The making of Dance Tonite
The creative process
Often VR is used to create powerful, emerging, experiences, but the wow-factor quickly decays after being in VR a bit longer. Since the team was not specialised in 3D and somewhat skeptical towards VR as a consumer platform we wondered if we were able to make something interesting in that field. This changed the moment Jonathan built a prototype that allowed using VR as a motion capture device. After a few iterations we were became experts in single handedly performing group dances.
It's remarkable how three abstract shapes can turn into something human the moment they start moving. This principle is nicely illustrated in this video demonstrating the work of the Swedish Psychologist Gunnar Johansson. Another reference we used during the development of this project is the film Canon by Norman McLaren. It shows a visual version of what in music is known as a canon. By layering multiple instances of the same melody on top of each other with an off-set in time we can create an harmonious piece.
Using a new open web standard called WebVR, the experience is accessible from a single URL and works across platforms, giving the user a different role in the experience depending on their device.
With Daydream View or other handheld VR headsets, you are on stage watching the experience unfold around you. With room-scale VR such as the HTC VIVE or Oculus Rift (which enable your physical movements to be reflected in VR), you are a performer. Without VR, you are in the audience getting a bird’s eye view perspective.
Want to know more? Jonathan wrote a technical deep dive.