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At the beginning of March 2023, renowned ex-Disney animator Daniel Peixe and I conducted an “Animation in VR” workshop at Aalto University in Finland.

The workshop was designed for international students in the Re:Anima International Animation Master program. The aim was to explore various techniques and principles of Virtual Animation to create a solid foundation in this evolving art style.
Throughout the week, the students were guided through the complete animation workflow in VR using the user-friendly software called “Quill.”

The workshop covered various topics, including drawing in Quill, utilizing reference images to train arm movements, incorporating 3D elements with the Grab tool, frame-by-frame animation techniques, creating simple storyboards, and exploring storytelling in VR. The participants also learned about camera usage, sound integration, FX animations, and the effective use of colour to enhance scene lighting.
To provide a hands-on experience, the workshop incorporated practical exercises such as modelling with simple shapes and the lathe technique. The students were introduced to animation using keyframes and layers and learned how to upload their creations to VR animation players on the Quest. Additionally, the workshop explored other applications, such as exporting to fbx/alembic formats and creating video exports in mp4.

The workshop proved a valuable opportunity for the student animators to learn from Daniel Peixe, a Virtual Animation pioneer whose VR short film ‘The Remedy’ exemplifies the possibilities of VR storytelling. The knowledge gained from this workshop equipped the students with essential skills and techniques to start working with Virtual Animation.