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Artistic Representation of Virtual Reality: Basic Cognitive and Creative Tools - Dr Ding Ru


Throughout the history of human culture, the development of art and science and technology has always been closely linked. They are intertwined and inseparable, jointly promoting the development of human society and making people's life better. The integration of art and technology is the most significant feature of virtual reality. With the development and popularization of virtual reality technology, the artistic charm contained in virtual reality is also constantly inspiring people's rich imagination thinking and enthusiasm for creation.

A good virtual reality content or a virtual reality system not only needs strong technical support, but also needs to be able to give users artistic shock and impact in terms of vision and other senses. Compared with traditional art, virtual reality is not controlled by time and place. It breaks the limitation of three-dimensional space and time, turns static art into a dynamic art creation process that observers can explore, and creates a virtual world that users can interact with and immerse themselves in, bringing all kinds of new experiences to users. At the same time, virtual reality itself has become a new art platform, not only its unique art form and expression language is increasingly mature, but also promotes the interaction and integration of various art forms, and gives birth to more art forms.

1. Conceptual features

Virtual reality art is a kind of art form which relies on virtual reality and augmented reality technology. It has developed gradually with the full development of virtual reality technology since 1980s. Art features, often with its authoring tool has a direct relationship, virtual reality technology of immersion, interactivity and idea, decided to its virtual reality tool for the creation of art is able to take advantage of 3 d projection, three-dimensional sound positioning technology, make the user feel immersive experience of "immersion" harmony perception features, And the use of gesture recognition and force feedback technology, such as through a position sensor, data glove and so on, the user can not only through the mouse and keyboard can be controlled by touch and gesture and gaze into action with works such as real-time interactive features, according to these features formed its unique art, we call it virtual reality and art.

Virtual reality technology has attracted the attention of artists since its appearance. When artists use this technology to create ideas and express emotions and sentiments, virtual reality technology becomes a creation tool, and the resulting works are not simply technical products. With traditional art forms such as painting, music, drama, art of virtual reality is the biggest characteristic can be achieved by visual, hearing, touch, smell, feel to achieve more sensory immersion, at the same time for actions, posture, gaze behavior such as identification, in order to achieve the behavior of immersion, virtual reality and art appreciation is no longer passively receiving information, Instead, they can actively interact with the virtual world, giving deeper meaning to participation and even making the viewer a part of the creation.

Virtual reality art greatly expands the space of creation, bringing creators, viewers, works and even the creation process into the virtual space, where they can interact freely. In addition, virtual reality art has unique authenticity, conception, interaction and multi-sensory experience that computer graphics art, computer animation art, multimedia art and other new digital art do not have, which is the main characteristics of virtual reality art is different from these art forms.

Ii. Development

The development of virtual reality art and virtual reality technology have a certain synchronization, experienced a process from conception to implementation. Germany interactive artist Jeffrey Shaw (Jeffrey Shaw, karlsruhe ZMK visual media), director of the institute, published in 1989, works "the readable city," let the audience on a base fixed bike, with a sensor pedal drive 3 d animation drawing system, the direction and speed of the master himself in the virtual world, Get the effect of visiting Manhattan. Since then, Shaw has created virtual tour versions of Amsterdam and Karlsruhe, respectively. Virtual reality from these works, we can see that the artist's efforts for the development of virtual reality and art, which almost occupies the dominant position of virtual reality factors by other artists to develop continuously, the integration of a systematically by virtual reality system, and the system after a series of virtual display art laid a direction. Jeffrey Shaw and his vr artwork are shown in Figure 1.

Other works, such as The work IBVA by Japanese artist Tomohiro Kazuya, display various states of the human brain in a visual form on a computer monitor, and input the human condition into a computer to realize the self-discipline management of the brain. The focus of the work is to show the interaction between the human brain and the computer environment and the relationship between the external expansion of environmental management. IBVA connects human body information with the network environment. A large number of audio sources limited to hearing are introduced into the network through MIDI signals, so that the human body information far away is converted into sounds and images with interactive characteristics. This work is a precursor to the emergence of man-machine integration.


Figure 1 Jeffrey Shaw and his vr artwork

In 1993, Kluger's second vr artwork, after his vr artwork image Space, image Space: The audience can fly freely on the rotating 3D earth, and even change the direction of flight by opening their arms and adjusting the body's inclination to the left and right sides. They can also determine the speed of flight according to the degree of leaning forward. The audience can not only gain a realistic experience of flying in the valley by controlling their own bodies. In addition, compared with the virtual experience obtained by data helmets, gloves and other devices before, the audience can get a more realistic virtual flight experience that blends well with the natural environment. At the same time, Krueger also developed a virtual roaming navigation system that can be used by many people to interact with each other in virtual space. Since then, people have continued to exert the immersive and multi-sensory nature of virtual reality to the extreme, and the concept of virtual reality art has gradually become obvious and has begun to occupy a place in the art field.

