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 its 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 which also takes video as input, and is now updated to include transparency. 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.

Basement Shoot

Stereosopic Stop Motion Test Setup,
using a rig borrowed from Prof. Cox.