VR Best Practices, Child Acting, and Mixed Reality with Nick Pettit9:38 with Nick Pettit
In this episode, we talk to the purveyor of puns, the one and only, the very first Treehouse teacher, Nick Pettit, live from our our office in Orlando Florida.
Hi, I'm Craig, welcome to The Treehouse Show, The Treehouse Show is our weekly 0:00 conversation with the tree house community. 0:03 [MUSIC] 0:05 This episode, we'll be chatting with the purveyor of puns, the one and only, 0:10 the very first tree house teacher, Nick Pettit. 0:14 Live from our office in Orlando, Florida. 0:16 [SOUND] Thanks for being on the show today, Nick. 0:18 Can you tell me a little bit about how you got started in technology. 0:21 >> Technology is really been a pervasive part of my life. 0:25 I cannot of live with the intersection of art and technology. 0:28 So growing up, I was very interested in traditional art, I took piano lessons. 0:32 In high school I went to high school for the arts and to take further, but 0:39 in parallel computers for always gonna there. 0:44 I remember when I was 5 years old, my Dad would come home from work, 0:47 we don't have the internet at home, so but if he had it at work, 0:52 and so he would download games at work. 0:57 And bringing him home on floppy disk. 1:01 So everyday my dad would come home and I would say, 1:02 dad did you downloading your games today? 1:04 This was the age of like share where stuff so 1:06 I was playing like commander king and doom. 1:09 >> Nice. I think I played like wolf and 1:12 [INAUDIBLE], when I was five years old which is this was before the ESRB, so 1:14 it was fine. 1:19 It was totally okay for kids- >> [LAUGH] 1:20 >> At the time. 1:22 So and it was through that lens that I saw computers. 1:24 I saw them as an instrument for expression. 1:30 And so growing up, with my interest in 1:34 art and sort of seeing computer as a tool for that, 1:39 I became interested in creating websites and you know, 1:45 I always kind of wanting to make video games but that was like too hard for me. 1:50 And so, I don't know. 1:55 I guess to answer your question, there was never really a definitive 1:57 moment where I said okay, I am interested in technology now. 2:01 Like, this is my hobby, and that's what I'm gonna do, and 2:06 that's what I'm gonna do for a career. 2:09 It just kind of happened. 2:10 It was the environment I was in, I guess. 2:13 >> Cool, that's awesome man. 2:16 Wait, what do you teach here at Treehouse? 2:17 >> So at Treehouse, I teach VR development. 2:19 So we teach how to make virtual reality games and applications. 2:23 For my first five years here, I taught websites and web development. 2:27 And that is where I got my start in technology. 2:34 I found that the combination of art and technology was most present, 2:38 for me, in the instant gratification of web development. 2:46 And it was just really easy to make make websites, and there's a lot of fun. 2:50 And I liked because it was interactive, which is kind of a different 2:56 quality than something like film or books have. 3:01 There's this added dimension. 3:06 So, the way I think about mediums is in terms of 3:08 the dimensions of expression, I guess. 3:13 So, if you were to apply that to say film, 3:15 you have this 2D screen so that's two dimensions. 3:19 And it plays over time and so that's three. 3:21 And maybe you could add in sound, right. 3:24 But, websites and software in general, 3:27 have this added dimension of interactivity. 3:30 There's things that the user can do when you 3:34 can take that feedback into account and your corresponding expression. 3:37 So did that for a while and I like web development because 3:42 it was kind of the wild west, that were know best practices and 3:47 you could just kind of make it up as you want it long. 3:50 And now, virtual reality has taken my interest for the exact same reasons. 3:54 >> It's [INAUDIBLE] in the same place there, right? 3:57 >> Yeah. 3:59 Because there's no best practices and 4:00 really I'm just kind of making it up as I go, and 4:04 trying to follow the trends and predict where things are going to go. 4:09 So, yeah, I teach VR. 4:15 [LAUGH] >> That's a short answer. 4:16 [LAUGH] >> Awesome, well I like that progression, 4:17 that's really cool, man. 4:21 And what's more interactive than VR, right? 