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Is there a good place to discuss/learn about VR/MR/AR UI/UX and development? Or a list of open source projects a non-coder could contribute to? I want to get into the field but it seems like there's no happy middle between "high schooler making glorified 3D viewer with models ripped from a YuGiOh game" and "super secret Silicon Valley skunkworks project they have to kill you if you find it about."
>Or a list of open source projects a non-coder could contribute to?

u whut m8
we test on suzanne and checkerboard textures lad
I don't know what that means.
Since this post is related to VR.

What are some companies in VR that are hiring. I wanna ride this VR train. All the "3D Artist" suck at creating worlds.
VR is a meme. Develop 3D as a generalist, its the best way.

You have a headset, I hope?
Oculus has some free write-ups on the standards they're trying to push for the best VR experience. They cover stuff like UX, the optimization tricks available and other general stuff for developers. Epic/Unreal's also pretty involved. If you've tried any Oculus partnered VR games the UX is typically noticeably better than most other VR titles so I think their guidelines are on the right path.

If you're not coding/designing in any way this is probably useless info though, making 3D content for VR is almost the same as anywhere else, all you really need to think about is asset optimization since your content needs to be able to display at a high framerate on VR displays. Aside from that, there's also the fact that your assets tend to be interacted with in less abstract ways, ie. where an FPS would have your gun viewmodel just point towards a reticule and users only interact with it by pointing and clicking, in VR users actually have to control the object, meaning that if you're designing some radical looking sci-fi gun it actually has to make sense, the sights have to actually work, the grip should match the VR controller, stuff like that.
Ok but what about the other half of the tree?
I'm not that guy, but when testing algorithms in general, you have a well known dataset that every company tests against. This allows you to test directly against other people's algorithms.

For example, 3D engine creators often showcase their shaders using the bust of "that bald guy with his eyes closed"
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