Group Collaboration Project including:
MA Virtual Reality, MA Visual Effects & BA Sound Design
We came back after Christmas break with something that was very exciting awaiting us. The collaboration project was one that I was especially excited before since we would be working with other Master’s courses. I was excited to work on a team with creatives with various specialties.
Meet up day
I met lots of students in MA games design, MA VFX, and MA animation. One of the last people that I talked to was Brad and we bonded over VR and creating a genuine travel experience. He was from Canada and had a cool vibe; we also bonded over music. He had a peer named Louis and he joined our group. We all got coffee and talked about making a mind bending experience with kaleidoscopes, VFX, and lots of particle systems.
Our tutor suggested we join groups with Rita since they had a similar focus and wanted to do an escapism/meditation experience. I spoke to Rita’s colleagues during our meet up mixer and I thought they were interesting and could be potentially valuable group members. I was intrigued and completely supportive of joining forces to create a bigger group.
The expanded group benefited us in multiple ways such as creating more scenes, art, motion capture, animations, and VFX. Together we used the strengths of two MA VR Students and 4 MA VFX Students. While trying to discover our group and project name, I did some math… Virtual Reality x Visual Effects = Virtual effects… Later the name was changed to Virtual Affects as we pursued an experience that would AFFECT the user’s mood in some way.
Our project is focused on improving mental health and with each scene we “affect” people’s moods in a different way. I decided that it would be fun use a play on words to publish our group name.
This was the weekly to-do list that I made. Everyone filled out their parts and then we changed the words to red when they were completed.
I used Miro to plan out all of the activities and objectives in a weekly timeline. I also assigned everyone on the team goals and organized them in the timeline. We split up the work based on scenes: I took Winter Wonderland, Brad and Louis (MA VFX students) took our trippy and energetic scene, Rita designed the main menu, and Atia and Carlotta (MA VFX students) took our calming Zen garden scene.
I was happy to take Winter Wonderland because we decided that this scene would be the most interactive and playful. I was excited to design a character and come up with exercises that I would later program throughout my story. I started right away on my vision of this. Here is the list of objectives I wanted to achieve.
I had learned from my mistakes last term that planning everything out in the beginning is a great way to stay on track and work towards goals. I also realized that even though this was my plan, It changed many of times along the way, and that is okay! My ideas were improving after every test and conversation I had with this project.
We started mind-mapping concepts for our project, this helped us establish the overall aesthetic and theme we wanted to create. Using inspirational and conceptual images on our mood board, we are creating a fully immersive VR environment, using surreal and imaginative elements to create a sense of escapism for the user. We aim for the experience to be mindful, relaxing, and a sense of relief for the user specifically designed for those with mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. Our experience has three different scenes involving three portals that will take you to different environments. We want each environment to leave the user feeling either BLISSFUL, OUT OF THE WORLD, or CALM. The choice of the environment the user selects will depend on how they’re feeling at that moment. We have a Winter Wonderland scene which is playful, A TrippyScope scene that will leave the user feeling energized, and finally a Zen therapy scene that will leave the user feeling calm.