3D Thinking™: Getting Started with Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

By Philippe Lewicki / 23 Jun 2021

Topics: 3D Thinking | lab | blog

For newcomers to Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and 3D, this three-step guide to getting started is for you. This means jumping from a 2D screen to a 3D environment, your new space to think, create, share, and boost your creativity.

The goal of the 3D Thinking™ articles is to provide exercises, tools, technology, techniques to unlock a new dimension in your brain.

Because you’ve spent most of your life in front of 2D flat screens like computers, tablets, TV, or phones, it’s likely that your mind’s natural 3D thinning capabilities have been limited.

Today, we have 3D technologies that break 2D limitations, enabling us to create and communicate in 3D, leveraging the full spatial capabilities of our brain.

This is the second article in the series (you can read the introduction here).  In no time at all, you’ll be well on your way to creating a premium presentation and delivering results with AfterNow Prez:

1- Choosing an Augmented Reality or Virtual Reality Headset

The first step is to choose the right headset for your use case.

Augmented Reality headsets are just like a large pair of glasses, enabling you to continue to see the world around you, and then adding digital content into the real-world environment. It may be more comfortable for clients or first-time users at a conference or in a public setting. It’s also ideal for in-person meetings, enabling individuals to remain connected in their physical space throughout the experience, but also fully engaged with content.

Virtual Reality headsets are more like a pair of ski goggles, and completely immerse you in a computer-generated environment. When absolute focus is required, for remote meetings, investor presentations, and high stakes presentations we often use virtual reality.

For all your business needs, AfterNow Prez is available on the HoloLens 1 and 2, Quest 1 & 2, and VR mixed reality headsets.

You can always get in touch with our team to discuss the best approach for your business:

To get started today, we recommend ordering the Oculus Quest 2 virtual reality headset. It’s easy to set up as a standalone VR headset, meaning it can be used without a computer or phone. It’s also perfect for remote presentations, demos, and has a great deal of content that you can explore while becoming familiar with 3D design.

2- Playing Games to Develop Your 3D Skills

Whether it’s a presentation or game, the same skills are used to develop spatial awareness in digital 3D environments.

When your Oculus Quest 2 arrives, we recommend starting out with these fun games to get a sense of space, motion, and the potential of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality:

  1. Beat Saber is a unique VR rhythm game where your goal is to slash beats (represented by small cubes) as they are coming at you. Every beat indicates which color saber you need to use and also the direction you need to match.
  2. Vader Immortal invites you to step inside a galaxy far, far away. You’ll navigate the dangers of a fortress, hone your lightsaber skills, and meet new characters along the way in this Star Wars VR series.
  3. Shooty Fruity is an award-winning multi-tasking fruit shooting game. Shooty Fruity combines job simulation with exhilarating combat. Take on new roles and unlock weapons to fight your way through your career. Scan shoot repeat!
  4. Superhot VR is a multi-award-winning, smash-hit that blurs the lines between cautious strategy and mayhem action. Time moves only when you move. Superhot VR’s signature is slow-motion combat.

Virtual Reality is one of those things that once you try it, you’ll never look back.

AR and VR is transforming the way we think, transferring us back into a 3D world that is more intuitive than our 2D interfaces, and transforming the way we do business, increasing productivity, comprehension, and performance.

On this journey, these games will help you master 3D Thinking™ and spatial awareness.

3- Apply Your 3D Skills with These Fun VR Creator Tools

Now that you’re a pro at navigating 3D experiences, it’s time to get started making your own, taking 3D thinking to 3D making.

With these four easy-to-use creator tools, you can create your own 3D content while in VR:

  1. Tilt Brush lets you paint in 3D space with virtual reality. The possibilities are endless.
  2. Gravity Sketch is about thinking and creating in 3D. Communicate ideas in 3D at each stage, capture work as an image or model to use in other phases of your workflow.
  3. Maquette makes spatial prototyping easy, quick, and immersive. It’s a comprehensive toolset for spatial prototyping in VR.
  4. Sketchbox allows you to instantly bring your 3D content into an infinite, collaborative workspace.

The goal here is to become accustomed to moving around in a 3D environment, and designing a 3D environment with 3D content. Next, try each of these steps in the above programs:

  1. Make simple shapes in 3D including a cube, prism, and sphere
  2. Position these at varying heights and distances in space
  3. Walk around the objects within your space
  4. Explore moving the objects around to learn about positioning and scale
  5. Imagine if instead of shapes, you were presenting and positioning data. Consider how you could use 3D for communicating data in the context of scale.

Finally, set up a parkour obstacle course and go through it by physically moving through space. Ensure you have an open and clear floor for this step.

When you’re confident with the setup, share the experience with a colleague or friend. This is an opportunity to share what you have learned, and also to become familiar with onboarding new users.

Now, you’ve just mastered the basics of spatial thinking, and are familiar with key tools to make 3D content while in virtual reality.

You can also use ready-made 3D models available on platforms like Sketchfab, with integration into your AfterNow Prez presentation as simple as drag & drop, no coding required.

If you are ready to onboard your team, whether that’s in enterprise training, sales, remote collaboration, investor presentations, or other applications, we offer customized 3D Thinking™ Workshops for each use case.

Philippe Lewicki

Culver City

Immersed in the metaverse for the past 7 years, international technology speakers. Philippe is working at AfterNow creating the future of human and machines interactions.