. To return to the Oculus Library, click the Oculus button on the right controller.


Importing projects

  1. If you wish to import a Unity project into the Rift S, open Unity from the Desktop and open your project. It is recommended that you create your Unity project on the PCs D:\Saves drive to assure that it will always open on this system. Others have saved to the cloud with success, but some have had issues with saving to USB sticks that had nothing to do with version compatability.
  2. With your project open, go to the Unity Store and search for Oculus Integration (the OVRPlugin). Click Install.
  3. Downloading takes a little while, then you will see an option for importing into your project. Import All, which takes even longer.
  4. Once imported, drag the OVRCameraRig and OVRPlayerController plugins from the PreFab folder into your project menu. Now your project should be visible in the headset, but you will need to tweak the controls to get it to do exactly what you want. NOTE: Sometimes the OVRCamera conflicts with the Unity camera and you may need to move it to the top.