Nolan Bushnell said at ARinAction at MIT in early 2017 that AR is in the “Pong” stage of development. Indeed, industry conferences are dominated not by the makers of consumer products, but by the companies that make the tools that enable consumer software products to be made. No one can have a conversation about developing content for VR and AR without talking about Unity.
Adam wakes up in the body of a robot. Shades of Kafka’s “Metamorphasis”. Photo credit: Unity
Unity makes the software tools used by more than four million game developers. Because of its unique 3D qualities, Unity is quickly becoming one of the formative Metaverse’s most important, and most valuable, companies. Unity’s suite of tools, and its asset store, where developers can buy designs and pre-coded actions, are simple enough for a designer to work in, too, no coding skills required.
Unity just raised an eye-opening 400 M from private equity firm Silver Lake, raising the value of the private company to 2.8B. Unity Chief Executive John Riccitiello told Bloomberg there are “a lot of investors and investor interest is the fact that we have about 70 percent of AR and VR content built on Unity”.
Unity is going to become more valuable to more people because in a virtual world, as users seek to acquire 3D objects and tools they themselves can utilize in the virtual world of their choice. Some of the most valuable companies in the world, like Oracle (market cap 242B), are little known to the public but provide the connective tissue that makes the services we depend on, like electronic banking, work.
Adam is a Webby Award-winning short film created with the Unity game engine and rendered in real time. It was built to showcase and test out the graphical quality achievable with Unity in 2016. The well-received short will be expanded by acclaimed science film director Neill Blomkamp (District 9) into a science fiction franchise ADAM: The Mirror and ADAM: The Prophet.
Created and produced by Blomkamp’s OATS Studios using the latest version of Unity 2017, these new short films will showcase the power of working within an integrated real-time environment — empowering the team to build, texture, animate, light, and render all in Unity to deliver high-quality graphics at a fraction of the cost and time of a normal film production cycle.
There is something very important going on with Unity and Hollywood that is going to impact media production dramatically in the coming years as game production techniques begin to supplant hundred-year-old narrative entertainment production techniques. This is going to deeply disrupt the film and television industry as we know it. Filmmakers, cinematographers, designers, and technicians have a great opportunity to harness this growing disruption. This is especially true for young people entering the business today. Skip that production assistant grind. Compete with the studio by building your own movie with Unity. There are already hundreds of high paying jobs in game development and film production for skilled Unity developers. Anyone can learn it. There are numerous free and paid online courses, and even extension courses about Unity now taught across the country. Film schools not teaching their students how to build worlds and make movies with Unity are committing malpractice.
I hope someone is teaching these students how to use Unity. That’s where the biggest opportunities lie. Photo credit: NYFA
Released January 9, 2018, by Cool Blue Press. Photo credit: Cool Blue Press | Buy the Book on Amazon
This post was originally featured on Forbes.com on December 11, 2017