I love VR. This is not a secret to anyone who knows me. It’s one of my favorite subjects and I can talk about it for hours. What really inspired me to pursue VR initially was seeing the potential it had as a visual medium. As a kid, I often dreamed of stepping into my TV and being part of the story that was being unfolded in front of me. I wanted to have some kind of agency in what I was seeing, and I longed to make an impact in one way or another on the story. Essentially, I sought to make and leave a mark. And now I get to do that in a way and to me that’s very exciting. It all started a couple of months ago when I decided to start a little VR animation project.
At first I felt very daunted by the prospect of making my own VR animation, but then I realized that I want to see for myself what it takes to create an animation in VR. I know it’s a lot to do and a lot to learn, but I think unless I fully dive into it, I will never have a deep understanding of this medium and how it can be used for visual story-telling purposes.
The project I am creating is quite simple. It is going to be an interactive VR story of a chapter from the Little Prince book.
Cover of the Little Prince book
For this project I started learning Blender! I haven’t done much 3D modelling and animation so the last few weeks have been a journey. I finished modelling and rigging the main character and here’s the result:
For the next few months I will be documenting the progress on this blog. I hope by writing this down, I can stay accountable 🙂
For the past few months I have been working on a Virtual Reality project. Click here to see the details. Below you will find some screenshots of the project.
My main focus with this project is learning Blender to create models and animations. Though I do like to test things here and there with Unity whenever I have some extra time. Most recently, I was applying different shaders to the Little Prince. I definitely want my project to be more stylized, and my goal is to make the user feel like they’ve stepped into a cartoon, hence the cartoon shader:
I am not sure whether I want the outline or not, but so far I am quite satisfied with this shader though I am still not sure whether I will stick with this one. All in all I’d say it’s been exciting to see how much shaders in general can shape VR experiences.
Lately, I have been learning to draw the human head. I did this sketch a few days ago for practice, and I ended up working on it way longer than expected. I don’t have a lot of experience doing digital painting, but I learned a lot from doing this little illustration. I feel a lot more comfortable choosing brushes, blending and etc. This did take me quite a while to finish, so I probably won’t be doing portraits like this often. I will, however, apply what I learned to more stylized paintings; I think I have a better sense of the planes on the head now.
Here is the final drawing:
The original photo:
The model’s name is Mats van Snippenberg.
Here are some progress photos:
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Lately, I decided I will focus on learning anatomy to improve my drawings and animations. I am starting with the head, and I have to say I have learned so much already in just a couple of weeks. I started by following short daily tutorials on Pencil King. The tutorials were very concise and useful, and I definitely recommend them to everyone. The tutorials have been great at breaking down basic proportions of the head, but I also needed something that would help with my shading.
I started looking for different resources online and I came across the Reilly method. The Reilly Head Abstraction is basically a grid like system of the many rhythm lines found in the human face and head. I have always struggled with shading because I did not know what to emphasize, and the result of my drawings usually looked a bit off. Not only does the Reilly method help with shading, but it also helps with proportions. I really like it, but there are a lot of different lines you have to draw to have the complete abstraction. Here is my first try:
I then did a portrait study using this method on Cara Delevingne:
I am pretty happy with the results, even though this was a quick digital painting. I would definitely recommend this method to anyone who is interested in improving their art. I will be sure to post more on my progress.