This tool shows the future of VR sculpting and 3-D printing for artists.
Standing on a small stage at Comic-Con International, Bernard Chang is dancing his hands in the air, sculpting a figure of Batman and the iconic superhero’s cowl. The Batman Beyond artist is standing in front of a crowd gathered at the DC Comic booth as he adds some paint splashes and spins the sculpture around with his hands, checking his handiwork.
The thing is that Chang isn’t using clay or any other type of physical medium for that matter — he’s in virtual reality.
Chang is rocking a Rift headset and upcoming Touch hand-controllers to create with Oculus’ sculpture tool — Medium. The comic artist is creating his sculpture entirely in a virtual 3D space, using the tool that embraces hand presence for an incredibly tactile, immersive VR sculpting experience.
Oculus Medium lets you sculpt, model, smooth, paint and create works of art in a VR environment. Our minds were blown the first time we tried it. And at Comic-Con, Oculus put the tool in the hands of DC comic artists to showcase their virtual sculpting process in front of thousands of fans.
Five talented artists from DC took the stage at different time slots during the convention and live-sculpted Medium art work. In addition to the live-sculpting on stage, the artists also created an exclusive DC figure in advance that Oculus 3D printed and hand-painted. The one-of-a-kind collectibles were given to lucky fans in the audience.
Speaking with Medium’s project director Brian Sharp, the five artists were fortunate enough to practice with the tool in advance at the DC office. Even though the artists spent hours practicing, the tool is actually very intuitive, where almost anyone can pick up the simple sculpting VR mechanics in under an hour.
This latest Medium demo with artists at Comic-Con is one of the first times that Oculus has publicly shown off live performances with the VR sculpting tool outside of industry events, where the public could tune in via a livestream. Oculus has also been 3D printing Medium artwork in the past internally, but this is the first time we have seen them display it publicly and we can only hope for more partnerships and artist collaborations to continue going forward.
For the most part, Oculus Touch controllers and Medium have been reserved to Oculus employees, but that hasn’t stopped the slew of amazing art work being shared by creators like Goro Fujita and many others, giving us a sample of what we can expect when tools like Medium get into the hands of creatives.
Created with Medium by Goro Fujita Art Director at Oculus Story Studio (2 left), Giovanni Nakpil, Character Artist at Oculus (top middle), Razmig Mavlian, Concept Artist at Oculus (bottom middle), Chris Emond, 3D Artist at Oculus (right)
We’ve seen what’s possible when you put tools like Tilt Brush in the hands of creators, having showcased a few during our first VRScout Art Show at Vice. With live painting on stage, the event helped shine a light on how VR can not only change the way we make art but also make creating in VR a social experience — with the entire process on display as a kind of performance art piece.
If you see any other artists doing amazing work in Medium, make sure you send them our way!