Animating in VR with Tvori and Google Blocks

Over the past 6 weeks, I attended the Animation in VR course at UCL (University College London) ran by Sean Rodrigo.

At the course, we learned basics of the Tvori application and cinematography in VR, animating simple objects and rigged characters, setting lighting and operating cameras. By the end of the course, I committed to create a short video clip in VR using Tvori.

Being a Game of Thrones fan, I decided to recreate the opening credits animation in VR. In this post, I will describe my process.

Preparation

To create this scene, I used Oculus Rift. The tools and apps required include:

  • Google Blocks — to create low poly 3D models;
  • Tvori — to animate and add special effects to the scene;
  • Adobe Rush — to edit, add music layer, and stitch video clips together.

The composer of the music clip is Ramin Djawadi.

Building the Assets

Before I started to build anything, I watched the original credits scene, and listed out the elements I would need to recreate in Google Blocks. I then created them in 3D using 2D reference images.

Creating 3D assets in Google Blocks from the reference images

The assets I created include the map of Westeros, an astrolabe, castles, towers and buildings for Kingslanding, Dragonstone, the Twins, Winterfell, and Castle Black.

The map of Westeros created in Google Blocks

Putting It All Together

After having created all the assets, I had to access them in Tvori.

Tvori offers the Shelf tool which allows to import pre-created assets, objects from Google Poly, as well as your own 3D models. Creating assets in Google Blocks allowed me to easily import them directly into Tvori, place in the scene and colour.

Importing my own assets into Tvori

Filming the Animation

Having the scene all set, I added a few cameras to it and started recording. Tvori allows to animate cameras, as well as change the field of view while animating.

Two cameras animated in the scene, with the Timeline showing the view from Camera 2

Final Steps and Result

Having exported the videos from all the cameras, I then moved to Adobe Rush to stitch those clips together and apply the sound layer to the stitched clip. The final result turned out not bad:):