In a short film exploring the evolution of storytelling, veteran Disney animator Glen Keane, creator of some of the most iconic characters of all time, steps into virtual reality to learn how to draw in virtual reality, with Tilt Brush and the HTC Vive.
Writing about virtual reality day in, day out as I do means there’s often a risk I lose sight of what it was which drove me to get involved in the industry to begin with. Luckily, there are numerous key moments and experiences I can draw on to remind myself why VR is the future. Upon seeing this new short film from creative body Future of Storytelling, I now have one more to add to the list.
The premise behind the film, entitled ‘Glen Keane – Step into the Page’, is simple: take one legendary Disney animator with almost 4 decades of experience in the business of traditional animation and put him inside virtual reality then ask him to create.
The result of this intriguing idea is a moving depiction of a master of his profession discovering an entirely new medium through which to express himself. That’s the kind of thing that doesn’t happen every day and the kind of thing VR makes possible.
Keane steps into VR with Tilt Brush running on the HTC Vive and as he draws one of his best known and loved creations, Ariel from The Little Mermaid, you can almost see the artist re-learning how to draw all over again, this time in arcs of 3D light.
Keane had already begun to explore different creative directions prior to his encounter with VR. He left Disney in 2012 to create Glen Keane Productions, and went on to create the beautiful animated and interactive short film Duet, the theatrical version of which you can see below.
Whether we’re likely to see any works created within or for virtual reality from this master animator is unclear at present, but by the look of sheer joy on Keane’s face whilst immersed in his own creations, it might just have inspired something to come.