Since 2000, the art of virtual reality has developed rapidly. According to the different meanings expressed, it is described below. Works that explore alternative Spaces and characters, such as Laura and Streiland's Placeholders: Landscapes and Narratives in Virtual Environments, And Naimark's The Here and Now and Flight over San Francisco Bay; Works that explore the symbolism of the virtual reality world, such as Cha Davis's "Infiltration" and "The World of The Moment"; Explore other objects and creatures, such as Jeffrey Shaw's Placing a User's Manual, The Web of Life, and more; Works that explore the relationship between the real and the virtual, such as Beyond the Page and The Global Inside Project by Masaki Fujipan; Works exploring information visualization, such as The Invisible Shape of Things Past by Rusbrick and Salter, The House of the Brain and The Society of Technology by Art+Com. Virtual reality art realizes a multi-sensory space with high immersion and interaction through model construction, spatial tracking, visual tracking and other technologies. The brand-new visual image effect and interactive experience experience shocked every audience present. Through these works, artists are the most widely used virtual reality artistic features, at the same time the combined with comprehensive technology such as network, created a brand new visual immersion and experience centered emerging art, art of virtual reality achieved ideal art philosophy, for the development of the art atmosphere of good ideas.

Iii. Function and significance

There are two main uses of virtual reality: one focuses on military, medical, educational and other aspects of value, with practical. The other focuses on artistic creation and the pursuit of a captivating world beyond. Through the rational use of virtual reality technology, we can vividly express the creativity of art design, effectively improve the design effect of works, so that users also have a more intuitive and real feeling of works. The role of virtual reality in art design is mainly reflected in the following aspects.

(1) Function

1. Improve the display of art works

In the process of artistic design, designers can not only improve the quality of artistic design, but also show the change process of something that users of works can not see in real life, so as to show its vivid and lifelike perceptual side of works. For example, in the display of space design, virtual reality can be used to simulate the scene renderings, through the reasonable setting of the visit path, the various key points are effectively linked to demonstrate, so that the users of the design products are fully integrated into the virtual space, to feel the kaleidoscope of the virtual space. Whether it is graphic design or spatial state design, designers can make scientific and reasonable use of virtual reality in order to make their design forms and design plans more novel and rich. In this way, the artistic effect of the designed art works will make the users of the works have a feeling of being on the scene.

2. Stimulate the creativity of artistic designers

For art design, the most important thing is to give full play to the designer's design creativity, and its creativity should be expressed in the best way. The virtual reality technology can be vivid, image simulation of various of forms of things, the environment, visual changes, etc., the designer in the process of art design, through the reasonable use of the virtual reality technology, from the inherent in time or space constraints, according to their own creative need to virtual reappearance, optimized design scheme, So as to find a suitable for their own, the best way of expression.

Through the rational use of virtual reality technology, designers can establish a variety of virtual art design points for themselves. During the design process, designers can express their design ideas according to their own needs and choose the best visual effects. For example, when designers design task illustrations, they can use computers to simulate different scenes and put different characters in different simulated Spaces to deeply experience the different effects brought by different Spaces. This kind of simulation design can not only stimulate the designer's design creativity, but also make the designer have a more profound design experience.

3. Provide full interactive learning for designers

For artistic design, it is necessary for designers to explore the logicality and practicability of design independently. Through the rational use of virtual reality technology, designers can exchange and learn according to their own design needs. Through in-depth research and analysis of design concepts, designers can effectively bring their subjective initiative into play. This interaction enables designers of art works to have a real sense of experience in research activities, so as to achieve the purpose of cultivating their subjective initiative.

Designers can make reasonable use of the immersive and interactive nature of virtual reality when conducting artistic design, and put themselves in a simulated environment to design with undivided attention. For example, in the whole process of skill simulation design of packaging structure design, designers can simulate different opening ways of various packaging boxes through virtual reality technology. Designers will have a deep understanding of different experiences brought by different structures to users during the training of simulated opening of packaging boxes, so that the design scheme can be further optimized.

(2) Significance

Up to now, the territory of virtual reality art has included VR film and television, VR drama, VR games and other multi-dimensional art forms, which can almost cover all the technologies of network virtual reality. It uses THREE-DIMENSIONAL models, three-dimensional sounds, simulated characters and other resources to construct a realistic and real-time "arbitrary" virtual world. In such a technology platform, numerous visual simulation of the way of human existence of virtual reality technology is emerging in an endless stream of growth, e-commerce, virtual tourism, etc., has become our side can not ignore the novel experience.

