Blurring the line


As I work more with 3D  I notice how the concept blurs line between our physical world and the virtual one. The intersections between the worlds can created with something relative newer, such as the virtual reality device Oculus Rift which retails for $350.

Or there’s another tool that’s a little older that can replicate a 3D experience, for about five bucks: chalk.

In the right hands, of course. And in the hands of artist Julian Beaver, chalk turns a sidewalk into a window into another world.

As is often the case in 3D, our brains are being tricked. Julian’s trick is using a forced perspective. By stretching out images with his keen eye, he can trick our brains into creating depth. Here’s another example of one his works, as seen from the intended angle:

And here’s the spell-breaking view from another angle:

The once spherical globe is now firmly 2D. Here’s another picture set (a ton more can be found on his online gallery):

Bringing 3D elements to life in the physical world has limitations. In the case of chalk, the cost is low but the technical expertise is incredibly high. And the viewing angles are limited.

One work-around to the viewing angle dilemma is to create your own environment so you can control the experience completely.

Recently, artists Vincent Morisset, Caroline Robert and Édouard Lanctôt-Benoit created a project where you control a 3D character in a 3D environment. The environment is a combination of a forest they capture using 360 degree video as well as computer rendered elements.

The cool thing about this project is while you can view it in Oculus Rift and on 3D devices and all that, it is also very accessible because you can view it in your browser without downloading any plug-ins.

Well, “view” isn’t the perfect word, because you have a lot of control overthe character. Here’s  the trailer:

But nothing is better than being able to blur the line of the actual and virtual on your own, check out the website to explore yourself. And make sure you have the volume on, the music is half the experience.