The Next Digital Creative Wave is Here
Oculus Creators Blog
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Posted by Oculus Medium Team
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April 15, 2019
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Medium + Quill at IAMAG

VR creation tools are the next digital wave for the professional art world and are gathering unprecedented momentum.

For years, IAMAG.CO has evolved as a premier international art magazine, celebrating artwork from all over the world on a daily basis. Their Master Classes conference, hosted in Paris, is an extension of their collection of online creative content, and has matured to a gathering of 500-600 students and influential professional artists from across the disciplines of animation, concepting, VFX / FX, and technical direction.

Master Class ‘19 speakers included industry heavy-hitters like Patrick O’Keefe (Art Director on Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse) and Jama Jurabev (Lead Creature Designer on Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom). Sponsors included Adobe, ILM Art Department, Framestore, Aaron Sims Creative, Foundry, Wacom and more. Even though the event isn’t explicitly VR-focused, virtual reality had a significant presence at IAMAG.CO this year and increased awareness of this technology among professionals.

Oculus Medium and Quill, Facebook’s first-party VR creation tools,had a major presence at the conference. Professionals and students alike, many of whom have never tried VR before, were able to experiment with the tools, witnessing the intuitive nature of VR in person. Through talks and workshops, they also had the opportunity to learn how these tools could be applied to their everyday workflow.

Quill: VR Illustration and Animation Tool

To demonstrate the everyday workflow, Quill manned a large booth giving continuous in-person demos of their creator ecosystem. Unique to this IAMAG event, event attendees had the opportunity to dive into the VR screening of “Beyond the Fence,” a beautiful story painted and animated in Quill by famed Art Director and Illustrator Goro Fujita!

Beyond the Fence 2D

An all-in-one tool, Quill is a powerful tool for artists. Rather than having to lean on multiple creative suites, an artist can paint, animate, and publish directly from VR. For the professional artist, Quill’s creative, accessible and intuitive input ecosystem is being utilized for VR native narrative content but also for previz work, including storyboarding, concept art, and set design.

“For me VR is the most insane thing that has ever happened to the digital world!” - SPARTH

On the Master Class stage, Goro explained how Quill can empower creators organically, as it removes the technical layers of animation and allows artists to be within their project.

Oculus Medium: VR 3D Modeling Tool

Oculus Medium hosted 3x3-hour VR Sculpting Workshops focused on Concept Art in partnership with Wacom. These workshops are an evolution of the VR Sculpting Workshops, teaching not only the Medium software, but also demonstrating how Medium can be implemented into the 2D concept pipeline. Two prominent Concept Artists in the industry taught these workshops:

  • Finnian MacManus (Concept Designer, past projects include Jungle Cruise, Avatar Sequels, Lion King, Rogue One, God of War) taught Environment Design and Architecture
  • Marc Simonetti (Illustrator and Concept Artist, past projects include Valerian, well known fantasy and SciFi novels) taught Building a Full Fantasy Scene

Most students were new to VR, but were able to quickly get comfortable with the Oculus Rift and experiment with Medium. In less than 3 hours, they all built a 3D environment in VR! Wacom provided Cintiq Pro's at every workstation so students had the opportunity to take their Medium sculpt into Photoshop for a paintover.

“I was able to show the full production process from start to finish.” - Finnian MacManus

Artists use a multitude of tools in their professional concept art workflows. The Medium workshops demonstrate and manifest how VR can be a major, transformative enhancement to their creative process.

The next wave of creation tools are here. As the digital art tool space constantly evolves, we witness movement towards more efficient workflows. VR creation tools, like Quill and Medium, encourage faster iteration and, ultimately, better final designs for storytelling.