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May 1, 2019

Featured: Morgan Morrell-Frewen

Experimenting with creative styles and workflows in VR

I really liked this boss from the game Cuphead, so I wanted to make my own version of the boss in MasterpieceVR

What kind of artist are you? What is your art background?

 I'm a digital artist. I create digital paintings and 3D models. My art background is simple; I made loads of pencil sketches, and then I started making models for video games.


Before working in VR did you have any experience creating 3D art?

I had some experience creating 3D models before working in VR. VR is a very different workflow from what I was used to. I worked with polygons. I had never really made sculptures in 3D. 

Has MasterpieceVR changed the way you approach your art?

It definitely has changed how I approach my art. Because creating shapes in Masterpiece is so fast and fluid, it's really easy to create quick concepts. Before I knew it, though, what was supposed to be my concept ends up being the really detailed final piece anyway.


What started as a simple alien head turned into a whole creature. I combined multiple sculptures together to form the final model. For example; the head neck and body were all separate save files before I merged them together in Blender.

What is your general workflow and how have you adapted VR into this workflow? 

I'd say my workflow is experimental. I use MasterpieceVR to sculpt, and experiment with different styles. My workflow is not always the same with every project. Consistently I export the model, usually as an OBJ, I import my OBJ into 3D builder and export as a PLY file, after that I bring it into Blender. I find this process very natural, similar to my previous workflow, but sculpting in MasterpieceVR allows me to experiment more, and it is easier and faster to get to a final model I am happy with.

Do you feel you’ve approached the limit of what you can do with this new technology, or do you feel you have a lot more to explore?

I don't feel like I'm approaching the limit of what's possible yet. I am sure I've got a lot more to discover with VR art, in terms of what possible creatively and technologically. MasterpieceVR and VR as a whole is improving, and I'm sure there are greater things to come.


What are some practical, real-world applications for VR art applications like MasterpieceVR?

Creating VR art is fast, so creating 3D assets for video games is something I can see working well. If not for a finished product, then at least to make some high quality placeholder assets. I can also see VR being useful for teaching new artists because of it's intuitive nature.


Do you think VR art applications are a good starting point for aspiring artists? What can be learned in these applications that would be useful to their development as an artist?

Yes, VR is a very good starting point for any creative individual. Sculpting with your hands is much more intuitive than traditional 3D modeling. For some aspiring artists (or those who do not consider themselves artists), it could even be argued that it's easier than drawing with a pencil.

I was practicing sculpting a face. The hair was pretty fun to sculpt, too. I ran out of space for the hair while sculpting, so I extended it with brushes. A lot of time was spent tweaking materials and making test renders in Blender.

What other digital art programs do you use and is MasterpieceVR compatible with them?

The other primary programs I use are Blender and Photoshop. MasterpieceVR is compatible with Blender. I'll usually export from MasterpieceVR, and then import that into Blender, which will display the vertex colours after some work. After I render it out, I may even touch it up in Photoshop.

Are there any aspects of VR art that you think are limiting? Do you think you will always use the traditional methods in your art creation, or do you think there's a possibility that you will work entirely in VR at some point?

I think that performance is a limiting aspect of VR. With traditional digital art, performance drops are inevitable even when an artist has a powerful computer. These occasional bits of lag are acceptable when working on your screen, but a constant high framerate is needed to work in VR. If VR is going to be my one-stop-shop for art creation, it'll need to be smooth at all times. Until then, I'll still need to leave VR to finish my work.

I made a lot of sketches of this character first before I began sculpting them in MasterpieceVR. The character and the rock they stand on were separate sculptures. I experimented with smoke simulation in Blender for the cloud effects.
Morgan Morrell-Frewen

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