Evelyn Eastmond, M Eifler
Oct 2016 – Ongoing
Virtual Art Studio explores the idea of working within and visiting art studios in virtual settings. Currently, art studio experiences are confined to the physical locations where they are located, and this limits their potential audience to people who can physically visit them. We’d like to explore how VR can break down those barriers to include people from other locations that are far from the original. Our explorations involve everything from recreating studios in VR, to scanning artworks and bringing them into the virtual studios, to using social VR platforms to engage in the art studios with other people, and finally testing the possibility of creative collaborations within the studios, at a distance.
The original proposal for this project can be viewed here:
Below are some screenshots of early tests.
We use various photogrammetry apps available for smartphones (e.g.: 123DCatch, Scann3D) to scan our sculptures in three dimensions, and then we simplify them (for easier uploading) with apps like MayaLT and MeshLab. We also create some artworks directly in 3D modelling programs such as 123DSculpt and have played with VR sculpting apps such as SculptrVR, Oculus Medium and Microsoft HoloStudio.
Recreating Art Studios
In AltspaceVR, we discovered a art-gallery-making app called CultVR, created by kai, which lets you upload images and 3D models on a standard 2D browser, through their standard website. Once you go into AltspaceVR, you can visit the CultVR app which lets you load your images and models into your virtual space, which you can also invite friends to. CultVR provides an easy way for us to bring in our various artworks and visit them together to see if we can recreate the experience of a studio visit.
In Anyland, we have experimented with a more open-ended virtual space that we have treated as a persistent art studio. So far, we have created one room that we periodically visit, either together or separately, to create objects and riff off each other’s creations. This persistent, virtual space serves as a kind of collaborative art studio where we can let our ideas combine in open-ended ways.
Testing Creative Collaborations
We have begun to test viewing and moving our scanned objects around in shared, virtual art studios. For AltspaceVR, we’ve written a preliminary app that loads a scanned, real world sculpture and lets the visitors in the space push the object around. This is the beginning of a test of recreating the feeling of visiting a virtual art studio, while also adding the ability to interact with the objects using natural hand gestures that are synchronized for all the users in the space.
Collaborative sculptures we have created in SculpTogether.
Using Networked A-Frame, we have begun building an art studio on the web, to invite others into our studio practice from a distance. In this networked art studio, various users can enter, see work together, and chat and discuss what they are seeing, for remote, shared artistic appreciation.