Future Pop: Step Into Alex’s Sci-Fi World on Oculus TV

Oculus Blog
March 31, 2020

Step away from everyday reality and into someplace entirely new in Alex’s Sci-Fi World: A New Quill Animated Series. A new collaboration between artists Alex Steven Martin and Matt Schaefer, Alex’s Sci-Fi World is a series of animated vignettes created entirely in VR with Quill. Inspired by Martin’s original 2D illustrations, each animation takes you through a living technoscape of flying cars, walking bots, and curious characters. You can start exploring today on Oculus TV on Quest, and the Quill app on the Rift Platform.

Transforming Martin’s original 2D designs—known for blending surreal technology with the playful pop of Saturday morning cartoons—into immersive shorts took years of work, both in and out of VR. Longtime friends since their time at The Cleveland Institute of Art, Martin and Schaefer began work on Alex’s Sci-Fi World in 2018 by partnering on storyboards, music and sound design, as well as umpteen rounds of test animations. The final product is a dazzling new take on Martin’s original vision.

Alex’s Sci-Fi World is one of the latest products made entirely in Quill, a VR illustration and animation tool, and uploaded through Oculus Media Studio, a tool empowering creators to share their stories with the world.

We’re going to share a handful of vignettes below, and hear Schaefer discuss each one of them, but you’ll want to grab your VR headset to fully experience them. On Quest, open the Oculus TV app and head over to ‘Alex’s Sci-Fi World: A New Quill Animated Series’ to start your journey. On the Rift Platform, open the Quill app and check out the Quill Gallery.

"Alex’s 'Crosswalk' illustration was the main inspiration for Alex’s Sci-Fi World project. This vignette brings Alex’s characters to life through puppeteered Quill animation."

Hover Car Cockpit
"The hover car was something I designed for phase 1 of the project. I needed a hero element to guide viewers from one scene to the next in the video. Its design is a mix of Blade Runner and Alex’s vibrant color palette."

Laser Trench
"This scene was created in Phase 1 as a transition from the opening 'Access Tunnel' to the central “Crosswalk” location. For the Quill Theater release, I wanted to bring it back and give people a chance to experience it in VR."

Access Tunnel
"The 'Access Tunnel' is another location that we never released in VR. It has a different vibe from the rest of the project and features one of Alex’s more striking pieces."

Beef Truck
"Quill’s new timeline includes the ability to mix frame by frame, puppeteer, and keyframe animation. I wanted a new character that would take advantage of all these affordances. I envisioned a moving party of animation with mechanical, electrical, smokey, and organic elements; something that looks and sounds wild as it drives past you."

Ready to jump into a new reality? If so, then grab your Quest or Rift Platform headset and start exploring. You can also head over to the Tech@ blog for a conversation with artists Alex Steven Martin and Matt Schaefer, plus additional art from Alex's Sci-Fi World.

If you’d like to see additional artwork from Quill’s ever-growing community of illustrators and animators, be sure to check Oculus TV often for new material. You can also explore more Quill creations on the Quill Facebook page. And if you’d like to get creative in VR yourself, give Quill a try today on the Rift Platform.

Hint: the creators have littered each vignette with a myriad of groovy easter eggs—try to find them all!