VR puppetry

Puppetry is still a popular form of theatre that appeals to children. Bumba is a good example of this. We investigate if it is possible to do character animation in VR. What tools exist to animate characters in VR? And to what extent is VR already used in film and animation projects?

Virtual filmproduction

Director John Favreau experienced the shooting of The Lion King as a “multiplayer filmmaking game” in which director, screenwriter, D.O.P. and art director stand together on a virtual film set and shoot their film.

Afterwards, the film footage and virtual scenes are forwarded to the ‘classic’ VFX pipeline where the animations are finished and effects are added, with photorealistic images as the end result. This margin between what can be done in VR and what belongs in a traditional VFX pipeline is a crucial domain to explore during this research.

Animate characters in VR

It’s quite easy to get started with animation in VR. We already list a few programs.

Tvori

Tvori helps animators to tell a story in VR. After a few clear tutorials, you’ll be able to build a scene and move characters in. People in the industry testify that Tvori finally allows them to animate in 3D without the technical know-how normally required.

Tvori Trailer, 2019
Rainy Day, modeling + animation done in VR

Quill

With Quill you can animate and illustrate in VR. The latter option in particular distinguishes it from Tvori, which results in the “quillustrations” below:

OllieVR

Ollie VR offers similar features to Trovi, but it’s even simpler. Ideal for starters.

Different opinions

Since the advent of the above animation software, a new group of “virtual animators” has emerged who are very enthusiastic. But not everyone shares their enthusiasm. For example, some animators question the compatibility with existing desktop software, the degree of control and finesse, the risks for health and ergonomics, … As a result, many conclude that animation in VR is not a replacement for the existing workflow, but can be a strong tool to play with animation.

What’s your opinion? We would like to find out!

VR Puppetry ENG
Do you think you would use VR for puppetry & animation?
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