Facebook Art Director Goro Fujita works at the company’s Social VR team, and while he’s typically occupied with creating modest, but fantastical “quillistrations” as a part of his daily regime using Facebook’s first-party art tool Quill (2017), Fujita today unveiled his latest work that he says helped him explore the possibility of bringing larger-scale Quill art to Oculus Quest.
Called The Last Oasis, the room-scale experience is decidedly much larger in size than his previous works, and takes the user through multiple rooms filled with finely hand-drawn characters. From the video (linked above and below), the experience runs the gamut of different emotions, spanning a sense of wonder felt by crawling through a low-hanging entrance into an aquarium brimming with fish, to the trepidation of walking across a rickety building ready to fall apart at the floorboards.
Here’s the synopsis of The Last Oasis in his own words:
It’s the year 2125. A man-made disaster has devastated much of the earth’s ecosystem. Numerous superstorms have made North America’s entire West Coast inhospitable. Ogini Orog, a brilliant scientist and one of the few survivors, has built himself a safe bunker using his wits to survive the hostile environment looking for artifacts in order to extract and save the last remains or nature. Explore each room to uncover clues.
Larger-scale experiences like The Last Oasis are something you’d be hard-pressed to truly enjoy with a wired headset, at least without sacrificing some of the freedom you might feel in exploring a new environment. To Fujita, it’s a crucial distinction that lets you make a more direct connection with the artist.
“For me, it was always a dream to dive into my own paintings, or dive into other people’s paintings,” says Fujita. “With Quest, you remove the wires, you become tetherless, which means you can freely now move around the space.”
Continuing: “Usually I create a painting, and I choose my compositions. This was more about how [to] design for space, and how [to] create different emotions in each space. I use different color language, different lighting, so when you dive into a new space, you feel different. It’s not just a painting anymore. You can actually send people into your mind, and I think that’s the most powerful thing for an artist—I could have never dreamt of doing [that].”
Like many VR art tools, Quill essentially represents a way for artists to create everything from standalone assets to larger works like The Last Oasis without having to master a game engine, allowing artists to use a VR headset and motion controllers to build the work entirely from the ground-up. Fujita says it took him only five days to build, done in collaboration with a small team of Facebook software engineers. That said, works created in Quill are certainly making their way to the company’s standalone headset, although the app itself hasn’t been confirmed as a Quest-compatible title yet—The Last Oasis was most likely created using an Oculus Rift and Touch controllers.
The Last Oasis is premiering at CTN Animation Expo through November 14th – 18th in Los Angeles. It’s not certain exactly where the work will be featured when Oculus Quest launches in Spring 2019, but you can be sure we’ll be looking out for it.