by Wobbe F. Koning

Avant Garde Virtual Reality (Working Title)

I received a Summer Faculty Fellowship from Monmouth University based on my proposal entitled "Animation in VR: moving towards an Avant Garde approach to VR". During the Summer of 2019 I will be exploring Virtual Reality (VR) as a medium in it’s own right, not as a new platform for existing media like film or gaming.

IGB 006055 Visore stereoscopico portatile Museo scienza e tecnologia Milano

My first forray into VR has resulted in Multidimensional Eye Virus VR. I am furthering my investigation into using VR as a medium, the way Avant Garde filmmakers like Walter Ruttmann, Oskar Fischinger, Mary Ellen Bute, treated film as a new medium of expression in the early twentieth century. I will start that journey by investigating how animation techniques can be applied effectively in VR.

There are three techniques I will attempt to combine into a single work:

  1. stereoscopic stop motion photography of small 3D prints,
  2. a real time rendered stage or scene for these to appear on, and
  3. an animated 360 degree stereoscopic video to surround this all with.

For the first technique I have developed a Unity shader that displays streoscopic images on a plane, essentially a VR Stereogram viewer, which I need to update to take video as input. The second and third techniques are at this point less a technical than a conceptual challenge. The project will definitely include some interactive elements, which, along with it's immersive nature, is probably one of the defining elements of the medium VR.