What Is Virtual Reality Animation?

 

Here’s the most exciting thing about virtual reality:

It doesn’t have to look like “the real thing.”

VR lets us create and inhabit whimsical worlds that look like dreams, or cartoons, or works of art, or your favorite animated movies. It lets us experience things that don’t – can’t! exist in the real world.

This opens up a world of possibilities for telling stories, delighting potential customers, and marketing your brand in new and exciting ways.

We’ve already talked about how cartoony imagery can help your marketing efforts. Now imagine how much better virtual reality animation could be!

Today, let’s explore the many types of virtual reality animation, and how each might benefit your brand. Let’s go!

CGI virtual reality animation

This is a misnomer, actually. All virtual reality animation is computer-generated – so, technically, any of these styles could be labeled as “CGI”.

However, this particular visual style looks the way we’ve come to expect from 3D animated films (think Pixar) and video games.

CGI virtual reality animation can be rendered in an extremely realistic way… or it can look nothing like real life! And that’s the point: to create immersive three-dimensional worlds where users can play, learn, make art, or just be – in a way that feels real, but doesn’t resemble their usual environment at all.

Example: Playthings, a musical experience that relies heavily on CGI virtual reality animation. If you’ve ever wanted to bash some jelly bears with drumsticks to make music, while giant colorful hot dogs float in the sky… this one is for you!

Creating a computer-generated experience for potential customers can be costly and time-consuming – so it’s important that you do it for things that can’t, or shouldn’t, be represented with “regular” VR.

For example, when you need to demonstrate the science behind some cutting-edge nanotechnology (just spitballing here), creating an interactive 3D world is entirely appropriate. But if you want to show off your manufacturing process, recording a 360-degree video of your facilities would work far better – and be much cheaper!

Stylized virtual reality animation

VR offers virtually unlimited (pun intended) opportunities to create interactive 3D spaces in any visual style. If you’ve ever wanted to inhabit an oil painting, a drawing, or a comic, you can do that!

Stylized VR animation has a lot of uses – and not just for art. If you want to engage and mesmerize people and make them consider your message seriously, then one way to achieve that would be to make it look as unusual as possible.

Example: To see how this type of virtual reality animation looks in “real life”, check out these VR paintings by Carlos Felipe León. Another example of stylized VR animation is “Dear Angelica” – an animated virtual reality experience. Both are made with Quill – an artistic tool for painting in VR similar to Google Tiltbrush.

If you want to market your brand in a low-key way that relies on engagement and is targeted at a highly sophisticated market, this type of VR animation will be a great fit.

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Mixing virtual reality animation with live action

This is perhaps the easiest, most valuable way to use virtual reality animation. If your brand image relies on live-action visuals more than animated or cartoony imagery, you can have the best of both worlds – just combine the two!

This mixed style of VR solves an important problem that marketers, storytellers, game designers, and artists who work in the medium are facing. Said problem is: when your audience is in control of the experience, how do you make sure they interact with it the way you intended and get a positive impression?

That’s where virtual reality animation comes in. By injecting animated cues at certain points in the experience, you can direct the audience’s attention to certain things – and maintain a cohesive narrative within an otherwise open and interactive experience. Problem solved!

Example: This VR interview by Michelle Obama illustrates the technique nicely. Animation makes this simple 360-degree video come alive, holding the viewer’s attention throughout – even if they aren’t looking at the First Lady and exploring the surroundings instead.

Mixing VR animation and live-action footage is one of the most accessible ways to promote your business – and the most forgiving! Even something as simple as recording your public speech with a 360-degree camera and overlaying some animated cues in post-production can result in a piece of engaging, on-brand content.

Whiteboard virtual reality animation

Whiteboard animation, like any other kind, can be used in VR to tell a story, explain a complicated idea, and sell a product or service.

Technically, whiteboard animation videos are more similar to timelapses than “real” animation. They represent recordings of the drawing process done by an artist – and the visuals themselves are static.

Because of that, rendering whiteboard videos in a virtual reality environment adds another layer of engagement and immersion, and makes the animation more interactive and engaging. If you want to use whiteboard animation to advertise something you sell, making them VR-compatible is an excellent way to boost their effectiveness!

We would love to create a high-converting whiteboard virtual reality video for you.

If you want to learn more about virtual reality animation marketing and how it fits into your business goals, we would love to show you what kind of magic we can work for you in VR!

Contact us today to book a no-cost, risk-free pow wow to discuss your idea!

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