Quill Corner: Featuring Zoe Roellin, Ibrahim Musa Ashidiqie, and Gianpaolo Gonzalez

Oculus Blog
September 30, 2020

Welcome to the latest installment of Quill Corner, where we celebrate the animated moments and stories coming out of the Quill community. Week over week, artists, creators, and dreamers grab their virtual paintbrushes to explore personal passions and memories and even conjure new worlds of interactive fantasy. Today, we'd like to invite you back into VR to see what's new.

Quill is a VR animation and illustration tool for creatives of all skill levels. Over the past few years, artists have come together to celebrate everything from national holidays to pop art through immersive animations made entirely in Quill. Each month, we’ll scour the Quill community for submissions and select three pieces to showcase in a future installment in the series. For consideration, simply upload your creation to the Oculus Media Studio. Quill aficionados may already know about the Quill Weekly Challenge, but if you don’t, head over to Quill’s official Facebook page for animation ideas and artistic inspiration. To view animations in VR, jump into Oculus TV on Oculus Quest, or Quill Theater on the Rift Platform.

In our last installment, Quill artists treated us to some wonderfully diverse and fanciful cat animations. If you missed out, you can watch them over here. This month, we’re slowing things down considerably — which is saying a lot, given last month’s notoriously sleepy subjects — to help you discover calm and serenity in VR. We can all use time away from reality now and again, so this month’s featured artists have created virtual vignettes to help you find some real-world rest and relaxation.

Memory by Zoe Roellin

Grab your headset and watch this animation in VR!

The Scene: “Two years ago, I found myself returning to my grandparent's abandoned vacation home in Northern Italy for the first time in ten years. I only spent a few days there, but returning to that place, while at the same time discovering old mementos that took me back to the sunny weeks I spent there as a kid, was a very vivid experience; one that I wanted to capture.”

The Experience: “For this piece, I wanted to explore using a very reduced color palette and loose, expressive brushstrokes to create a sense of fleetingness and guide the viewer’s attention to the flecks of color – the toy plane and the child appearing in the background. It’s a short, simple scene, but I think I managed to capture the mood I was going for.”

The Tip: “I think just going ahead, drawing what you think is fun, and exploring the tools at your own pace is the way to go, but if you ever feel like you’re getting stuck, remember there are tons of helpful tutorials and live drawing sessions out there. I'm still discovering new techniques or smarter ways to do things all the time.”

Floating City by Ibrahim Musa Ashidiqie

Grab your headset and watch this animation in VR!

The Scene: “Floating City is part of a personal project my friend and I made as a challenge during the month of Ramadan, where I made one ‘Quillustration’ a day for 30 days during Ramadan. This particular one was inspired by an old photograph of an Asian harbor. I wanted to recreate the calmness and classic mood I felt from that photo.”

The Experience: “What’s unique about this Quill creation is that I can feel the calmness and classic mood even more because you're sitting there watching the floating city. I don’t think I can experience that with my 2D painting. Watching this kind of painting is unlike anything else you’ve seen.”

The Tip: “Find something you love and try to recreate that in your art. It can be from an old photo or an experience you liked in your life. Don’t just make it look good, visually; aim to feel it, if that makes sense. In my case, I find old photographs I love and imagine how it was like being there, then I recreate that feeling in my Quill creations. Don’t forget to have fun!”

Vaporwave Airport by Gianpaolo Gonzalez

Grab your headset and watch this animation in VR!

The Scene: “Vaporwave Airport came to me when I saw the painting titled “Taxiway” from the famous Japanese pop painter, Hiroshi Nagai. The image reminded me of the aesthetic of one of my favorite music genres known as “Vaporwave.” It took a while before I found the song that embodied the soul and tone. The song is from the Vaporwave musician t e l e p a t h テレパシー能⼒力力者 and the song is titled アンドロメダ.”

The Experience: “Vaporwave Airport is a unique VR experience because people can go “inside” the famous painting and experience the world Hiroshi Nagai created as well as feel my interpretation of how I felt from the original painting. I’m using emotions and interpretations from two different people to bring viewers to a heightened reality one can only get from virtual reality.”

The Tip: “My advice to new Quill artists would be to create worlds and scenes that explore feelings that are unique to you. I believe a great VR artist isn’t just a good storyteller or a good animator, but they have a unique emotion they want others to feel that can’t be explained easily. VR is a different medium than paintings, photographs, films, poems, music, sculpture, or animation because it’s all of those wrapped into one. The artistry comes from how the Quill artist uses each medium to present a unique world. And watch the tutorials!”

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. And if you’d like to get creative in VR yourself, give Quill a try today on the Rift Platform.

Stay tuned for a new installment of Quill Corner next month!