PaperTown VR

PaperTown VR is an Interactive art installation that immerses the user in a miniature 360-degree physical environment that can be experienced remotely through web VR.

Inspired by the 1937 debut of the Disney multiplane camera, PaperTown VR enlists the effects of motion parallax to add spacial realism to a handcrafted environment. With PaperTown VR as in real-life the environment itself remains stationary while the vantage point moves through space. Thanks to a circular mechanism that rotates in coordination with the viewing angle of the VR headset. As a result, a motion parallax effect is obtained and the viewer is able to use their natural perception of space to more intuitively understand the layout of the environment. The artwork is an integral part of this project’s effect; it is important to us that we include handcrafted artwork to give our experience a human touch. We created an even greater illusion of depth using warmer more saturated colors to make objects come forward and cooler more muted colors fade them back.

PaperTown VR also opens up possibilities for a variety of hybrid and augmented realities such as overlaying weather effects into the digital viewing space. Finally, since the video stream is live it provides the opportunity to be used as a live set. Objects or characters can be added to the set to appear to the viewer in real time. The next step with PaperTown VR will include integrating more complex animations, storytelling methods, and a remote solution using Web VR.

Production Team
Supervisors: Emil Polyak, Patrick FitzGerald
Coding & Fabrication: Connor Shipway, Hilary Smith
Research: Lucas Gargantuan
Project Manager: Simon Park
Artists: Monica Nguyen, Julie Lineberry, Nat Sumpunkulpak

Project was submitted to various contests/showcases

(April 2017) Code + Art Student Visualization Contest:
Contestants were invited to create visual and interactive ways to give information. Won 3rd place prize and showcased in North Carolina State University s James B. Hunt Library Student 2017 Showcase.

(March 2017) ACM SIGGRAPH: Immersive Expressions:
Contestants had to create a web based VR project that ‘immerses’ users with a virtual reality experience. Paper Town VR was accepted to be showcased in the SIGGRAPH virtual exhibition.