Quill Corner with Alissar Kobeissi, Brock Boyts, and Samia Khalaf
August 28, 2020
Last month, we launched Quill Corner, a monthly series celebrating the animated moments and stories from the Quill community. Over the past few months, we’ve seen everything from personal vignettes and dazzling shorts to epic narratives, all animated in virtual reality using Quill’s powerful creation tools. The community of VR artists, creators, and dreamers continues to grow, and we'd like to invite you to jump into VR and see what's new.
Quill is a VR animation and illustration tool for creatives of all skill levels. Over the past few years, artists have come together to celebrate everything from national holidays to pop art through immersive animations made entirely in Quill. Each month, we’ll scour the Quill community for submissions and select three pieces to showcase in a future installment in the series. For consideration, simply upload your creation to the Oculus Media Studio. Quill aficionados may already know about the Quill Weekly Challenge, but if you don’t, head over to Quill’s official Facebook page for animation ideas and artistic inspiration. To view animations in VR, jump into Oculus TV on Oculus Quest, or Quill Theater on the Rift Platform.
In our first installment, we explored the timely topic of working from home. This month, Quill artists drew their inspiration from everyone’s favorite feline companions: Cats. Elegant, mysterious, and irrefutably quirky, cats have the uncanny ability to entertain and enlighten almost everyone they meet. And while we’ll probably never fully understand them – cats are nothing if not enigmatic creatures – they’ll continue to inspire whimsical works of creativity, both in and out of VR.
The Scene: “I wanted to create something based on the adorable chirping sounds my cat makes whenever she does anything. It amazes me how easily things amuse her, things we’d find dull, or even invisible. I created the world I imagine she sees when she plays, while trying to capture her innocent and curious spirit.”
"Be weird, be bold, be yourself, and tell the world what you have to say.”
The Experience: “Forest Kitsplorer is a compilation of hundreds of moments experienced over time -- like when my cat plays with a bee, taps it over and over until she gets stung, feels pain, licks her paw and twitches repeatedly, then gets up and starts hunting a new bee. I find that ridiculous and adorable, so it’s very special to be able to immerse people in her character.”
The Tip: “Make what you want to see. Quill has lifted the technical curtain and allowed us to express ourselves freely. It’s finally time to create your stories, thoughts, and ideas; to make the audience feel what you want them to feel. Be weird, be bold, be yourself, and tell the world what you have to say.”
The Scene: “This was my first submission for the Weekly Quill Challenge. The topic was 'Chonky Cat.' My goal was to create an animation from scratch and finish it in just a couple of days. I like to think of this cat as my spirit animal.”
"I was shocked at how close I came to recreating what was in my head so quickly."
The Experience: “I had experimented with Quill before creating this scene. I had never taken anything from start to finish in Quill before. I was shocked at how close I came to recreating what was in my head so quickly. I used transform keys to animate the Roomba and Chonky Cat. This action took only a few minutes and kept my file size down. I spent most of my time creating the cat, Roomba, and the environment. It took about 15 working hours over three days.”
The Tip: “Have a deadline. I notice right away that you lose track of time while inside of your 'Quillustration.' There is no end to polishing your scene. You can keep going and going. I recommend participating in the Quill Weekly Challenges. You will get a deadline and will need to meet mobile requirements for your file size. This will help you develop a more creative and efficient workflow. Embrace these limits within the limitless software. I promise it will feel really good to see ideas come out of your head, and have others climb into it. Don’t be afraid to be a little messy.”
The Scene: “I love drawing cats, especially chonky ones. I was super excited about this Quill Weekly Challenge prompt. I created this animation when ‘shelter in place’ had just started. I thought about the best imaginary world I could make to go on a virtual vacation without leaving my apartment. Then the Chonky Cat Resort idea was born.”
"It was the perfect escape going from my tiny NYC apartment to an island filled with Chonky Cats.”
The Experience: “I wanted to create a world as though you’re visiting a real-life resort. When you first arrive, you have to show your ticket and read the rules of the resort. You even get to see a map of the resort. Experiencing this space in VR made me feel like I was on vacation. It was the perfect escape going from my tiny NYC apartment to an island filled with Chonky Cats.”
The Tip: “Create your wildest ideas! Always push yourself to explore out of your comfort zone. It’s a different experience than drawing on paper and looking at a 2D image. Create the things that scare you the most and face them in virtual space. It’s an interesting experience. And most importantly, follow your dreams!! ლ(=ↀωↀ=)ლ.”
That’s it for this installment of Quill Corner, but there’s a lot more immersive entertainment coming your way soon!
More to Explore
Last week, we debuted The Neon Jungle, the second chapter in Tales from Soda Island. The latest project from Studio Syro, Tales from Soda Island, is an animated series that mixes 3D animation, spatial audio, and special effects to create a new sensory playground. The first chapter, The Multiverse Bakery, debuted last May and told the story of a cosmic baker who’s prepping a galactic dish. The surreal adventure continues in The Neon Jungle, where audiences follow a strange creature on a journey through musical worlds filled with strange beasts and mysterious flora.
If you’d like to see additional artwork from Quill’s ever-growing community of illustrators and animators, be sure to check Oculus TV often for new material. And if you’d like to get creative in VR yourself, give Quill a try today on the Rift Platform.
Stay tuned for a new installment of Quill Corner next month!