For my proposal I did all of the workshop tasks first as I have never used any of the technology given to us this module so I wanted to get a feel of what was available and what I could do with it. We did AR, VR and used the M.A.S.H systems in Maya and out of these three the one that stood out to me the most was doing VR art. It was the most fun and more importantly what I could see myself using long term with being a creative individual. I am glad I was able to take some time and trial using different the different tools as it allows me to test everything in a worry free environment as what I make will not go towards my final project. Using Tiltbrush in the Quest 2 felt very responsive and I draw already outside of VR so being able to see my 2D ideas so easily translated to 3D felt instantly good, with the software being intuitive and being able to move my art around the scene and scale it up and down as needed proved very helpful with taking a literal step back and looking at it to evaluate flaws in my piece. Being able to take a step back and look at your art is a key tool used by artists to obverse their piece and find flaws in it to them fix.
Before choosing an idea I wanted to explore what has already been made in both AR and VR. I found that people have made innovative technology such as dressx, nft’s, and metaverse fashion council and these have been very popular uses of the technology. Being able to try on clothes online using AR cameras can help in those who are unable to travel easily to stores to be able to online shop better and see what things look like on them before they buy them. NFT’s are another interesting case that allows the buyer to purchase a non fungible token of something like a piece of digital art that holds value in crypto currency and these became very popular in 2021 with some selling for millions. Recently their market has crashed though as shown in multiple studies (example: https://fintechmagazine.com/articles/in-depth-do-nfts-have-a-future) and overall they have lost 85% of their value. Seeing how unstable the market can be deters me from making more products under the NFT category but was good to research nonetheless. With the metaverse fashion council they host online events in the metaverse that promote fashion and their goal is to bring people who make and enjoy fashion together from all across the globe. This has proven popular with designer brands as the metaverse council can give you advice and have meetings with you to talk about putting your fashion into the digital space with even the idea of NFT fashion of owning items in the blockchain that hold crypto value.
After looking at pre-existing uses of the technology I began to brainstorm on how I could use such hardware/software. My first idea was a digital convention table using software such as frame VR where people can join your world and look at your products and purchase them online from an online store, such as etsy, after being able to interact with the products. You could also have QR codes to scan in the frame to be able to submit commission sheets for if you wanted custom art from the artist to further help streamline the commission process, which can be messy sometimes with artists having multiple streams from different platforms of people sending information over which can get lost or forgotten about. You could also in a similar vain use frame VR to showcase 3D scans of fursuits you have made for people to look at and take commissions through a QR there instead of discord for example. Having people to be able to get in VR to get an up close look at your work to decide if they want to commission you would be a very interesting way to showcase ones work. Another idea was business cards for creatives that had AR abilities to show 3D models of there character or logo when scanned to help them stand out from the crowd and to also show off their work all in one.
The idea that stuck out the most to me though was using VR art to plan out cosplays using 3D scans of people. This is due to my own interest in the hobby and seeing how adding technology to the creation process could help with efficiency and accessibility with costume creation. My idea would be the client sending a scan of themselves which can be done using most modern phones to the maker and then they have a full 3D render of their body they then are to see the body type and how they can change the costume to fit them. This would help as it is very common for people to cosplay characters of different height, weight or physical ability if the person is physically disabled. This would allow for a much smoother creation process and also open up easier creation of costumes for those with unconventional body types. To make some tests I tried scanning myself in and the results was shockingly good and very easy to do once the right software was found.
In short my idea is using Tiltbrush to draw over scans of real people to test out different costume designs on them before making them in real life to save time and effort and to hopefully make costume creation more accessible.
Before finding Scaniverse I looked for software that could scan in real life models and was recommended 3dscannerapp but it costs to export to an OBJ file so then found the app Scaniverse which is free.
First Scaniverse test of myself in an A pose :
That was a very quick test, I then made a higher res scan without the background:
Using these as bases you can import them to software such as Tiltbrush and then roughly model on top of the model of their body. I have a personal interest and deep knowledge in fursuits which are costumes of anthropomorphic animals, that are animal characters with human traits e.g standing on two legs and talking. Fursuits are made so people can wear them and embody the character and are usually of characters they have designed themselves. The problem with designing fursuits is that peoples characters will look very different from their body type, height, and weight so to be able to have a scan of them allows the suit maker (a person who makes fursuits) to adapt body types to their characters dimensions.
I used Padlet for gathering images during the research part of my project and also made a Gantt chart it allows me to know what I am doing week by week as I find that sometimes I can get very lost on what tasks need doing and what is important at the moment for the minimal viable product. In my Gantt chart I only included the weeks after the proposal until the week due as they was no point planning the write up for this as I was doing it.
