19 Feburary 2016
“Across” is a short film for Virtual Reality and my attempt to learn the ropes of this new storytelling medium. When I first put on a VR headset in 2015 I wanted nothing more than to dive in and make my own content for this exciting platform. I got my hands on a used Oculus Rift DK2 and upgraded my computer and began working on “Across” at the start of February 2016 and it’s slowly taking shape. I hope to share some of the details of what I learn through the process, so keep checking back.
I wanted to base the design of the film on two key ideas. The first was to use the “miniature world” concept whereby the characters and the scene appear tiny to the viewer, inviting them to lean in and explore. The second idea was to tell a story that fixed on one point in space where I could then place the viewer allowing the story to play out in front and behind them at the same time. From these constraints I came up with a story centered around two characters on opposing cliffs, allowing me to place the viewer right between them.
In figuring out the workflow, I referenced the fantastic blog post on the Oculus Story Studio website about their film “Henry”. Using their workflow as a starting point I adapted my own tools to the process and started ironing out how to move between the different software packages. Here’s a brief look at some of the work so far. Enjoy!
1) Blender – 3D asset creation, character rigging and Animations.
2) Unreal Editor 4 – Layout, textures and materials, lighting, sound and VR