Using Virtual Reality to Recreate the Ultimate Psychedelic Experience
From writings, drawings, music and to nowadays videos, psychedelic art has progressed along as we come up with better ways to express ourselves. Virtual Reality (VR) is an emerging technology. It gives individuals the power to create immersive worlds, combining all desired elements whatsoever to their own wild imaginations. It’s a real-time, 360 degree, first person experience.
Intuitive it should seem then, VR, because of its inclusiveness, immersive-ness and its endless room for creativity, is where psychedelic arts are heading. In fact, it’s already happening.
The 360 psychedelic music video below is directed by a self-taught VR content editor, Dawei Chen, who studied Neuroscience (Cum Laude) at University of Southern California in Los Angeles. In an effort to recreate the trippy experience of “lunacy,” he combined striking VR visual art from prominent studios (available on VeeR.TV) with psychedelic music and sound effects, including elements from Pink Floyd – the godfather of Psychedelic & Progressive Rock.
When Pink Floyd meets VR - DeStefano Dream
Although this is only a sneak-peek into “VR Psychedelia,” now you probably see what I see –
The possibility of experience is endless.
To enjoy more content like DeStefano Dream for free on VeeR, download VeeR VR on App Store and Google Play;
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Say no more, let’s take a quick look at some of the frontiers of VR psychedelic art creators!
Cainy is a Beijing-based digital artist. To say she is obsessed with digital technology would be an understatement. 360 digital art making could be a painstakingly long process. If one gets perfectionist about details, a short minute of footage could take up to months to create. For most, creating a virtual world is about expression. But for Cainy, “I worry less about my content than the process itself. We are at a new age for multi-media arts. I find it unnecessary to limit myself to a story, software or style. The pleasure [for me] comes from imagining something never seen before, and then exploring, using a kitchen sink of softwares to create just that! Sky is the limit.”
“For beginners, my best advice is just start something. Don’t worry too much about aesthetics yet; don’t worry about how others are using different softwares; just start somewhere and learn along the way. You discover and dictate your own pleasure in it.” Says Cainy.
List of softwares Cainy uses for her creations:
Adobe Photoshop; Adobe Premiere; Adobe Aftereffect; Final Cut; Skybox; Cinema4D; Maya; 3Dmax; Unity; Unreal Engine; MikuMikuDace; Blackmagic; Fusion; Autopano; Mandlebulber
Schizo lives in Germany. With over 25 years of working experience in digital visual art, he now specializes in 360° VR fractals and stereoscopic fractal animations using Mandelbulb 3D.
As an everyday person, he pays extraordinary attention to Nature, especially at a microscopic level. He incorporates these “Nature elements” into his creations, striving to bring a “WOW” moment to his viewers. “People tune into the visual experience, get fascinated and shift their focus from daily routine to the wonders of fractals. I often use psychedelic chillout as audio background to support the stress relieve effect. My goal is reached when people say “great journey!” after seeing my videos.
The "Acid Eye" Deep Dream Fractal
“This is one of my biggest projects. It is not just a Mandelbulb 3D animation but I added a google Deep Dream layer where the computer “dreamed” on the fractal animation. Because these neuronal network works a bit like our brain, the deep dream process also creates some really psychedelic structures as output. My friend Alex Mischlichter was so kind to do great post processing and gave the video an additional kick. The VR effect for the deep dream layer is not perfect at top and bottom. but I did some tricks to get the deep dream look good at 360°. I released a tutorial with my source code for 360° deep dreaming here.”
The "Fractal Matrix"
“My first VR creation with 180° stereo effect. Stereo is much cooler, but not easy to achieve. At the moment we are trying to get this video to 360° stereo by using the Z-buffer to create the stereo effect via postprocessing.”
J-Walt is a director, interactive designer, filmmaker, performer, graphic artist, music composer, and VR pioneer. For more than a quarter century, he has been at the forefront of interactive art and computer performance, expanding the uses of computer animation into uncharted territories.
“Art doesn’t have to stay in one category. You can mix dance and drawing, music and sculpture. You can merge things and create hybrids however you want.This is the thinking that inspired me to embrace performance as a fundamental part of my creative process.” J-Walt believes in creating virtual worlds in real time, taking his audience exploring with him, the same way a musician does on stage. “There’s a magic that happens when we create something out of nothing… I can celebrate the act of creation, rather than just the resulting artifact.”
“Pumping rainbows into the sky, under a Harvest Moon. Transforming the environment to bring bliss into the world. What is needed is bubbling up from below the surface. I started this scene by drawing the pipe structures onto a landscape, and the story of this place emerged before me as I created the details. The concept, imagery and music are mine, performed in my real-time system.”
Lionel Williams, also known as Vinyl Williams, is an LA-based multimedia artist and musician. His VR music videos attempt to achieve extreme harmony across dimensions that enables his audience to experience a transcendental, encompassing world view rich with symbolisms from various cultures.
“It is supposed to make our choices & actions more to the benefit of ourselves & each other through a barrage of ancient Egyptian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Mesopotamian, Pagan, and even Enochian symbolism that lead towards endless gateways, representing an exit of the track of biological existence, into a state of incorporeal bewilderment.”
“I use After Effects CS5 & CC17 to edit. Its strengths are rooted in its name – effects! The Red Giant Universal effects are fantastic, as well as Mettle’s 360º plugins that I just received after winning a raffle at their Siggraph exhibit.”
The Adventurous Spark (TAS)
TAS(a.k.a. The Adventurous Spark) is a graphic designer, visual artist and VJ from Austria. TAS creates a unique world of psychedelic motion art and is best known for his mind-bending videos on the web. TAS also performs as a “Portal Agent” illuminating dance floors with projection mappings and live visuals for various European festivals in the psychedelic scene.
“Upon a very first contact with TAS in VR, it was able to drag me, ruthlessly, deep into a bizarre dimension, experiencing a state of mindfulness that was alien, yet strangely familiar,” says Dawei Chen. “I found myself naked, frightened and thrilled at face of the unknown… I had to let go my doubts and insecurities. Like a dry-blooded desert animal first time tasting a slice of tropical pineapple, once I embraced the fear, it was pleasurable beyond words can describe.”
Hope you’ve enjoyed this update on digital psychedelic art! Let us know in the comments if there’s anything else you’d like to see.