VR killing film, Horned Helgas, and thumbtastic illustrations / by Andreas Kopriva

Good morning!

I've decided to revisit the blog which initially served to share some development updates for a game project that was being worked on some time ago. I'm hesitant to say that the project is dead, but it is currently hibernating, so I've opted to repurpose this little area for stuff that wouldn't fit into the article format prevalent elsewhere on this site.

Basically this will be a quasi-personal info dump of various ideas and things I stumble on an almost daily basis and decide are worth sharing. So let's get started:

Will VR Kill Film?

NoFilmSchool has an interesting article outlining the below embedded video the subject of which is VR film-making and how that could potentially affect the traditional film watching experience.

There are talks of how there is no established infrastructure or fixed monetization system at play when it comes to VR, or how, due to the current scarcity of content it can be a good 'breaking out' point for new creators etc. Personally I can say that, sure, those are all valid points, but simultaneously they are largely irrelevant as the conversation seems to revolve around the medium instead of actual content. 

The one benefit of a film is it's deliberate nature. You bear witness to a carefully (usually...) constructed narrative where you are shown exactly what the creator wanted you to see. It's directed, with the utmost purpose being that of the transmission of a communicated message. In VR you are given a degree of agency, which even though it has its benefits, such as the capacity of additional immersion, it's a more exploratory endeavor.

Much like a FPS shooter, where you can just stand in a corner and admire the modeling work for hours, or use a gravity gun to throw furniture around for hours, completely ignoring the narrative,  so in a VR film experience. By allowing freedom of perspective, a person can choose to completely ignore the narrative presented and stare at the floor for the entire duration of the film, taking diligent notes on the textural quality of each floor on a scene by scene basis and coming up with a glorious thesis on the story of the floors in the Harry Potter universe for example.

Though this is a magical thing in it's own right, it's not really the point of the particular bit of content. Unless it is - a free-form exploratory audio-visual experience where you can construct your own narrative based on your own interpretation of what is presented. Then again, you could infer your own perspective from a traditional movie experience as well so things are a tiny bit more confusing than initially suspected.

Anyway! VR appearsto be a heavily advertised inevitability, which I'm not particularly convinced by, primarily because I still think that the technology is not quite there yet, with reports about dizziness and discomfort remaining prevalent throughout this latest Oculus-driven iteration.

I do see a huge merit in VR when it comes to journalism for example, As illustrated in the TED talk below, there appears to be a different reaction from viewers once they engage in a VR based bit of news.

This ultimately may lead to an increase in empathy, say towards refugees, or the situation in war-stricken areas. One holds a very different opinion if one experiences, even in this manner, the particular events, compared to simply passively watching 2d representations.

I guess time will tell, but my overall perspective is that film will probably not die out, as ultimately it's an apples-to-oranges comparison. At least at this point.


Character Concept Work

In my effort to become better at drawing, or in general expressing myself utilizing the visual mediums, I've started methodically watching a series of tutorials online. I was a subscriber to Digital Tutors (now Pluralsight) for a few years and managed to complete something like 125 courses, effectively reaching a point of knowing how to work different software packages.

My main mistake during this time was primarily focusing on mastering the 'how' and not really paying much attention to the why - in other words the methodology of stimulating the creative side of things.  So a couple of years ago I decided to start looking at more creature/environment concept art creation lectures and courses which lead me to discover Uartsy, the latest didactic endeavor helmed by Ryan Kingslien who was one of the original members of the Pixologic team.

It is now a subscription service, which I believe is a fairly recent development, which means that I can finally afford to enroll and check some stuff out. I've opted to start off with Peter Konig's course, an effective masterclass in his workflow for creating original characters.

Peter Konigis a pretty awesome dude, despite his lack of teaching experience (something which he himself admits throughout the course). I haven't yet had the time to complete the course fully, but I'm at the detailing phase of the bust so I'm not too far off from finishing the first part.

Meet Helga.

Meet Helga.

The above is based on Konig's tutorial sketch, with some fairly large deviations because I felt like taking it in a slightly different direction. Nevertheless, I'll make a post once I finally find the time to finish it properly and hopefully I'll have a little storyline to flesh out the character a bit more.

The biggest thing which I've understood from revisiting character concept work is the workflow and general methodology displayed. It is crucially important to take things one step at a time, working on the silhouette, the large forms and then slowly, slowly, adding the detail work.

This is pretty difficult in something like Zbrush, primarily due to the intuitive interface and the high poly modeling capabilities, as one finds themselves far too keen to start the detail work. That can lead to problematic final sculpts, so patience is very important!

Either way, I'm having fun, and hope to find the time to finish this gal up in the next few days, before starting to work on some Cthonic sculpts. Nyarlathotep needs a physical form!


Illustrating inanity

A couple of weeks ago, and following one of our architectural studio crits, I felt motivated to express my 'teenage' angst against the horrible establishment (fuck the man and all that) and the unfairness of it all and oh my god. Except not really.

My crit went fine, and I'm, allegedly, an adult who must be dead inside at this point so I think I was just tired and bored and decided to try out some stuff in Mischief. Those simple illustrations became a bit more daily and a bit more elaborate over the next few days, where I started incorporating more 3d assets into them and some pretty terrible puns.

Here they are :

The 'fuck-it' series was a result of primarily being tired and/or grumpy so I was in a bit of a mood. The other three are just some random silliness which came to be through conversation. Except 'pastorised milk' - that's Frixos' fault.

That's pretty much it for this post. Like our page, site, disposition and show your support if you like what we're doing. see you soon!