Virtual Reality is making in-roads into numerous facets of life. We’ve seen it in games, and now we are seeing it art, as former Disney animator Glen Keane shows off his craft in 3D.
We’ve seen a lot of press recently on the advancement of virtual reality into games, especially with people like industry luminaries such as John Carmack and Michael Abrash pushing all kinds of boundaries. But VR has all kinds of other applications that are being explored, including artists using it to step into their canvas.
Enter Glen Keane, a former Disney animator who created Ariel in The Little Mermaid, Beast in Beauty and the Beast, and other characters from Disney films. He created a short film called “Step into the Page” for the upcoming Future of Storytelling summit in New York next month. In the film, Keane talks about his work, his legendary father Bill Keane (who created the syndicated comic Family Circus) and finally his experiences with VR and what it has done for his craft.
“By putting tools in your hand that can create in virtual reality, I can put goggles on and I just step into the paper and now I’m drawing in it,” Keane said in the video, as we watch him use a HTC Vive VR headset and a Tilt Brush app to create 3D versions of Ariel and The Beast.
The video doesn’t offer any practical applications yet for 3D artistry such as this, but Keane thinks that this is just the beginning for storytelling and art as a form of expression. “When I draw in virtual reality I draw all the characters real life size,” he said. “That doorway to the imagination is open a little wider. The edges of the paper are no longer there. This is not a flat drawing. This is sculptural drawing.”
It is indeed fascinating to watch him create in a process he says felt “comfortable and strangely normal.”