10 tips to get started in Quill for VR artists

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When we came to make our caller VR animated short Namoo, which we telephone a communicative poem brought to life, Oculus Quill was nan evident prime to execute nan painterly look we wanted. Quill is simply a VR coating and animation package created by Smoothstep, which enables you to make creation successful a virtual space, successful 360 degrees. It’s rather astonishing and not excessively challenging to prime up and statesman having nosy with.

Imagine not being constricted to coating connected a 2D aboveground specified arsenic connected a drawing tablet, but successful 3D and each astir you, and past taking your creations successful your manus and moving them done abstraction to animate them. This is what Quill offers, and while we’ve utilized it to create our movie, it tin beryllium utilized for each sorts of VR art and animation projects.

In nan pursuing 10 tips I’ll locomotion you done immoderate cardinal capabilities of Quill and nan things to support successful mind erstwhile creating a VR movie for illustration Namoo. We’ll look astatine sketching successful a 3D space, utilizing nan package to storyboard, animating frame-by-frame… each sorts of tips and techniques to get you started.

01. Start sketching successful Quill

Sketches created successful Quill

(Image: © Dan Franke)

To make an thought of a segment successful VR, you tin either create a line-drawing to propose environments and characteristic poses, aliases artifact retired shapes pinch a grey container set, utilizing primitive shapes and wide brushstrokes. Keep it loose and create variations of ideas you like. 

Drawing sets successful a virtual abstraction enables you to freely move done your scenes to effort retired different camera angles and characteristic staging. This workflow is akin to blocking a segment successful a 3D program.

02. Get Storyboarding

Quill tutorial

(Image: © Dan Franke)

Rather than editing a 2D animatic first earlier creating a 3D pre-viz, successful Quill you tin harvester some processes into 1 measurement by coating and editing storyboards straight successful 3D. 

For nan first segment of Namoo we created a unsmooth 3D exemplary of nan toddler adjacent to nan character and past puppeteered nan babe done nan scene. To do this you alteration Transform Mode connected nan furniture and nan Record option, and past simply drawback and move nan furniture done space.

03. Design a 180 grade space

Quill tutorial

(Image: © Dan Franke )

Viewers often watch VR while seated, which makes it uncomfortable to move around. I usually creation nan abstraction for 180 degrees, truthful nan spectator has to only move 90 degrees to either side. 

In Namoo nan character serves arsenic nan main focal constituent and stays successful nan centre of nan creation pinch nan segment designed astir it. We made judge to person focal points that guideline nan viewer’s oculus done nan segment and to not adhd distracting specifications adjacent nan 180 grade statement aliases down nan viewer.

04. Create spawn areas

Quill tutorial

(Image: © Dan Franke)

A Spawn Area successful Quill controls nan position of nan spectator successful nan scene. By clicking nan Spawn Area furniture you tin move betwixt Eye level aliases Floor level. Namoo uses an Eye level-based Spawn Area to make judge each spectator experiences nan movie from nan aforesaid perspective, nary matter their height. When animating a Spawn Area utilizing Transform Keys, make judge nan activity is slow and dependable to debar making nan spectator consciousness nauseous.

05. Use PNG images

Quill tutorial

(Image: © Dan Franke )

Quill only offers a constricted group of brushes based connected primitive shapes, making it tricky to adhd elaborate textures to your painting. It tin sometimes beryllium adjuvant to import a level .PNG image layer. 

When importing an image you tin besides prime nan 3D equirectangular option. This stretches nan image on a sphere, creating a cleanable skybox! Using images alternatively than brushwood changeable meshes reduces your polycount, but beryllium observant to support nan image solution debased (around 2k) to not usage up excessively overmuch abstraction successful your Quill file.

06. Animate framework by framework

Quill tutorial

(Image: © Dan Franke)

The Frame by Frame animation process successful Quill combines nan haptic emotion of handmade stop-motion pinch nan advantages of 2D animation, specified arsenic adding inbetweens aliases smear frames. 

To animate framework by frame, you prime nan mesh, move and style it, past copy nan full mesh to nan adjacent framework and repetition nan process. Every framework adds to nan wide mesh information and costs record space, but nan animation is overmuch much versatile and tin easy beryllium squashed and stretched pinch nan powerful Grab Tool.

07. Watch your polycount

Quill tutorial

(Image: © Dan Franke)

Quill experiences person to beryllium watchable connected nan Oculus Quest, an untethered mobile VR headset. Therefore you person to travel definite rules for optimal performance. The full movie has to beryllium beneath 1.5Gb and tin ne'er person either 1.2 cardinal polygons aliases 65 drawcalls (layers) visible astatine nan aforesaid time. 

The Performance paper highlights areas that request to beryllium optimised, which tin beryllium done by reducing polycount pinch nan Optimise Brush aliases merging layers to trim drawcalls. Be observant to ne'er merge a fixed furniture pinch an animated one!

08. Transform keys

Quill tutorial

(Image: © Dan Franke )

Transform Key animation is akin to 3D animation pinch interpolation betwixt keyframes. Transform Keys tin only beryllium applied to a full layer, truthful to animate a characteristic you person to create a “rig” by separating assemblage parts into layers and past grouping them successful nan correct order. 

Only storing toggle shape information makes your record overmuch lighter, but it generates much drawcalls. For Namoo we preferred to animate characters pinch much elastic frame-by-frame animation and utilized Transform Keys chiefly for elemental objects.

09. Use Amnibrush to use effects easily

Quill tutorial

(Image: © Dan Franke)

The Animbrush is simply a genuinely magical instrumentality that enables you to animate effects simply by moving your manus done space. To usage it, create a caller layer, adhd a fewer quiet frames, group nan furniture to Loop, deed Play connected nan timeline and commencement painting. 

The activity and velocity of your brushstroke are recorded, creating an animated changeable successful existent time. You tin power nan magnitude of nan brushstroke by moving nan animated brushwood long slider successful nan Tool options. In Namoo we utilized Animbrush to create rain, upwind and snow. Rain, wind, snowfall and different effects successful Namoo were each done pinch this nosy tool.

10. Edit successful VR

Quill tutorial

(Image: © Quill tutorial)

To edit successful Quill, group your scenes into Sequence Layers and trim them by utilizing In and Out timeline keyframes. Cuts successful VR tin beryllium jarring and disorienting. To forestall that, make judge to guideline nan viewer’s oculus to a definite area successful nan segment and past spot nan constituent of liking successful nan adjacent changeable successful nan aforesaid spot. 

For a fewer cuts successful Namoo we chose to swipe an object, for illustration a cloud, successful beforehand of nan spectator to wholly hide a cut. This creates a soft modulation into nan adjacent segment and is particularly useful erstwhile cutting betwixt moving shots. 

This article primitively appeared successful ImagineFX. Subscribe to nan mag at Magazines Direct.

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