Friday, January 10, 2020

2020 the year ahead

People have been asking what I am doing in the future, am I moving to Sansar to work or staying in SL.. what new projects etc.   So here is where things stand now and the plan for the future.

     I am currently in a mode where I am attempting to get grants to turn projects into film and VR. 
SL does not support VR but Sansar does.  I wrote a grant to the Canadian government to build a narrative called "Hand" as a virtual space explorable with the Oculus rift headset etc, and to then film the work as a 20 minute movie.  I have just opened Hand and I am really pleased with it.  There were lots of obstacles to jump over in Sansar and I was fortunate to meet Thoys Pan a very talented C+ scripter who helped me navigate through the scripting issues I was having.  The next step was to film the work in Sansar and this has become the sticking point for me returning to Sansar with other projects.  The main problem is that Sansar does not support the Spacenavigator mouse which is essential for me when filming.  They have some clumsy tools but it really limits what can be done with the machinima.  Will the space navigator become compatible?  I put out a request for compatibility a few years ago and nothing has been done yet.  I went to a recent community meeting with Sansar developers and directly asked if they had any plan to work on it.   The answer was there was no plan to look at it.  It's unfortunate because machinima is a great free marketing tool for Linden Lab if they embrace it.  The movies I make sometimes go in film festivals and many are studied in various schools and universities worldwide as part of their curriculum.  The students see the work but they also see the platform they were created in and take note.  Marketing for Sansar was another issue, essentially there was none.  The work took several months to create and I coudn't detect any effort by Linden Lab to showcase it.  Some might
say Oh but its not their job to promote, but really it is.  They should be approaching Oculus to say hey here is a vr work a user created in our platform come look!  They should be reaching out to everyone.  What I saw, and I won't say which linden it was, but a Linden came and stood at the beginning of the artwork and took pictures for a feed (which is not discoverable with tags on the internet).  I told them they needed to enter the artwork to trigger the dialogue.. that they needed to engage to experience the work.  There was no reply and they left 30 minutes later.  So optically this says to me that the developers themselves are not particularly interested in exploring.  Perhaps they have already looked properly and just returned for images, perhaps they also are trying to market Sansar with user created work in unique ways.. I don't know.  But I have to know they are serious if I am going to invest in the platform.  I have applied for a new grant and I wrote in it that I would work within Sansar again, but this first experience suggests to me that I should look elsewhere. 
     So where is elsewhere?  Second life is still a good place to create despite the high costs, but another option is creating in Unity engine.  Unity supports VR and looks great.  It would be a lot of work to learn but within ten minutes I had already brought in a few models and played with lighting.  Unity could be used to show my art on phones or as downloadable experiences.

     So the near future involves possibly creating the Standby trilogy in Sansar then filming it as that is part of the grant proposal,  Standby stays up in SL until i find out  if I get the grant as I may need to film parts in SL.  Afterwords I will rebuild Hand for SL and keep applying for various other grants.  In between I will make smaller playful builds that don't take several months to create.

This is where things stand right now and no I am not leaving SL at this time.  I enjoy creating here and it still is the best option for art in multi user environments.

Friday, December 6, 2019

"Hand" a new virtual reality artwork by Bryn Oh


     Hand is now open to the public.  It was built for virtual reality using headsets such as the oculus rift or vive, but it can also be navigated by your computer.  Just a little side note ... do you remember when you first visited Second Life or another open ended virtual world?  How exciting and almost overwhelming it was?  For me I had never experienced anything like  it before, but over the years that excitement fades as you get used to it and you almost wish it could be fresh like that again.  Just to let you know, if you have not used virtual reality before it is similar.  It is new and strange and inspiring. Anyway just saying.

     So the first thing you need to do is install Sansar if you don't already have it. 
You can do that here...  https://www.sansar.com/

Then you can find "hand" by searching for Bryn Oh and it should pop up or try this https://atlas.sansar.com/experiences/brynoh/hand

Next see the ungainly red markings I put down?  They show where to click.