4:22 I do have an important question, what is something about you 4:26 that the students won't learn from one of your courses? 4:30 >> One interesting fact to it is, growing up, 4:33 I was a child actor from ages- >> Whoa. 4:36 [LAUGH] >> 2 to 18. 4:39 >> Okay. 4:41 [LAUGH] >> But for me, in my mind, 4:42 that sorta falls into the same realm of artistic expression, right? 4:44 So at the time, in the 90's, a lot of the work for 4:49 an actor was just doing commercials and that sort of thing. 4:52 >> Okay. 4:57 >> So, basically anything that wasn't like a Hollywood Movie, 4:58 was shot in another market, Florida being one of them at the time. 5:05 And I mean that's still true today, but Florida was starting you become 5:10 this fab for producing television, 5:15 I mean that was age of like Universal Studios,Nickelodeon and all that. 5:18 And a lot of commercials and music videos and things were shot. 5:23 In Florida specifically Orlando. 5:28 So, yeah as a child actor and I guess I don't know, it wasn't something 5:32 that was like super important to me which is why like I don't really do it anymore. 5:39 But, these skills are certainly useful when teaching Treehouse courses and 5:43 being on camera. 5:49 >> Yeah, for sure. 5:50 Do you have maybe some we could have from that? 5:52 [LAUGH] >> Probably not. 5:55 [LAUGH] >> Come on. 5:57 >> I'm actually curious if any of that still exists somewhere. 6:00 I'm sure it's probably on a VHS tape at my parents' house somewhere. 6:08 >> Okay. 6:13 >> But, no, don't have anything in handy. 6:14 >> Okay, cool, hey man I've been hearing that the Orlando office has 6:17 a pretty awesome VR playground, so what if you could show us that. 6:22 >> Sure thing, so basically we have a what we called a mixed reality set up, 6:27 a mixed reality studio, I guess you could say. 6:33 So when you demonstrate VR to other people, 6:38 it's kind of difficult to get a sense of the space, because 6:42 typically VR is shown in the same way that you view it in VR headsets. 6:47 So, In third person, you're kinda looking at this crazy 6:53 HMD View, or Head-Mounted Display View, where you're looking all over the place. 7:00 And there's really not any particular focus. 7:04 And it's very shaky because, in real life, our heads are very shaky. 7:07 And in VR, this feels very natural to the person that has a headset on. 7:11 But for other people, It's really kind of a weird thing to look at. 7:15 It's weird to look through somebody else's vision, so 7:21 what we've done is we are using this technique cock mixed with reality, 7:25 which uses a green screen and combination with some modified field software So 7:29 we can shoot someone in VR, against the green screen. 7:35 And then we key that out, and 7:40 we're able to get a third person perspective on the action. 7:42 And the way we do that, is by tracking our physical camera in VR. 7:46 So that we have a virtual camera that matches one-to-one. 7:52 So the virtual camera moves with the physical camera and the movements match, 7:56 and that's how you get a good key or 8:00 a good match between the two pieces of footage. 8:03 So it's cool but it's also a really great way to 8:07 demonstrate VR to other people that aren't wearing the VR headset. 8:12 That is awesome, let's see a demo. 8:18 >> Now we can pick up the ball and 8:22 throw it and then using the grip buttons on the side of the controller, 8:26 we can return it to it's original position. 8:31 We can also use the touchpad button to start the clock. 8:34 And then, if we're lucky, we can make some baskets and increase the score counter. 8:38 So let's put some time on the clock. 8:43 [SOUND] And let's try to make some baskets. 8:44 So close. 8:51 Almost. 8:55 There's one. 9:02 See, if I can make one more, nope. 9:07 All right, didn't make the buzzer shot. 9:14 [SOUND] And that's it. 9:15 >> Well thanks for taking the time today, Nick. 9:18 I know you gotta get back to making those courses, playing those games. 9:20 >> Sure thing. 9:24 Thanks for having me. 9:24 [MUSIC] 9:25 >> Thanks for watching the Treehouse show. 9:31 To get in touch with the show, reach out to me on Twitter. 9:33 Or get us up on the Treehouse community. 9:36 See you next time. 9:37
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