You’re better at creating Virtual Reality content than you think—even if you’ve not yet tried it.

We spoke to three pros who know that the skills and tools you already possess as a CG and VFX artist give you a significant advantage when making the leap to creating content in virtual reality.

You cannot do it without visual effects.

“VR is visual effects. You cannot do it without visual effects. Even if it’s the simplest of stitching, it takes that visual effects eye to get that done. And when you’re shooting you should not be shooting without a visual effects supervisor or professional on set to help guide you as to how this is going to work. You have to have VFX as your partner in VR content creation. You just do.

There are new challenges, of course: ‘How do we organize this? How do we split this up? What is a shot and how do you approach that? Questions that we’ve answered forever now become a little different in VR…but we’re all learning.”

—Lauren Ellis, The Molecule LA

All of the traditional VFX rules still apply.

“Traditional VFX and CG artists definitely have a huge advantage if they want to get into VR. Our job is to take something that’s messed up, raw, and in its lump of clay form and shape it into a final piece. Going from spherical or lat/long space into a rectangular perspective space is really just one hop.

It’s been a cool transformation to see in our artists. So many of them were terrified at first of VR [but over time] they see it’s not all that different than traditional VFX, or traditional matte painting, for example. All of the traditional VFX rules still apply: 3d tracking is the same, roto is the same, editorial is mostly the same with just a few exceptions, so rather than inventing a whole new workflow, we’ve augmented the well-established workflow we already have.”

—Chris Healer, The Molecule NY

What we bring is the opportunity to expand the narrative.

“We’re storytellers, and we tend to think big. That’s what’s great about working in visual effects and working with software like Maya; it allows us to think outside the box and push the boundaries of storytelling. We don’t just take what we’ve got and transport it to VR; we ask if we can do something extra to take it further. What we bring is the opportunity to expand the narrative and tell stories in spaces that haven’t been told before… It’s a very exciting place to be right now.”

—Andy Rowan-Robinson, Creative Director and Head of CG, Framestore VR Studio


Thinking of creating your first VR experience – or already elbows deep and in need of some pointers? Check out the Journey to VR blog as Daryl Obert builds his own VR experience, and shares video tutorials, tips, and tricks along the way.

Find out what he’s got planned for a music-driven VR experience inside a reality capture environment.

For more insight, head on over to where we talk to some of the most talented artists and studios in the industry about creativity, innovation and overcoming challenges.

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