Paul Mlyniec has been involved in computer graphics for virtual reality for over 30 years & has been chasing his dream of creating an immersive, 3D painting medium. He started his career at Silicon Graphics to joining MultiGen to develop what became the de facto standard in modeling for flight simulation. He’s now with Sixense Entertainment as the Head Developer on MakeVR continuing his career of making highly interactive, immersive applications.

Paul-Mlyniec-200x200Paul provides a great piece of historical framing of where we are today. Whereas the space program in the 1960s drove a lot of innovations in technology, the space program driving technology today is immersive gaming within virtual reality.

Paul also talks about some of the user interface lessons for manipulating objects within 3D. For example, he talks about how the 2-handed interface is like 3D multi-touch & how it helps prevent motion sickness. He also shares the surprising insight that turning VR knobs while pressing a button with the same hand turns out to be a straining action. And he also talks about the differences between using physical input devices with a button versus when it makes more sense to use gesture controls with camera-based, visual input.

Finally, he talks about some of the lessons learned from the MakeVR Kickstarter and their plans moving forward.

Reddit discussion here.


  • 0:00 – Intro and 30-year background in VR & computer graphics
  • 1:37 – LEGO VR demo at SIGGRAPH 1996 with MultiGen that was head-mounted & hand tracked
  • 3:00 – Space program of the 60s was to get to the moon, and today’s space program is gaming in virtual reality
  • 4:46 – What are benchmarks do you look at when moving computer graphics forward? How easy it is to create 3D graphics with the speed of creation & fluid flow.
  • 6:39 – What are the differences in using 3D input devices vs 2D mouse and keyboard & how that changes the 3D graphics creation process?
  • 7:58 – Who would be the target demographic for something like MakeVR? Would you see professionals who use Maya using this tool? How well rapid prototyping works with MakeVR
  • 9:24 – How you’re evolving 3DUI with the two-handed, 3D user interface w/ fully immersive experience? Making the most out of limited real estate, and 2D buttons vs. 3D cube widgets.
  • 11:19 – 3DUI experiments that failed? Twist control being straining activity for your wrist. Pressing button on the opposite hand seems to be a best practice.
  • 12:38 – What are things that work with 3DUI? Two-handed, 3D user interface is like 3D multi-touch and how it avoids motion sickness when driving a viewpoint through the world.
  • 14:18 – Physical controls vs camera-based motion controls in 3D. Physical controls meet the professional demands for speed and precision where you can have rapid input without physical strain.
  • 16:13 – MakeVR Kickstarter lessons learned and plans moving forward. Too high of a price point, no early access, misgauged the target market.
  • 17:33 – Best way to track progress of MakeVR

Theme music: “Fatality” by Tigoolio

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