Virtual reality (VR) has opened up a world of possibilities for businesses to tell stories, delight customers, or market brands in exciting ways. In recent years, VR has grown in popularity, particularly in the world of video games and the advent of a metaverse, two areas where animators may thrive and make use of cutting-edge animation technology.
A virtual environment cannot be created without animated people, animals, or other species. So, let’s explore the various types of VR animation and its use cases to benefit brands. Let’s start!
What Is VR Animation?
Virtual reality animation (VR animation) is designed to be viewed and experienced in a virtual environment. It involves creating 3D digital environments, characters, and objects designed to interact with the user in a virtual space, allowing them to immerse themselves in a fully-realized and interactive world.
VR animation often involves using specialized software and hardware, such as VR headsets, to create an immersive experience that mimics real-life situations or events. Animation is often interactive, allowing users to interact with the virtual environment and objects within it naturally and intuitively.
Virtual reality animation is used in various applications, including video games, education, training simulations, and virtual tours of real-world locations. It has the potential to alter how we experience entertainment and education, providing a level of immersion and interactivity that was previously impossible.
Types of VR Animations You Must Know About
VR animations come in various forms nowadays, and 3D animation studios are incorporating them into their workflows. How, then, can you produce virtual reality content and animate it? Let’s discuss the VR animation types in further detail so that you may use each strategy in your practice.
CGI Virtual Reality Animation
Technically, any of these animation techniques might be referred to as “CGI” because all virtual reality animation is computer-generated. This type of animation involves creating 3D digital environments, characters, and objects using specialized software and rendering them in real time to create a seamless virtual experience.
Besides, since creating a computer-generated experience for potential customers can be expensive and time-consuming, it’s crucial to do it for things that “normal” VR can’t portray. Making an interactive 3D world is perfectly appropriate, for instance, when you need to explain the science behind some cutting-edge nanotechnology.
Stylized Virtual Reality Animation
Stylized VR animation has numerous applications, and it is especially effective if you want to promote your brand in a way that is engaging and aimed at a particular audience. If you want to captivate and enchant people and make them think about your message, one approach to do it is to make your stylized virtual reality animations look as distinctive as possible.
For example, this style of virtual reality animation is used by artist Carlos Felipe León to produce interactive virtual reality paintings. Dear Angelica, an animated virtual reality experience, is another example of stylized VR animation.
Motion Capture Animation
Motion capture animation, shortened as mocap, is one of the most expensive techniques used in filmmaking and animation to capture the movements of actors and translate them into digital characters. It involves placing sensors or markers on an actor’s body, which are then tracked by cameras or sensors to record their movements in three-dimensional space.
This data is then used to create a digital model of the actor, which can be animated and manipulated to create realistic movements and actions. This technology is often used in creating animated characters in movies, video games, and other forms of media, as it allows for more natural and fluid movements compared to traditional keyframe animation.
Immersive Virtual Reality Animation
Immersive virtual reality animation refers to a type of animation designed to create a fully immersive and interactive experience for the user through the use of virtual reality technology. In this approach, animators may use software like Quill 2.0 to produce character movements directly inside a virtual environment.
This technique allows animators to be more creative by visualizing how a character may act and interact with objects or other characters in the same server or the metaverse.
Mixing Virtual Reality Animation with Live Action
This is arguably the most basic and valuable application of VR animation. Combining virtual reality animation and live-action images may be the ideal option if your animations rely significantly on realistic, live-action visuals rather than animated and cartoony characters and places.
It allows you to guide the audience’s attention to specific items while maintaining a cohesive narrative inside an otherwise open and interactive environment. For example, even capturing your public speech using a 360-degree camera and layering some animated cues in post-production can result in a compelling piece of on-brand material.
The Use Cases of Virtual Reality Animation
The use cases of VR animation are vast, from gaming to apps, videos, cartoons, and much more. Besides, depending on the budget and needs, animators can use any of the VR animation techniques mentioned above.
Let’s explore a few of the use cases below.
Animation in VR Videos
Animation is a crucial component in VR videos, movies, advertisements, and other video streaming businesses. Animated 360 VR movies are becoming increasingly popular as headsets supporting virtual reality technology appear in the market. They enable viewers to have a more immersive experience, feeling as if they are present in the scene and participating in the experience.
Animation in VR Games
Animated VR games are also quite popular in today’s world. Despite many animation trends, motion capture and computer-generated imagery (CGI) are the most extensively utilized approaches for animating characters in digital worlds.
Before moving on to the animation pipeline, 3D artists design a mesh, shape it, change its topology, unwrap it, texture the character, rig, and skin, and only then animate everything. Animators use tools such as Blender or Autodesk Maya to create poses and keyframes that allow the 3D model to move like a natural person.
Animation in VR Apps
Animators use a variety of professional technologies to animate digital landscapes while creating VR apps, much as they do when animating objects and characters in VR game production. Whatever tool you choose – Facebook’s Quill, Google’s Tilt Brush, Gravity Sketch, Blender, Unity, Unreal Engine, and so on – be mindful of its limits.
Depending on your chosen approach, you’ll need field experts, resources, and a budget to create stunning animations.
How Is Virtual Reality Changing Animation?
Virtual reality is transforming the field of animation in numerous ways. One of the most significant ways VR changes animation is by allowing for a highly immersive experience that transports the viewer into a fully-realized digital world. This level of immersion is achieved through specialized VR hardware and software that enable the viewer to interact with the animated world in real-time. It has led to the development of new VR animation techniques that take benefit of VR’s spatial and interactive capabilities to create a more realistic and appealing experience for the viewer.
All in all, VR is transforming animation by providing new tools and techniques for creating immersive and interactive experiences that go beyond traditional 2D or 3D animation. As VR technology continues to grow and become more available, we can expect to see even more groundbreaking animations that push the boundaries of what is possible.
Kickstart Your VR Animation with Anideos!
As you develop your next VR project, use the knowledge from this article to do true magic inside and outside virtual settings. Besides, if you’re searching for a reliable partner, Anideos can be your one-stop solution. Our animation studio can produce high-quality VR content using high-end tools and technologies that your customers will love!
Last Updated on May 30, 2023 by Adam