It's amazing what you can do with a little bit of down time between projects. What began as a series of simple matte paintings quickly snow balled into a larger story and eventual VR experience. I illustrated and painted most of the matte paintings, while JP Rooney and myself worked simultaneously on story development and layouts. The very talented Harry Teitelman carried most of the cell animation, while just about everyone in the office touched some part of the 2D AE work.
The studio as a whole spearheaded by the Will's had been interested in exploring VR, so what started as a 2D project became our maiden voyage into the world of Virtual Reality. Tim Hayward our CG and on the fly Unreal lead did an amazing job taking our previously flat worlds and transforming them into 360degree experiences.
There's a fine balance between chaos and order when working in VR. The kid in me wants to run around and explore these lush worlds until I find its boundaries, its secrets... run 'till I find the edge of the world, or hit a wall. And then I'll try and break it or climb it or run around it. In VR storytelling I feel like we're still fairly restricted to current technological limitations and stuck having to debate to what extent we'll sacrifice design and art direction for user freedom. Finding the right balance of curating the users experience with granting them enough freedom to let their inner kid run around was maybe our greatest challenge. One that I am sure will become less of an issue as VR technology advances.
Role: Art Direction, Design, Animation
Studio: Gentleman Scholar