CGI characters are digitally-created models that resemble and behave like real people. With new technologies such as virtual reality (VR), training professionals are now able to completely immerse their learners into fully-rendered digital environments and interact with CGI characters as if they were real.
These are the following ways that using CGI characters can benefit fully immersive VR training activities:
- CGI Characters Can Fill The Need For Humans
- CGI Characters Allow For Easy Program Updates
- CGI Characters Can Increase Learner Engagement
- CGI Characters Can Safely Emphasize Safety Risks
CGI characters enhance video games, television, and films – so why not use them for training as well?
Training is most effective when learners are engaged with the material in multiple modalities. When learners can hear, see, and engage with their learning material, they will retain information faster and for longer periods. CGI characters are integral to this process.
At Roundtable Learning, we work with clients to develop VR training to fit any need. This often requires creating CGI characters to assist in their learning experiences.
This article will explore what CGI characters are, how they are used in training, and 4 ways CGI characters can maximize your training experience.
What Is Full VR Training?
VR is an extended reality technology that places learners in an entirely digital environment using a VR headset.
Full VR allows a person with a headset to move freely within a virtual environment. Learners can move forward and backward, up and down, and right and left while observing and interacting with objects placed in the environment, just like they would if those objects were real.
The goal is to replicate real-life as closely as possible so that learners gain the necessary skills needed to perform their daily tasks without making mistakes in the “real” world.
What Is A CGI Character?
Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) characters are digitally-created models that resemble and behave like real people. You’re probably familiar with CGI characters from animated movies or modern video games. These characters are entirely computer generated and designed to fit any need.
The characters’ level of interactivity with learners depends on the medium it is designed for – characters designed for VR training can be used to assist learners as they work through their training activities. CGI characters can be as simple as Microsoft’s Office Assistant Paperclip or as complex as a movie character.
How Are CGI Characters Used For Training?
CGI characters are a great tool for corporate training programs. Full VR training activities utilize CGI training characters to further the immersion for learners through meaningful interactions and to help set the scene.
When used properly, CGI characters can serve many purposes for your training activity:
- Represent customers or coworkers
- Serve as an activity narrator
- Be used to demonstrate an activity or job function
- Assist learners when stuck in an activity with directions or tips
- Fill out the virtual environment to be more realistic and train to ignore distractions
Modern technology allows us to create CGI characters that closely resemble humans. This realism can help immerse your learners in the virtual training environment and guide them through their learning objectives seamlessly to boost engagement and knowledge retention.
Using CGI characters for your training can help immerse your learners in their VR training experience and increase the flexibility of your program to last long-term.
4 Benefits Of Using CGI Characters For VR Training
CGI characters can elevate your learners’ training experience. Let’s review four benefits of using CGI characters for corporate training and real-world examples.
CGI Characters Can Fill The Need For Humans
In-person interactions are one of the best ways to learn, but it may not always be possible to have employees train with actual customers or coworkers on-demand. Using CGI characters in a VR training experience allows you to have on-demand training available in a safe environment.
Example: VR Training For Customer Service
Customer service can be tricky to train; your employees need to practice their skills while your customers still receive the best experience. With VR training, you can create CGI characters to replicate customer interactions and allow your learners to practice role-playing without risking your customers’ experience.
CGI Characters Allow For Easy Training Program Updates
CGI characters are created by computer graphics, which means that they can be customized, edited, or repurposed at any time. If you need to update the information your characters say, how the character is dressed, or how the character looks, it can all be done without having to start from scratch. You also can reuse characters in other VR environments, saving your organization development time and money.
Example: Keeping Your Training Up To Date
Product knowledge training is important to keep your employees up to date with the latest offerings and advancements. If you have a VR training activity that allows your sales team to practice a sales interaction through role-play, you can easily update your activity to account for new products without the need to create a new activity. Your team can program new sections and learning paths while keeping the same environment and CGI customer character.
CGI Characters Can Increase Learner Engagement
CGI characters assist the learning process because they provide learners opportunities for active engagement. CGI characters can be created as “narrators” for your training content; they can interact with learners for soft skills development or fill out the virtual environment to help learners avoid “realistic” distractions.
Example: Using CGI Characters To Create A Realistic VR Scene
Great VR training activities can accurately recreate a learner’s work environment. If an employee is training for a job that takes place in public, it’s not realistic to have the learner practicing in an activity with no distractions. CGI characters can be programmed to walk around the environment along with cars or other natural noises. This will help your learner learn how to focus on their task at hand in the same type of environment they will face in real life.
CGI Characters Can Safely Emphasize Safety Risks
Depending on the organization, health and safety protocols may be integral to a learner’s daily tasks. VR training can use CGI characters and place learners in hazardous situations, instantly conveying to the learners what could happen if safety protocols are not followed.
Example: VR Training For Armed Robbery Training
Some topics can be difficult to train for, including armed robbery training. By using VR for this type of training, you can test your learners’ ability to make decisions under stress – while staying safe. An armed robbery VR training activity can show a learner the outcomes of their chosen actions (whether good or bad) without putting them in harm’s way. You can use CGI characters to play the robber along with coworkers and customers.
Ready To Learn More?
We would be happy to answer any additional questions you have and get you started with using CGI characters for your VR training program! Schedule a meeting with us, and we will contact you as soon as possible.