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Featuring Huseyin Baran, Jeremy Lightcap, and Kirk Van Wormer

Welcome to the latest installment of Quill Corner, the series where we celebrate the animated moments and stories coming out of the Quill community. Week over week, artists, creators, and dreamers pick up their virtual paint brushes to conjure immersive worlds and stories. Today, we'd like to invite you back into VR to see what's new.

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This time, we’re kicking things up a notch with a handful of spooky shorts just in time for Halloween.

Quill is a VR animation and illustration tool for creatives of all skill levels. Over the past few years, artists have come together to celebrate everything from national holidays to pop art through immersive animations made entirely in Quill. Each month, we’ll scour the Quill community for submissions and select three pieces to showcase in a future installment in the series. For consideration, simply upload your creation to the Oculus Media Studio. Quill aficionados may already know about the Quill Weekly Challenge, but if you don’t, head over to Quill’s official Facebook page for animation ideas and artistic inspiration. To view animations in VR, jump into Oculus TV on Oculus Quest, or Quill Theater on the Rift Platform. 

In our last installment, we presented a lineup of relaxing animations to help you find some digital zen. This time, we’re kicking things up a notch with a handful of spooky shorts just in time for Halloween.

Road Trip by Huseyin Baran

Grab your headset and watch this animation in VR

"I spent most of my free time reading and looking at the mystical worlds in those bookshelves. I feel traces of these stories in the designs I create using Quill."

The Scene: “My father likes comic books, so when I was a kid, our home library had a section of comics and storybooks. I spent most of my free time reading and looking at the mystical worlds in those bookshelves. I feel traces of these stories in the designs I create using Quill. While creating my sketches, I go back to those times and get inspired by the characters and places. Road Trip is one of those sketches.”

"I feel traces of these stories in the designs I create using Quill." Huseyin Baran

The Experience: “Grotesque theater, cinema, and art have always attracted my attention. For this reason, my work includes situations that are strange, striking, exaggerated, and surprising, just like in Grotesque Art. Road Trip is an experience where these elements come together; these elements make it unique.” 

The Tip: “Virtual Reality and immersive design software are quite new compared to what’s available on desktop. The depth and perception afforded by VR turns the act of designing into a completely different experience. I recommend that new Quill artists experience and research immersive design as much as possible. This way, they can bring their perspective into VR worlds through Quill and other digital tools.”

"The old car is modeled in Quill using the blueprint technique. I use this technique mostly in desktop 3D design software when modeling cars, but it's also very effective using Quill's interface."
"I create scenes with dark atmosphere and sound in harmony, and then drop in characters."
"Quill's wireframe feature provides a more comfortable workflow for designers during the detailing, shaping, and coloring stages of design."
"Quill is a great digital tool to create characters and environments, and turn your imagination into visual concept stories."
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Haunted House by Jeremy Lightcap

Grab your headset and watch this animation in VR

"This piece is unique because it is like being transported directly into one of my illustrations."

The Scene: “This scene is based on an old illustration of mine, and I wanted to see whether I could capture the mysterious mood and spooky storybook-style in VR. Quill’s tools allowed me to take it even further and give it a life of its own. Overall it was a great learning experience!”

I’m still in awe at the ability to walk around inside of my paintings. Jeremy Lightcap

The Experience: “This piece is unique because it is like being transported directly into one of my illustrations. I think I logged the same number of hours on the original 2D painting as I did on the Quill animation. It’s crazy to me what can be accomplished so quickly in VR. I’m still in awe at the ability to walk around inside of my paintings.” 

The Tip: Consistency is key! Once I started doing 30-minute Quill sketches each day, the quality of my work and speed improved drastically. Oh, and watch other Quill artists on YouTube! There are many neat tricks and tutorials out there that you’d likely never figure out on your own.

"This is the original painting from a few years ago that served as the inspiration for this animation. It started out as a sketch to focus on soft edges, which is something I’d still like to get better at in Quill."
"This is the only shader setup needed to get the ‘Quill’ look after exporting the Alembic file to Blender."
"I like to export the Quill files into Blender to play around with textures and lighting. Adjusting the depth of field camera settings in Blender really makes 2D renderings of the scene feel more alive and miniature."
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Zombie Boys Mystery by Kirk Van Wormer

Grab your headset and watch this animation in VR

"No amount of clues will help our boys get out of this pickle. Ride the firefly or visit the owl for a look around; just remember to be careful."

The Scene: “I wanted people to really feel the tension of this moment in time, and experience it the same way as the Zombie Boys do. As a storyteller I wanted the participant to not just look at a piece of art, but get involved with the experience, from the creepy laughter and forest sounds grabbing your attention from left and right to the little mysteries at play here (all part of a larger narrative).”

I love the idea of sharing an immersive experience inside a story's pivotal moments. Kirk Van Wormer

The Experience: “I came to Quill as a way to explore Visual Development and Storytelling from an Animation-Production perspective. The more I got into it the more I realized it could be a really fun ride too! You can see the world through the boys eyes, or from the creepy girls perspective, or just ride the firefly and check out the world. I love the idea of sharing an immersive experience inside a pivotal moment in the story.” 

The Tip: “I learn so much every time I open my Oculus headset. This was my first immersive piece. Advice: Plan ahead but always go big, then condense down. Online tips on reusing strokes, condensing layers, using spawns and keyframes for animation are invaluable. Watch everyone’s tutorials. Use reference for color and light. Be ok with tossing out and redoing your work. It will make your art and vision cleaner and better.

Zombie Boys Mystery© is based on a cartoon property near and dear to my heart. I started with a storyboarded scene from a script that I wanted to explore in visual development, then expanded on the moment to really embrace it in a virtual environment. I couldn’t convey the world any better than this.
"The key to making this an immersive experience was letting the trees and brush (very simple and geometrically light shapes) blend into the 2D background, fooling the eye on how big the forest is. That, and using audio placed all around the set to build out the space and add to the creep factor. Sound design is so important in conveying your vision."
"For my pose and lighting, I started with a reference image. It really helped me keep focus."
"Close-ups of fun details I added. Unless you have my computer, you may never see everything; the firefly light up creepy Francine as she laughs (that scary little girl - or any of her friends) or the owl, or seeing the code in the handheld device, or just checking out the boys creepy, dehydrated (and nervous) eye sockets."
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If you’d like to see additional artwork from Quill’s ever-growing community of illustrators and animators, be sure to check Oculus TV often for new material. And if you’d like to get creative in VR yourself, give Quill a try today on the Rift Platform.

Stay tuned for a new installment of Quill Corner next month!

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