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Maze into Tranquility (EXP II: Virtual Reality)

Maze into Tranquility (EXP II: Virtual Reality)

EXP II - Holodeck - Multiuser VR Showroom. Through hands-on technical intensive sessions, we learned the basics of Blender and Unity in generating, integrating, and interacting with 3D object in a virtual world. The end result is to create a virtual reality experience/space of our own.

Class Exercises

  • Snowman
  • Euro palette
  • Photo cardboard display
  • Solids of revolution: vases
  • Curves and structures: screws

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Ideas for the Final Project

  1. The Maze
  2. Spring Summer Fashion Show
  3. Tranquility

Each idea holds a different genre to it with idea one being a combination of fiction and realism, idea two being realism, and idea three being imaginary. These ideas were developed based on what is realistic for me to achieve with the time constraint and my unfamiliarity with Blender and Unity. Additionally, I wanted to step away from the real world, of what is possible and what we're able to reach in creating something unrealistic, unusual, and imaginary by applying what I've learned in and outside of class.

Each idea also creates a different emotion and atmosphere. Idea (1) whimsical, imaginative, curiosity, (tall walls of maze) claustrophobia, disturbing, mind-bending, (2) organized and (3) dreamy, relaxing.

In the end, I decided to combine a maze with a safe, relaxing space. The intention was to evoke contrasting emotions in the viewer while providing a virtual experience that is interactive. Essentially, I wanted the viewer to begin their virtual experience feeling lost, uncomfortable and anxious as they search for a way out of the maze, which leads them to a door into a space that brings instant relief and calmness.

Just like life, we are constantly trying to keep up with the bustling routine, responsibilities, deadlines. We often feel lost, overwhelmed, drained. Consequently, our mind seeks for calmness, tranquility, a break and time away.

EXP2_VR_Ideas_Xi Pei Song.pdf PDF EXP2_VR_Ideas_Xi Pei Song.pdf

Process

With the help of tutorials in and outside of class, I began modeling all the objects to be placed in the relaxing space, the door, and the structure of the maze.

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After completing a draft with all the basic 3D objects, I explored different textures and materials that would make them look most realistic. I also began playing with settings for lighting and the environment. These were done on Blender. However, some materials and settings did not transfer into Unity, such as the skymap and rug, therefore I had to make some changes and redo the same settings from Blender on Unity. I also encountered an issue with the resolution of the pillows when I transferred my file from my macbook to the school's laptop.

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Rationale

To evoke a sense of discomfort:

  • Maze as a game: viewer has to find their way out; there is a level of uncertainty
  • Claustrophobic environment: making the walls of the maze three meter high, narrow, and relatively dark helps induce anxiety in the viewer

To evoke a sense of tranquility:

  • Color palette: soft, warm colors of the sunset, light blue of the ocean, light pink of the pillows, green wall, white concrete; combined with an overall pink tint to the scene
  • Setting of the day: at the end of the day, feeling of relief and relaxation as the viewer watches the sunset
  • Minimal furniture: decluttering, easy on the eyes, helps clear the mind
  • Adding pillows to set the mood: softness, comfort, home
  • Surrounded by water, soft movement of the waves

To create an interactive virtual experience:

  • A door with slight opening, just as the viewer would try to squeeze through
  • Actual chairs in place for the viewer to sit
  • Maze as the game
  • Stepping stones

Final Result - Maze into Tranquility

Below are snapshots from blender and unity

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maze final.jpgmaze final.jpg
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Below are snapshots from VR

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