From the perspective of art promotion, virtual reality art pushes the extreme principle of timeliness in contemporary art to an extreme and presents the most primitive and avant-garde perceptual expression. In the process of creation, virtual reality technology leaves the original experience mode, creates a new artistic perception, changes the production process of art, and then leads the rise of multi-dimensional art space full of fantasy and simulated reality. Artificial regeneration and artistic processing through virtual reality technology create a new sensory world, and change the specific time and space into a special language environment, construct a new art landscape, produce a new art reality. Its narrative structure is completely different from the traditional concept and creation mode. Virtual reality system makes use of the unique intelligent property to integrate into all kinds of art, making art free from all kinds of constraints, even beyond the subjective experience of artists. Virtual technology will lead the artistic creation personnel and art ontology to the essential artistic level, and better explore the potential of art and the source of value.

At the beginning of human history, there was a primitive age in which fantasy and reality were indistinguishable. Thanks to the development of productive forces, the development of thinking, and the invention and application of writing, mankind has reached the threshold of civilization and is able to distinguish fantasy from reality, and art based on fantasy has been differentiated from technology based on reality. Once again, and the emergence of virtual reality and art in reconstructing a new starting point of the human survival and development space, fantasy and reality in a new level has reached a new fusion, the emergence of virtual reality is just human art with technology to people-centered development turning point, for this is after the Renaissance of human art development history given another chance.

Iv. Creation tools

Vr experience is still mainly visual, therefore, major companies have also developed corresponding digital art creation software tools in vr environment, such as TiltBrush, PSVRDream, OculusQuill and OculusMedium, etc. These software tools have brought great convenience to creators.

(a) TiltBrush

TiltBrush is a VR drawing application released by Google. To put it simply, TiltBrush transforms the painting space from 2D flat surface to 3D. The app includes different styles of 3D space, including space, as well as various styles of brushes such as rainbows, glowing bands, stars and smoke. For artists, this is another form of creation that is more intuitive and gives them more creative space. Due to the adaptability of HTC VIVE's large space tracking and handle function, the current version of HTC VIVE is officially launched in TiltBrush. The left hand handle is mainly used to control the floating tool panel, and you can choose brushes and colors by turning the left hand handle. The handle of the right hand is mainly used for drawing. Hold down the button behind the handle and drag it to draw in the air. The specific figure is related to the shape of the brush. During the creation process, if the player is satisfied with their game, they can also save it using the "screenshot" tool. When using TiltBrush, the position tracking function of the helmet can be used to adjust the Angle, or the entire painting surface can be moved to create art with depth of field. The key is the use habit of the creator. At present, this product is still in the early stage of development, and may be extended to practical teaching in the future, such as modeling design, clothing design and other fields. Figure 2 is a scene created using TiltBrush.



Figure 2. A scene created using TiltBrush

Oculus Quill

Oculus Quill is a vr drawing tool similar to Tilt Brush developed by Oculus Story Studio. Unfortunately, the drawing app isn't ready for the general public, but for in-house teams. The tool allows illustrators to draw and create through virtual reality. Similar in principle to Tilt Brush, OculusQuill is a virtual reality drawing app that uses the Oculus Touch controller and motion camera, and allows users to select different brushes and colors by waving their hands. Everything comes to life on a 3D canvas. While it won't be available to the public like Tilt Brush, Oculus Quill could inspire new forms of virtual reality art that show the public how to add a temporal dimension and 3D space to live paintings, Oculus Quill's brush sequences and rhythms allow artists to incorporate elements of art such as suspense and humor into their creations.

(3) Oculus Medium

To be precise, Oculus Medium is a modeling tool for a virtual reality environment. Like TiltBrush, Oculus Medium can also provide color palettes and drawing tools in virtual Spaces, but unlike TiltBrush, it doesn't just provide drawing materials. In Oculus Medium, creators can create sculptures directly, because Oculus Medium provides materials like clay that are suitable for three-dimensional sculpture. In most cases, creators can create three-dimensional figure sculptures and physical sculptures in Oculus Medium, and the volume of the sculptures created is not too large. Of course, from the current state of development and use, it is not difficult to speculate that Oculus Medium will promote greater development and use space in the future.

The above three VR digital art creation tools are currently more distinctive creation applications. Google Tilt Brush is like Photoshop in two dimensions, giving artists new tools and Spaces to create. Oculus Quill is just an undisclosed tool for the company's in-house focus on filmmaking to add a more humorous, innovative touch to film criticism; OculusMedium is more like CAD and 3D Max in real life. Although both can model sculpture, OculusMedium can also allow more non-professionals, especially children, to create, avoiding some disadvantages of sculpture in real life, such as toxic smell and the possibility of scratches. In general, digital art creation tools under virtual reality bring greater convenience to art creation and add more fun to the lives of ordinary people.