The Remedy – How An Illustrator Made one of VR’s Best Shorts with Quill


Maybe no challenge up to now reveals the potential of Quill—Oculus’ VR illustration and animation instrument—fairly like The Treatment. Created by veteran animator Daniel Martin Peixe, The Treatment is a roughly 10 minute lengthy story which establishes a really efficient comedian book-like expertise by stringing collectively numerous Quill scenes to inform a whole narrative. Peixie shared with us a glimpse within the manufacturing course of which introduced the movie to life.

Visitor Article by Daniel Martin Peixe

Daniel Martin Peixe is a personality animator and illustrator at Walt Disney Animation Studios. With twenty years of expertise in 2D and CGI animation, his current work will be seen in critically-acclaimed movies like Tangled (2010), Zootopia (2016), and Moana (2016). Peixe has been a mentor for the skilled on-line animation workshop Animsquad since 2017. He’s the author, director, and creator of the VR brief movie The Treatment (2019), created solely inside the Quill VR illustration instrument.

Watch The Treatment

If you happen to haven’t had an opportunity to look at ‘The Treatment’, we suggest doing so for context. The brief is offered in Quill Theater on Oculus Quest, right here’s the way to discover it:

Guarantee your Oculus Quest is operating firmware 12.zero or later
Set up/replace the Oculus TV app
Set up/replace the Quill Theater app
Launch Oculus TV
In Oculus TV, you’ll discover ‘The Treatment’ below “An animated Story Created in Quill”.

The Treatment challenge began with the thought of utilizing Quill illustrations as in the event that they have been comedian guide panels. my very own Quill illustrations, I saved considering, ‘I want I may press a button and see what occurs subsequent!’ I additionally needed to experiment utilizing conventional cinema enhancing in VR, principally for motion scenes. I pitched this concept to the Quill workforce and to my shock they have been already considering of how to broaden the timeline toolset within the subsequent replace, aiming to make Quill a full fledged VR storytelling suite!

Quickly after, I used to be formally commissioned to work on this challenge—a brief story in VR utilizing the newest Quill 2.zero beta with the timeline instruments—I used to be over the Moon! It was a tremendous studying expertise; this turned out to be my tough manufacturing workflow, which I’ll speak about in additional element under:

Pre-production
Script writing
Tough storyboard thumbnails in 2D
3D storyboarding with in VR, format and staging
Modifying storyboards in VR, utilizing transitions, cuts and adjusting timing
Organizing layers and labeling every one
Including ‘stops’
Sending the tough meeting to the Music and Audio workforce

Manufacturing
Visible improvement, analysis reference pictures
Last in-film textual content dialogue rendered in Photoshop and exported as PNG
2D shade reference sketches earlier than portray key scenes in VR
Drawn and construct units and characters, speech bubbles and panels in VR
Body by body animation
Alter ultimate timing and transitions
Including particular animated results
Ship to Music and Audio workforce
Last audio combine
Optimization cross
Technical checks for Quill Theater playback on Oculus Quest

As I began writing the story, I targeted on one thing easy with a minimal variety of characters. Additionally, I knew I needed thrilling motion scenes however earlier than writing these I attempted to ensure there’s an emotional reference to the primary character and clear motivations for the heroine to go on an journey.

I did many alternative drafts of the script till I landed with one thing I used to be pleased with and moved on to storyboarding. Some storyboards began as 2D sketches I did on my cellphone; the small display allowed me to shortly put down any concepts I had for digital camera angles, scene staging and so forth. With these little scribbles as a reference, it was a lot simpler later to do the VR sketching in Quill.

Throughout this course of it was necessary to begin establishing the size of the scenes in relation to the viewer, in addition to the staging and planning for the ‘point of interest’ of every scene to make it possible for when there’s a ‘minimize’ individuals don’t get misplaced or disoriented. I needed the viewers to be their very own ‘cameraman’ in some scenes, just like the one the place the wagon leaves the home and also you see the title. Planning all this with tough sketches was essential, to make it possible for a number of the extra experimental scenes would work earlier than I jumped in and started modeling the belongings.

The rework keys in Quill let you create easy animations and fade in and outs, setting a few keyframes on the group layers. This was tremendous helpful for including ‘digital camera strikes’ which I did by shifting complete units as an alternative of shifting the precise Quill digital camera. Just like the ‘escape from the volcano’ scene the place the character is on a static layer animated leaping from one platform to the opposite and the set strikes towards the viewers, giving the impression that the viewers is shifting ahead.

