Dani Delgado Looking Outwards – 08

One of James Paterson’s projects – a VR model of a tree that grows with sound. He created it to express how ridiculous you can look while be immersed in a VR world.

The person I chose to hear speak is James Paterson, a Montreal based software developer who has deep roots in drawing and animation (a background which heavily manifests within his work). Inspired by the sci fi books he read in his youth, he is immensely interested in spatial and interactive computational art.

In the past, Paterson has used his art as a way to express his thoughts and emotions, allowing his mind to travel where it wanted to and draw in a stream of conscious style as a way of therapy (He explained this a lot within his lecture, and it did strike me as a very memorable and useful way of coping with anxiety). From this, he began to generate these seemingly random doodles and rendered them using 3D software to create experimental artwork. This opened the door for him to partner with the Google Creative Lab and create Norman – a 3D drawing and animating software created through JavaScript and used by using Oculus Rift VR gear.

A screen capture of a Norman made animation. This was made with only VR gear

This project is absolutely mind blowing for me – the concept of drawing in 3D seems to be complex and out of reach, however, to be able to step into a drawing or an animation that you made and interact with it must be such a visceral experience that I one day hope to experience it.

Despite having created such amazing things, during his lecture he kept a very conversational tone and explained things in a way that even I, someone with limited CS experience, could fully understand and engage with him. I feel like this is an important skill to have in any situation of conceptual sharing and I wish to apply it to my presentations as well.

His website: https://normanvr.com

Above: video of his lecture.

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