 Click the three dot icon
 Choose settings
 Then make a checkmark under VR for shadowed atmostpherics and ambient occlusion.  These settings are off by default but add some nice aesthetic effects I worked on if you click them. 














     I would also suggest, if you are new to using VR, to not run in this build.  Run makes me a wee bit queasy as its too fast and jarring,  walking is slow but much more comfortable to me.  Also you will need to jump so find that button.

     I am obligated to acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council but I do so quite willingly, furthermore, I would like to explain why their support is so important to an artist in a fringe medium  such as myself.   This artwork has taken me almost a year to build and I will likely not generate any revenue from it unless it goes into a gallery or museum somewhere.  To undertake a project like this with potentially few prospects is, as you can imagine, unwise.  The financial support helps but perhaps what is even more important is the psychological support one feels to take on such a large project.  They believe in me which is so very encouraging.  In my life I have lots of friends and family who are completely indifferent to what I do as an artist.  They know I do some kind of computery art thing but some have never even once asked a question or shown any curiosity.  And that's fine, I don't want to actually talk about what I do to someone who doesn't care anyway.  I don't crave the glazed over eye look.  But imagine working so hard on something and then feeling like you are alone and nobody cares, it can be deflating and you question yourself and what you do.  Was I insane to abandon a successful oil painting career to jump into immersive virtual environment art.  Recognition and support from the OAC, for me, is something that reinvigorates my confidence and says to keep going and striving in this art medium that I truly believe in.  So I would like to thank again the OAC and the great work they do.


Wednesday, December 4, 2019

"Hand" opening in Sansar



Hand


     This Friday December 6th will open "Hand" my new virtual reality artwork built in Linden Labs second virtual space called Sansar.  You can download the client here if you wish to visit my new work https://www.sansar.com/ 
To find it on Friday just search for Bryn Oh and Hand will show up.


 I would like to acknowledge the generous support of the Ontario Arts Council without whose financial help I would not have been able to create Hand in Sansar.  As virtual spaces fluctuate, it becomes more difficult to financially commit to working in Second Life and Sansar.  As an oil painter I sell paintings in the virtual space there is not a whole lot to sell for revenue. Organizations such as the OAC who offer financial support and, to be honest, an open keen interest in virtual spaces as an art medium, they deserve credit for projects such as Hand as without them I really could not have spent a year working on it.  I believe that the virtual reality medium is a new art form
which, in my case, focuses on immersion.  Throughout art history many artists have striven to immerse the viewer in their sculpture, painting or even cinema.  They want you become lost in their artwork whether it be compositional methods such as the eyepath leading the viewer around a painting, to cinema where they turn off the lights, turn the sound up high with a screen large enough to reduce the peripheral vision distractions to a degree where the immersion is strongest.  They overwhelm or control your senses, then tell you a story which, if well written, will take the viewer away from the world for a while.  We had the Cubists, Impressionists, Surrealists, Modernists and I see our movement as the Immersivists.  I have believed in this idea a long time but now with virtual reality headsets such as Vive or Oculus rift the immersion is less fragile.  You don't look at a computer screen and beyond its borders see a bill that needs to be paid or your cell phone rings... instead you are in the world I have created and firmly there.  Unlike painting where you stand from a distance and look at a static scene or cinema where you are told a story as a passive observer,  virtual reality artwork can offer the ability to be an active participant in the art.  For example, if you watch a movie and see a space under a bed you can not break free of the camera to look under that bed, but with virtual reality it is open ended to such a degree that your freedom is only hampered by the ability of the artist to provide for you.  Looking under a bed in a VR space might find you something taped to the mattress.. but you only find it if you look.

