|Testing the Oculus Rift|
After one of those four in the morning ideas I decided to make the dream a reality, I thought surely someone with no experience of 3D modelling, someone who has never worked with virtual reality, could be capable of pulling off an installation to make a Frankenstein tree a reality (well a virtual reality at least).
With less than four weeks until my deadline I contacted anyone I thought would have expertise in the area and ventured off for a quick Google. I've heard of the Oculus Rift before and being a student purchasing one was way out of my non existent budget. So, after contacting my universities research and enterprise team I was put in contact with a very trusting technologist who not only loaned me an Oculus but also put me on the right track with how to go about creating a virtual reality optimised tree.
After downloading Unity onto my laptop I set about playing and literally clicking things to see what happened. Unity has the most amazing online manual to help novices like myself go from zero to hero by working through activities and tutorials.
I created a skeleton tree and then set about cladding my scene with data gathered from Lithuania, Cyprus and Ipswich. I used photos of tree trunks from the forests in Nida, ,Lithuania, photos of leaves from Cyprus and photographed the grass outside the back of the sculpture room (just metres from where my degree show will be). One thing I distinctly remember being told when first trying out the Oculus Rift was that in virtual reality the impossible is possible. Anything goes! So I created a truly Frankenstein tree.
Working with virtual reality I am attempting to push the boundaries of the definitions of print and even stretch my own definition of Printmaking 2.0. Virtual reality allows the user to print the body/self into a different environment.
Screenshots of my tree in progress: