Reptiloid Synth VR
You are a Reptilian who’s playing an alien music machine. Control the surface of the planet by scratching interfaces with your 6 fingers. Wobble rings to produce the drum rhythm and poke flying goo blob to alternate the reptilian orchestra.
Hands and Per-Finger Interactions
I used Unity mostly as a game engine but the whole experience is a result of 2 years of research about building VR interactive computer graphics. There are just a few people in the world right now who are combining latest graphic programming techniques together with the artistic and creative approach within the VR/AR environment. One of the main challenges was to design touch reactive materials for the next generation VR controllers with finger tracking (in particular Valve Knuckles prototypes). The user can dip each finger into visually responsive synth plane which is using parallax occlusion mapping effect, creating realistic surface depth for the stereoscopic VR glasses. The drum machine rings, sliders and goo blob are built completely on the graphic card using compute shaders, the technique which exists in game engines only for 1-2 years and allows to build responsive interactive materials. Besides that I used cinematic post processing image filters to give the whole experience movie-like look.
VR medium inherits a lot of qualities of its’ ancestors such as interaction design, user experience design, game design and psychology. However, it also brings a lot of new things such as body and physical interactions. We have a special part of the brain responsible to handle them and these kind of interactions are still being researched.
Reptiloid Synth is a musical synthesizer designed for the VR space. I had to abstract from the classical laws of physics and classical real world interactions to make an instrument the user can make music with. It consists of 3 parts.
1. Saturn Rings is a futuristic version of classical drum machine sequencer brought into the physical space, so the user should literally walk to interact with it.
2. Liquid Polysynth is a multi-touch plane designed to produce sounds per finger giving intense visual and audio feedback. It surrounded with 5 sliders which are designed for alternating sound parameters and the visual outcome.3. Goo Blob is an extra weird physical multitouch instrument flying in the air which the user can poke with each of 10 fingers from each side. This is a unique 3D musical instrument which has a zero gravity physics and also intractable from the each side in the space.
The main idea is based on the liquid reptilians. Alien organics and mutations were a big trend in the 3D art community for last few years because of the computer graphics evolution. Most of the 3D artists playing around with skin shaders, liquid simulations and soft bodies to make pre-rendered content while this experience based on real-time computer graphics. The color solution, 6-figures arms, worm like sliders and rings, vein growing patterns - it’s all coming from organic punk aesthetics.
The whole sound design was based on the general idea building a weird alien machine rather than instrument for producing music. The drum sequence alternates each loop allows user to choose which sound is playing when. The plane and goo blob gives cosmic real-time generated sounds based on finger touch interactions.