The ‘stops’ (the place viewer enter is required to proceed the story) have been a brand new idea that we weren’t certain that might work, however I had the sensation that it will make it really feel extra like a comic book guide the place viewers may take within the scene round them earlier than persevering with.

Choosing the place to place the stops was a pure selection in some circumstances, for instance, the establishing shot the place the heroine is in entrance of the volcano temple entrance. The viewers would possibly really feel like spending a bit extra time taking within the atmosphere. Identical to a double web page in a comic book guide, it’s a huge featured second, and you might be invited to discover all the main points till you’re prepared to maneuver on. In different circumstances the stops are useful in case you wish to spend extra time studying the speech bubbles. After which in different circumstances I selected to not have any cease or pause, as a result of I needed the viewers to really feel the fun of the motion.

As soon as all of the story scenes have been sketched out I adjusted the timing and made certain I used to be pleased with that as a result of it was time to ship the challenge to the audio and music workforce so they may get began.

The subsequent step for me was cleansing up scene by scene and including the colour, particulars and so forth. For the important thing scenes I did a 2D shade key sketch outdoors of VR. That was tremendous useful as a way to set up a transparent purpose for the scene by way of temper, shade palette, and lighting.

Whereas a lot of the scenes in The Treatment are considered from a third-person perspective, there have been a number of scenes which I believed can be particularly highly effective in first-person. Because of VR, that perspective actually places the viewers within the sneakers of the character. The ‘guide’ scene—the place the primary character pages by means of an previous guide that units up some necessary parts of the story—was necessary to me as a result of being in a primary particular person view it acts as a close-up shot, and the viewers is welcome to lean in nearer to discover the main points of the guide. Within the ‘plant temple’ scene—the place the primary character finds the target of her quest—I used first-person in order that the viewers may really feel the identical because the protagonist, admiring all of the magical therapeutic vegetation nonetheless rising on that orchard, and the sense of awe exploring how huge is the temple. On the very finish I included one other first-person scene the place I put the viewers within the pores and skin of the dangerous man, trying up on the heroine as she holds onto the satchel—and his destiny. Many of those photographs would additionally work in 2D cinema, however in VR they turn out to be rather more impactful!

When modelling belongings I attempted to maintain an eye fixed to the stroke depend and the overall density of the element, since I knew there may very well be an opportunity for this challenge to run on Oculus Quest. Utilizing the straight line instrument as a base for many constructions was the way in which to go. And likewise being good about the place so as to add element and the place to go away issues extra simplified. In most scenes there isn’t even a set or background, simply the characters and a shade gradient. This was fully intentional since I needed the viewers to give attention to them and never be distracted by element within the background.

I knew that I needed a lot of the animation to be easy from the beginning. I didn’t plan to do full animation for this challenge, however I noticed the motion scenes wanted some further element to essentially promote them. Essentially the most advanced animations have been achieved with a tough sketch first, with the timing and most in-betweens drawn.

Then I posed the character by establishing it from separate, beforehand drawn components. I grabbed every half, and utilizing the tough anim as a information, I positioned them on every body.

This enables for a really conventional animation strategy, and with the usage of Seize instrument I used to be in a position to duplicate and deform the items seamlessly. The animation additionally turns into layered or what was referred to as ‘restricted’ animation in sure components, which means that I’d divide the character and whereas some components of the character are nonetheless shifting different components stay nonetheless, on a separate layer.

The entire workforce at Oculus turned actually excited to study that The Treatment, can be playable on Quest! The Quill workforce lead engineer was in a position to squeeze the entire challenge right into a small measurement, and he ran some further optimizations to ensure it will play nicely.

The final stretch of labor was very thrilling as a result of we began to listen to the superb musical rating from Fb’s sound designer coming to life. Because of the ‘stops’ characteristic, sound engineers needed to provide you with two varieties of scores: the primary was timed with a median guess of the time it takes to learn the speech bubbles and to progress by means of the story—that method in case you watch for too lengthy in a paused second, the music continues and slowly fades into the environment sound impact—the second sort of rating was for the extra linear moments with a hard and fast timing.

As I used to be ending the final scenes, sound design was catching up with me ending up the music. The workforce did an unbelievable job with the sound results that make the whole lot really feel rather more grounded.

On December 1st I delivered the final scene and we added the credit and an intro web page. And on December 20th The Treatment was publicly launched on Oculus Quest!

This has been a tremendous studying expertise. I wore many hats and realized loads by way of storytelling, visible improvement, shade, writing, and staging. But additionally large studying in the way to take advantage of out of Quill’s superb toolset. I liked engaged on The Treatment and I can’t wait to create my subsequent VR movie with Quill!