Introduction: How to Create a Virtual Reality Exhibition

About: CoSpaces is a platform that allows anyone to create their own VR content.

You wouldn’t mind getting your own exhibition — but no gallery has ever invited you? Who needs real galleries and museums when you can create your own VR exhibition!

Learn how to create an exhibition that can be explored in virtual reality — just using your smartphone and a cardboard headset. The topic of the exhibitions is totally up to you. Arts, history, biology or your granny’s 90th birthday — you name it, you build it. And it’s probably a lot easier than you think.

What you will need:

  • a laptop or computer
  • a smartphone with the free CoSpaces app (Android or iOS)
  • a cardboard headset, at best with a magnet switch

Step 1: Create a New CoSpaces space

Take your computer/laptop and go to the CoSpaces browser app. If you don’t have an account yet, create one for free before opening a new space.

Step 2: Build Your Exhibition Space

You’ll start with an empty space.

Before you can hang pictures, you will need — yes exactly!–walls. The best building materials are the brick/glass walls and the flexible cuboid in the object library. You will find them in the third tab with the geometrical objects and flexible building blocks.

How you place these walls is up to you: You can just choose a square stage and add walls all around. Or create a little museum building in the middle of your stage. Or have an open air exhibition with free-standing walls.
By the way: To make the walls form a rectangle, it helps to place a marker on the floor and add the walls around its edges. Like this, it’s a lot easier to get the 90° angles right.

For the floor, it’s best to use markers or images. You can, for example, type “wooden floor” or “tiles” into image search and duplicate the image to form a pattern on the floor.
Probably, you will want your exhibition space to be closed on all sides and maybe also have a ceiling. However, you will find it a lot easier to build your exhibition when you only add the last wall and the ceiling in the end.

Step 3: Import Your images

Now that you have an exhibitions space, you will want to add some images. There are two ways to do so.

  1. Use the inbuilt image search.
  2. Drag and drop files from your desktop to the stage.

While the image search is really handy for a lot of things, I advise you to use the second method.

Even if you use images from the internet , you should to look them up in a search engine and download them. Like this, you can be sure about the resolution of the images — most search engines let you add the size of an image as a search filter.

Since later in virtual reality, you will be able to go really close to an image (closer than any museum would ever allow you!), things will get pixelated if you don’t pay attention to a good resolution.

Step 4: Hang Your images

You have walls and you have images: It’s time to hang the artwork!

To move an image just drag it around the stage. Change its size and angle by clicking the blue arrows underneath the picture. To elevate it, use the white cone above the image.

For hanging the image correctly, the blue line underneath it comes in handy. The painting is hung ideally if this line is parallel to the wall but still fully visible.

Step 5: Add Info panels

Pictures often speak for themselves. However, where additional information is needed, add info panels to your exhibition.

You can use markers to write on the floor. For a less eccentric exhibition experience, however, you might prefer the upright panels.

They can be used like little signboards that you either hang on the wall or put up on a post. If you make the background of the panel transparent, you can also make the writing appear directly on the wall.

Step 6: Give Your Exhibition the Last touch

Nearly there: If you want to add some more objects to the exhibition — such as plants, benches or other visitors, choose them from the library and drag them into your space.

Once you have added everything, you can close the missing wall and the ceiling — in case you left them open in step 2.

By the way: with the right knowledge about the camera options, you will still be able to navigate through your exhibition after you have closed the walls and ceiling.

Press the space bar and the left mouse button at the same time to change the camera perspective. The mouse wheel lets you zoom in and out. It might be a bit trickier to hang the images and panels onto the last wall but it’s still possible.

Step 7: Have a VRnissage!

Your exhibition is ready!

Make sure you have folded your cardboard headset and installed the CoSpaces app on your phone before you invite your first visitors to your vernissage. Or VRnissage if you’re into puns.

  1. Take your smartphone and open the CoSpaces app.
  2. Log into your account and open your exhibition from the dashboard.
  3. You can now click the little VR goggles icon in the lower right-hand corner to go to the VR mode.
  4. Place your phone into your cardboard headset.

Now, you are ready to explore your exhibition.

If your headset has a button, you can even walk around the exhibition space.