First off, if your opinion of VR is based on trying the cell phone and cardboard visor, forget about it. Go try the newest high-end platforms like the Oculus Rift. it’s like the difference between listening to Adele on your cell phone’s speaker vs. being at an actual concert. Obviously you pay the price too.
Although games are the current bread and butter of VR, I like the idea of creating other types of content for it. Generally creating and programing for VR is a pretty technical and invoved process. But a few days ago I had the opportunity to give Quill, a new virtual reality tool a test spin. Quill is currently in beta – it’s a VR illustration tool built for artists to draw in virtual 3D space. You wear the Oculus headset and paint on an infinitely scalable canvas - with a color pallette and “brushes”. Quill is designed to use the Oculus Touch controllers typically used in gaming applications. In this “world” you can move about and draw all around you.
Using the controllers was tricky at first. Like any creative tool, it would take some time to develop the skills to use the application effectively.
Quill is being developed by Story Studio a really cool division of Oculus that develops content focused on the storytelling potential of this new platform. (think Pixar taken to VR). Oculus Story Studio’s technical founder Maxwell Planck explains Quill could assist with a variety of creative applications including storyboarding or prototyping for VR production. “Coming from computer animation at Pixar, we’d use a lot of illustrations to inform what we’d eventually build in 3D, but there were as a lot lost in translation.” He hints that in addition to illustration, Oculus is trying to figure out the best way to handle cinematography and edit production for VR.
It looks like they will be offering Quill, free as part of the Oculus standard package. Smart, because as people develop creative experiences for this “hardwear”, the more it becomes compelling for mainstream – not just gamers.