My Padlet includes images of different fursuits and what the bases of them look like with blueprint designs to show how they are currently planned so that when I take this process into VR I can innovate on what they all ready do. I included suits that are also very stylised as I think using VR modelling will help most with people who have a stylised suit style as they need to figure out how to translate that onto multiple different body types and character species. I also added images of characters made in Tiltbrush for reference so I can see how detailed people are able to get using the software as it is an unconventional software and its downside is you can lack detail with art looking very scratchy which is good to keep in mind.
Even though my Gantt chart is rather small as it only covers 7 weeks, I find it helps me stay on task which is very helpful when having such a short time to make the project as any time wasted could be fatal to my assignment and in turn mean I do not meet my deadline.
For another layer of planning, Trello was used for breaking down the tasks even further as it is very user friendly and allows me to easily see what is done and what needs doing so when used along side the Gantt chart there should be no reason for me to go off task and for tasks to not be completed in time for the deadline to avoid deadline stress and rushing to complete the work resulting in a poor final product.
There is not too much in terms of ethics for my project but nonetheless is still very important to consider and research into. With using Scaniverse and Sketchfab I need to be careful of data privacy that comes with using these. Since I will be scanning real people into them so I understand that these scans are able to be seen by anyone using the site as you need to be a premium member to hide models so understand the risks of the possibility of anyone now using the model of my body. To expand on this if people take the scans of clients bodies this means people of the public have access to a full render of your persons which could lead to a massive personal privacy breach. Peoples bodies and identities could be leaked and people could abuse this for bad with the popular uprise in deepfakes (using AI to imitate people in sound and body) which is a huge concerns when putting media of yourself on the internet. With also using Scaniverse you need to have an Apple product which not everyone has so this is another concern as it limits the market since as of now there is not an app on android, or if there is I haven’t found it yet, that does real life scans. Another concern for ethics is people with physical disabilities using the app as it can struggle with any props or extras on the body when scanning so objects such as mobility aids may not be able to be scanned to a high quality which could affect the creative process. With using the VR headset there is also ethical concerns for me using the headsets for a long period of time as it has been shown that long use of VR can cause disorientation, dizziness, nausea and increased muscle fatigue as said by “theconversation” so to ensure that I do not make myself I will need to take regular breaks every 45 minutes were the headset is taken off and I have a small walk around to regulate my balance and drink water also as you are unable when in the headset.
To be able to visualise the workflow I made a pipeline of the intended use of the technology and then also made a pipeline for my personal workflow of making a fake test of this use of technology, which is VR art to aid in costume production. The story boarding allows me to visualise my workflow and to be able to see if what I have planned will work in the time frame I have set and to also see if it would be a viable to use VR in costume production with overall calculating the time saved for the maker and if it is worth the hassle of the client scanning themselves and VR planning for design mockups.
Workflow for me during this mock test:
Even with the storyboard being simple as my project is not a creative experience like a short VR game and instead is showcasing a use of technology to aid in the creative process having a visual reference of my tasks is helpful for making sure my plan is solid and can be explained in simple terms to others for presenting my idea and also makes me evaluate on how viable my idea would be for others as if it is was super complex people would not use the idea.
Workflow for costume maker:
Now that all of my planing is done I am able to start work on my project and using all of the tools I have made beforehand like the trello and the Gantt chart I should be able to stay on track and with ease follow my production pipeline. Hopefully I come out of the end with a worthy product and being able to say that I used emerging technologies in a way that is innovative and saves creative people time making the production pipeline of full body costumes not just easier but more accessible. To be able to put this on my portfolio after university I think will help me stand out over my competition as it will show I am able to think outside of the box and also have worked in VR before which is becoming increasingly popular with accessible headsets being available such as the meta quest 2 as it is under £300.
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metaversefashioncouncil.org. (n.d.). Metaverse Fashion Council. [online] Available at: https://metaversefashioncouncil.org/ [Accessed 09 Nov. 2023].
Souchet, A. (2023). Virtual reality has negative side effects – new research shows that can be a problem in the workplace. [online] The Conversation. Available at: https://theconversation.com/virtual-reality-has-negative-side-effects-new-research-shows-that-can-be-a-problem-in-the-workplace-210532#:~:text=Some%20negative%20symptoms%20of%20VR [Accessed 09 Nov. 2023].
Thompsett, L. (2023). NFT Market Trends: Past Meltdown and Future Potential. [online] fintechmagazine.com. Available at: https://fintechmagazine.com/articles/in-depth-do-nfts-have-a-future [Accessed 09 Nov. 2023].
www.youtube.com. (n.d.). How to 3D scan with your iPhone! #diycrafts #cosplay. [online] Available at: https://youtu.be/0Mekp2-hluM [Accessed 11 Nov. 2023].