Swing (Virtual Reality)
Animating in Virtual Reality (VR) is an innovative concept that very few animated films have used. I learned and used this process in a collaboration with RIT Associate Professor Mari Jaye Blanchard. In the film, Swing, we merged 2D and 3D animation in a VR environment. To complete this project I learned how to create animation in the gaming software Unreal Engine (Unreal). I researched and implemented a process to combine the elements created by Professor Blanchard into a working VR film. Together we have joined the early pioneers of a new field of storytelling which is showcased in Swing’s acceptance into nine national and nine international festivals resulting in six festival awards.
The knowledge I gained from working on Swing has moved into my classrooms where I have taught students to create VR films and to render their animations in Unreal versus Maya. Learning to render in Unreal maintains film quality and saves hours of render time, decreasing render time from 30 days to 20 minutes in some cases. Being able to render in real-time allows students to have an immediate view and receive immediate feedback on their film while it is still a work in progress.
Mari Jaye, a 2D animator, wanted to create a film in 3D as a functional way to learn the 3D process for film creation. I introduced her to drawing in VR which led to her idea to make the film a 3D VR experience. I was brought on to combine the elements Mari Jaye created so that it would play in VR. I spent the summer learning how to use Unreal Engine so we could make that goal a reality. Two of my former students, Tim Stringer and Emily Halderman, shared expertise and knowledge to help make this project possible.
At a Glance:
•VR Technical Director
•Presenter: SIGGRAPH Asia 2020
•Presenter: 2020 IEEEVR Conference: Birds of a Feather segment
•2020 Best VR Short - Demetera International Film Festival
•2020 Best VR Animation - Animaze Montreal International Animation Festival
•2020 Best VR - Austin Indie Film Fest
•2020 Best VR Film - SATISFIED EYE International Film Festival
•2020 Immersive Award VR - Open World Animation Festival
•2020 3rd Place: New Media - University Film & Video Association
Click above to go to a 360 video with ambisonic sound that will play in a Quest and Google Cardboard.
If you are using a phone or tablet, you can rotate your device around to simulate a VR experience.
Welcome to the Swing VR environment. Here you will enter the environment used in the IEEEVR Birds of a Feather segment to show the process work that went into creating Swing.
LOOK: drag your mouse using your left button
MOVE forward: W key
MOVE backward: S key
MOVE left: A key
MOVE right: D key