     Hand is best experienced with a virtual reality headset, but Sansar also allows for traditional
navigation through the screen and if you have a fairly new computer you should have no problem exploring the artwork.  Hand is the story of a girl named Flutter who carries something precious in a suitcase.  You follow her story in the same world that my others characters inhabit, and some of these you will recognize furthering their story and place within the world I have been working on for over a decade. If you do try it using VR then please feel free to contact me and tell how the experience was as I would to hear what worked and also anything that didn't.  Also for VR,  click the three dots to the left of your screen, click settings and in graphics turn on shadowed atmospherics and ambient occlusion.  They are off by default.  Hope you enjoy!

Monday, December 2, 2019

Giclee print #4 Rabbicorn and daughter of gears


This is the fourth Giclee print being made available, it is of the Rabbicorn and Daughter of gears characters currently on my region Immersiva.

The Giclee prints are on Hahnemuehle cotton Photo Rag paper.  They are museum quality prints and rated with a 200+ years of fade resistance.  If you are interested in purchasing one send me an email for details brynohhh@gmail.com

Monday, November 18, 2019

Giclee print #3 "Scissors"



     This is the third print I am making available for Christmas season.   It is from a build called "Scissors" which I never actually exhibited, I just filmed the narrative in a machinima/movie which I will embed below should you like to see it.    The story is of the girl who is cutting endless paper soldiers outside at a table, then a storm rolls in.  A flash of lightning startles her resulting in the dropping of the scissors.  They twirl falling to pierce the earth almost in the shape of a cross.  An Emperor moth comes to land upon the scissors looking down upon the insects around it, and from there the other insects look up at the mysterious scissors made of metals and plastics so seemingly foreign and magical to their world of sand and grasses.  They begin to worship the symbol and the moth upon it.  The Ants and wasps vie for position and begin fighting among themselves as the storm worsens.  The girl watches the events unfolding and in horror retrieves her lost scissors while eradicating the damage it caused.

   No I am not against rational religion, it is the blind obeying that alarms me.

The Giclee prints are on Hahnemuehle cotton Photo Rag paper.  They are museum quality prints and rated with a 200+ years of fade resistance.  If you are interested in purchasing one send me an email for details brynohhh@gmail.com

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Giclee print number two "The sky fisher"

Every Sunday for the next while I am releasing Giclee prints of my work.  The Giclee prints are on Hahnemuehle cotton Photo Rag paper.  They are museum quality prints and rated with a 200+ years of fade resistance.


     Today I am releasing "The sky fisher".   She is a character that I have been slowly working on.  She wears antlers with long strings dangling from them with little hooks.  She walks through fields and forests occasionally capturing small birds as they are flying by.  In the detail below you can see a goldfinch and cardinal hanging from her antlers which she had caught earlier in the day.  The sky fisher is an evolving character who might get her own story one day the same way the Rabbicorn, Anna, Lady Carmagnolle, Flutter and others have before.   If you would like this print for Christmas please contact me soon as they need to be produced then shipped.  Message me at brynohhh@gmail.com for details on price.



Sunday, November 3, 2019

Giclee prints of my artwork

     So last year I put out bronze sculptures of my Rabbicorn and Daughter of gears ... after Christmas.  Yes terrible idea I know.  I kept hearing "Oh but I spent all of my christmas money already!"  It wasn't actually my fault they just took longer than expected to be ready but sigh.  Some people told me that at $700 us the bronzes were too expensive and could I have things at different price points.. well yes I can!.   So for the last little while I have been creating what are called Giclee prints on Hahnemuehle cotton Photo Rag paper.  They are museum quality prints and rated with a 200+ years of fade resistance.

     I plan to release a new print each week for a while so they can be created and shipped before Christmas should anyone wish one for a present.  Each one is 16 inches by 24 inches and will cost $160 USD + shipping.

The first print is called Seahorse carousel and is from my work called Tilt-a-whirl but also seen in a newish video called the girl with the paper crown.  Watch the video should you wish to see it in the poem build.

I had one framed to show what they look like but the artworks will not be, they will come in a rolled tube which you could bring to a framer if you liked or display as you wish.

If you are interested in ordering a Giclee print (pronounced Zee-Clay) or have any questions then please email me at brynohhh@gmail.com.