Anthony Yu


How Professional Artists Are Creating Inside Virtual Reality

Artists like Martin Nebelong use virtual reality tools like MasterpieceVR to make art for clients.

He says that these tools are as intuitive as sketching in his sketchbook and iPad Pro. Clients typically ask for high-quality, immersive, and production-ready assets, and Martin’s delivered.

Being present inside a three-dimension space helps him feel immersed in his creation flow. His intuition heightens, so he’s able to create at a large scale without losing the details.

When I look at his work, I’m awed by the sense of scale, similar to the feeling of watching a wide shot of the plains in an old western movie on a big TV. The feeling is similar to experiencing Shadow of Colossus, a video game where you’re a very small human confronting large, majestic giants.

Let’s take a look at Martin’s art to get a feel for his flow and for his process.

VR art tools are great for creating immersion

Let’s take a look at one of Martin’s works, Dark Alley. It’s magical, realistic, and has an amazing sense of perspective and presence. You can feel a sense of scale looking at the background and the entrance of the building while also being able to see the detail and emotion of the magician.

There’s also The Meeting. You have that scale here, and the piece is beautifully rendered and sets a foreboding mood. Martin describes it as a film noir inspired piece. There’s a lot to interpret here. Is the figure on the right being set up for an ambush or is he staging a heist?

Martin followed a similar process for both of these pieces. Let’s dig a little bit into that process.

VR art tools are also great for pre-production

Martin begins by prototyping inside tools like MasterpieceVR. Sometimes he’ll use a reference image, and sometimes not. Essentially this is his pre-production phase.

Then he exports his assets through powerful desktop rendering and post-processing tools like ZBrush and Marmoset, tweaks elements like lighting, and gets things polished up and ready to deliver to clients.

Here’s a full list of tools from Martin:

VR pre-production tools

Post-production tools

If you’re a professional artist like Martin and understand industry-standard post-production tools, beginning pre-production inside VR will increase the immersion of your art and save you time.

Martin wants artists to learn in virtual reality and evolve their own productive workflows. He’s working on teaching artists how to use VR for pre-production, creating new tutorials and showcasing the results of sculpting and kitbashing for MasterpieceVR.

Perhaps virtual reality will make it easier for artists to collaborate with their clients as well. Maybe there’s a future where people will draw, edit, and give and take feedback about their work live in VR. You might enjoy his talk from Oculus Connect 5.

If you’re a professional artist, consider integrating virtual reality into your pre-production. VR will increase the immersion of your art, save you time, and help you grow your business. Plus you’ll have a whole lot of fun.

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