Today, the term VR is quite common, more and more hardware marker (often smartphone maker) are creating VR headset that use hardware of the smartphone to create the experience of virtual reality with the help of the headset. But VR (Virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) is quite different. In simply term VR is constructed completely by computer, all elements/visuals are made with computer and have no physical objects, but it can be a representation of the real world object, on the other hand, AR is usually referring to visual where SOME elements are created by computer but physical world imaging is still presented alongside with created graphic.
While VR and AR is still new but a lot people believe it’s the new interface to interact and experience art, this transition will be very close to how photography to film and film to interactive arts such as games. As technology evolve, we involve more of our senses when interacting with virtual objects, back in the age of photography, the only way to experience photo is by “seeing” it, then come the film where we can hear and view a film, this also introduce the 4th dimension; time. VR/AR have already completely breakthrough the barrier of the 3rd dimension; to be able to view scene in 360 in real 3D and I believe VR/AR will be a gateway to involve more senses to experience. With future VR/AR it’s possible to involve other senses such as taste, smells, feel and even other senses such as temperature direction etc.…
VR got popular from oculus rift, it’s not the first VR headset but it’s what make the technology famous. Oculus rift is made for games, and one of the first game that support oculus rift is Eve: Valkyrie. Eve is online game setting in space, at that time, it was ground breaking, where one can rotate their head, and the image in the game will display on the headset accordingly based on the position and rotation of your head, it was first of its kind where one can “actually” fighting in space with a spaceship.
Jumping to present, recently, Pokémon GO; a short lived AR game hit the smartphone market which was very popular for a while purely based on the fact that AR game is a new genre of game. Player can walk around the physical world and their GPS location will be send to server to give player real time interaction between the game world and real world, pokemon GO also have AR feature when capturing Pokémon which was very basic and buggy. Regardless it’s the start of AR game.
Moving away from games into world of art, artist is also experiencing the new technology and interface to create art. Nature abstraction is an installation artwork by Matteo Zamagni who used combination of fractal algorithm and virtual reality to bring audience to a virtual world.
Nature Abstraction is an immersive sensory experience that explores the arcane forms of fractals, mathematical visual representation of natural and biological forms.
The project gives an insight of their aspects through virtual reality, where they appear as three planets: Birth, Communion and Aether; Each accompained with scores designed to facilitate meditative state and relaxation;
The fractals have also been processed through Google’s Deepdream, transforming the fractal landscapes into morphing psychedelic patterns that our eye will recognize as
very familiar shapes although the way the images are created only aims to create a variety of random patterns on the canvas.
The audience is guided to explore these planets and dive into their vast complexities as well as observing the contrast between the entirely digital created world inside the VR against the fully analogue created film projected onto the faces of the cube which have been filmed in real life, recreating using analogue visual effects and various chemical elements. (Matteo Zamagni, 2015)
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EVE: Valkyrie (2015) EVE: Valkyrie VR Gameplay trailer Pre-Alpha – Fanfest 2015. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZ4gpjwJa08 (Accessed: 25 October 2016).
2016 (1997) EVE: Valkyrie – welcome to the next life. Available at: https://www.evevalkyrie.com/ (Accessed: 25 October 2016).
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Reporter, V. (2015) Nature abstraction – Psychedelic VR experience by Matteo Zamagni using Google Deepdream | virtual reality & augmented reality trend news & reviews. Available at: https://virtualrealityreporter.com/nature-abstraction-psychedelic-vr-experience-by-matteo-zamagni-using-google-deepdream/ (Accessed: 25 October 2016).
Matteo Zamagni (2016) Nature abstraction – video interview. Available at: https://vimeo.com/139787169 (Accessed: 25 October 2016).