Virtual Camping Space

A 3-D design project focusing on creating an immersive space for friends around the world to gather. All starting from scratch, with no prior 3-D experience.

Role 3-D Design Timeline 10 weeks

Role 3-D Design
Timeline 10 weeks


The backstory

By choosing to create my final capstone project with my non-existent skills in 3-D design, I gave myself a challenge. I've always been a curious person, and this offered an opportunity to learn a new skillset that built on my previous course in Immersive Design. I worked with Maxx Berkowitz, who helped making this project possible with Nowhere, his immersive metaverse world platform. Zachary Tietje, a 3-D designer and artist, was an immense help along my quest to learn this intense skill.


Defining the project scope

Before I dove into the project, I figured out what my goals were (aside from learning the new skill). My virtual learning experiences of the pandemic were fresh in my mind, along with the looming threat that graduation posed to college friendships. I identified my project's focus: I wanted to create a fun world that offered a place to chat and explore with friends around the world. A place to have a game night, catch up, and connect.

How might we create an engaging and effective virtual space for friends to connect and have fun when separated?


The learning process

The difficult part of choosing a project that I knew very little about was a slow and rocky start. I laid out a staggered learning approach for myself, instead of diving headfirst into creating the final product. The process is key, after all.

I started with the tutorial that anyone who has attempted to learn Blender has come across: The Donut.

With a general understanding of Blender under my belt, my second step was to create a 3-D world for the Blender platform using pre-made assets. The goal of this step was to conquer moving several objects around, navigating in Blender, and making it compatable with the Nowhere platform.

You can check out the result—a rooftop hangout spot—for yourself here.


The sketching process

With a tenuous grip on the basics of Blender, I was prepared to start the final piece of my capstone project: a 3-D world hosted in Nowhere, with all of the assets and textures created by myself. Staying true to my background in architecture and art, I started the process with some sketches.


The assets

Once I created my canvas—the landscape—in Blender, the main work was creating the various objects that would make this world feel like a cozy campsite. I started with the rocks and the trees, and slowly worked up to the more complicated items like the picnic table and tent.


The conclusion

The virtual exhibition was a hit with everyone I opened it up to. Some people were delighted by running around the world and exploring everything, while others congregated around the firepit to see each other and experiment with the emoji reactions.

You can go out into virtual nature and explore the world for yourself here.