Beyond Animation: ‘Dear Angelica’ Premieres at Sundance

Oculus Story Studio Blog
Posted by Story Studio
January 20, 2017

Dear Angelica premieres today at the Sundance Film Festival. Even better, it’s now available for Rift on the Oculus Store!

Dear Angelica tells the story of Angelica and her daughter, with the vocal talent of Geena Davis and Mae Whitman. A narrative of grief, loss, and love, Dear Angelica plays out in a series of painted memories—a visually stunning technique that increases our empathy for Angelica’s daughter as we’re fluidly pulled through her imagination to experience her adventures and poignant recollections.

The first animated experience created entirely in VR, Dear Angelica marks the beginning of VR’s adoption as a medium for both creation and consumption. This important advance is made possible by Quill, which is available for free once you set up your Touch controllers. Quill lets artists and filmmakers work entirely in VR to bring a narrative to life more quickly than with traditional means.

The scenes construct themselves around you as individual strokes are rendered in real-time for an interactive viewing experience unlike anything you’ve ever seen. As you watch Dear Angelica unfold, you can pause and explore, giving you a vantage point all your own.

Art Director Wesley Allsbrook painted every scene entirely by hand—each character, set, and prop realized by a single artist. This is a significant moment for animation, whether based in VR or otherwise, as the field heavily relies on increasingly large teams of concept and production artists. Dear Angelica sheds light on an alternative, more accessible way to tell visual stories.

We hope you’ll join us for this incredibly moving experience, and we encourage artists everywhere to help write the next chapter of filmmaking in VR.

— The Oculus Story Studio Team