VR is poised to revolutionize many industries, but nothing excites me more than the medium’s storytelling potential. Being ‘inside’ the world often amplifies the impact of the material, and similarly ‘inhabiting’ another body can excite and influence a new kind of performance. In Mindshow, I got to be a twinky.
We were fortunate to be allowed into the alpha of Mindshow, an amazing app that allows you to become expressive characters, record a performance and interact with that scene from the perspective of another character. This groundbreaking app has just been released for early access on steam, and if you like creativity apps in VR, or seeing yourself as a digital avatar, you need to get this app.
Mindshow has accomplished the incredible feat of bringing a robust 3D motion capture and character animation workflow to everyday users. What was once a highly specialized and laborious process has been simplified and paced to the lightning speed of the users creative pulse. Its just incredible to watch your performance emanate from a muscular piece of lettuce, or dopey alien.
While I really enjoyed acting with cats, nerds and punk barbarians that sounded just like me, I thought it would be fun to invite over some of my friends to build a scene together. We took turns in the headset acting out scenes with the help of an improv suggestion phone app. Being immersed in the vibrant sets with access to noise-making props and accessories allowed us to build an enormous variety of scenes. Here are a few of our favorites, although be warned: most of these were captured using an early version of Mindshow, and have some rough edges that have since been smoothed out in the newest release:
Making a live-action film is often a nightmarish logistics puzzle that involves sacrifice or ‘trading horses’ as I’ve often heard. Even if you have all the money in the world you simply just dont have time to get all the set-ups and coverage you need. Mindshow is already enpowering artists and creators by giving them access to locations and characters they might not have had access to before, but also gives them the chance to revisit previous work to pick up that crucial missing shot.
Similarly, in animation, the steps are so rigorous and sequentially locked that revisions (particular at the final stages of the pipeline) can become too costly in time and/or money to change. Mindshow, on the other hand allows you to iterate and experiment as fast as you can perform a scene. As VR continues to grow, I think we will continue to see tools that allow creators greater freedom than would be allowed in physical reality. Mindshow is a stunning example of VR empowering users, and I think, a greater sign of the disruption it can bring to the pain-points and inefficiencies of modern-day film making.