It’s not everyday that the most talented immersive artists band together to create something not only magical, but timeless. 3Donimus, Anna Zhilyaeva, Estella Tse, Liz Edwards, Micah Milner, and VRHuman (Vladimir Ilic) have created the most epic Star Wars experience in Tilt Brush, just in time for the 9th Star Wars film to hit theaters this weekend.
Their piece is titled: Return of the Remix, yet it feels more like they are “inventing” the remix for Virtual Reality. While there have been other remixes from the past, this piece hits on a whole new level. Let me explain:
Estella describes that the inspiration for the piece occurred during a conversation with Micah in New York City about how they both got into VR painting and how much they admire each other’s “different voices, vision, and approach.” The conversation quickly moved online to their VR artist chat group, where they realized that they all should collaborate on a piece of epic proportion centered around a shared passion. Creating a piece around the upcoming, iconic, Star Wars movie, fit the bill.
Their remix has an air of unison, mutual fandom, and excitement, where talent glistens with every turn (and iteration). I asked each of the artists how they felt about others remixing their work, and while they were overwhelming positive, they do feel that there is a certain element of “respect” that needs to be included in each addition to the remix. Vladimir Ilic expressed that he loved the “teamwork and collaboration” that went into the remixing of this piece, while Micah focused on remixes outside of this piece and noted how it’s “all fun and games until a fortune 500 company uses it for an ad campaign.”
I was surprised to learn that most pieces were not planned in advance. 3Donimus said he didn’t plan his part of the piece in advance, in fact, he said they “all played off of each other’s new additions to the piece” which allowed it to “grow organically to its greatest potential without any preset limitations.” Estella said that when she started with an “empty dark canvas” she knew “Star Wars has to start with the title screen” and the darkness felt “appropriate for the Dark Lord Vader to manifest himself out of the shadows, looming ominously over the viewer.” Essentially, the piece started out being seduced by the Dark Lord 🙂
Now without further ado, each artist describes why they chose to create that specific scene/character/object from Star Wars?:
Boba Fett is one of the best characters in the franchise for me, he is aesthetically very well designed. Who doesn’t want a jetpack a grappling hook and a flamethrower? He is the batman of star wars, smart and with the gadgets, his life decisions could be argued are less so alike. I thought he would be a fun challenge, a mixture of hard/soft surfaces with different materials to render. The starfield and Death star are just so Iconic of this Poster like creation we all created.
I’m a dreamer, fan of science fiction and martial art, specially iaido (swordsmanship). Star wars quickly took my attention when I was very young and Yoda represent a wise and powerful sensey. (even if it’s just inspired from martial art and a lightsaber does not really look like a katana :D) I liked the idea that however you look like (small, old and green) you can be someone incredible.
Then I picked Darth Maul, because where is light you need to have darkness. Also, he has a very strong personality. And visually, it was fun to work with complementary colors, which gives a strong contrast (Yoda is green and Darth Maul is red).
Star Wars has to start with the title screen, of course! It’s so grand, so iconic. I knew I wanted to do the famous text intro but I needed some time to let the piece develop first before I knew what to write. I put a placeholder there while the remix made its rounds.
Starting with an empty dark canvas, it only felt appropriate for the Dark Lord Vader to manifest himself out of the shadows, looming ominously over the viewer. I suppose I could have started with a good guy but… I was seduced by the dark side! It couldn’t be helped!
As a lifelong fan of Star Wars and the owner of a set of Stormtrooper armor, creating the stormtrooper was an obvious choice! They are so incredibly iconic and such a cool design. I couldn’t resist bringing one to life in VR.
Leia is a character I’ve always adored and Carrie Fisher was so absolutely wonderful. It seemed especially important to include her in our scene as her final appearance in a Star Wars movie approaches.
Girl Power! I picked Rey for the same reason Disney did, she’s a super strong character that provides much needed balance to the force. Shouts to Estella Tse on the Jakku Star Destroyer, that was her idea. Including Rey in full space pirate gear alongside the ship she was scavenging in A New Hope seemed fitting so I ran with it.
Vladimir Ilic (VR Human)
Over a year ago when Tilt Brush launched I painted Kylo Ren in VR with one of the earliest versions of the Software. There was no scaling and performance was an obstacle back then. It was the perfect opportunity to compare how far Tilt Brush has evolved in the past year. It is mesmerizing how much has changed in that brief period and how powerful Tilt Brush has become.
To see more of their amazing work, check out Anna Zhilyaeva’s live performance at the VR Awards in 2017, Liz Edward’s “Sea Prayer”, a project with Khaled Hosseini and The Guardian VR team, and Vladimir Ilic’s Astronaut Girl that he sculpted in Oculus Medium.
One last thing…
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