For the past two years, Japanese virtual reality (VR) developer Psychic VR Lab has held its NEWVIEW Awards to showcase the best talent using its free online creation tool STYLY. Accepting submissions from around the world – 2019 received 145 – the event took place in December hosted at Shibuya PARCO in Tokyo. VRFocus was lucky enough to attend and spoke with the winners to learn a little more about their quirky VR experiences.
While there was a theme of ‘Design Your Ultra-Experience’, the main stipulation was that the online creation and publishing platform had to be used. Not only so everyone had access to the same tools but also for distribution; you can view all the artwork online yourself via the award website. Even with the same tools creators came up with some wildly different projects, some used photogrammetry while others simply used STYLY’s editing tools.
In total there were eight awards to allocate, with three artworks awarded a silver prize of $5,000 USD with one awarded the gold prize of $20,000.
The Gold Prize went to Takkun Museum, a piece the artist created to combine both memories and artworks of his son since birth. Viewers are able to look at the pictures the child drew and the toys he played with at different ages. “The sharing of future family photos maybe like this. Not only is it possible to experience the content given to the XR world but also to arrange and create and enjoy it for the individual, leading to the idea of a photo album service that is one step ahead, and the only point that I thought “I want to do it!” to,” said NEWVIEW judge Yumeshin Nemu.
The three Silver Prizes went to VR MANGA WORLD for STYLY, Piece of String and ne.mui, each offering an imaginative take on the theme. VR MANGA WORLD for STYLY, for instance, puts you inside a comic, opening each scene as you climb a stairwell. Piece of String, on the other hand, was one of the few pieces to use photogrammetry as creator Wyatt Roy allowed viewers into his home using an idea he dreamed about. “I really liked this work. I myself had scanned myself using similar photogrammetry in a Toronto studio, but it was impressive to see this work in a very unique way,” said filmmaker and judge Nick DenBoer.
Then there were four smaller awards:
- KMNZ Prize – C’est la vie, SHOGYO-MUJO
- Hideki Matsutake Prize – Merging Memories
- Parco Prize – ne.mui
- Media Ambition Tokyo Prize – Piece of String
To learn a little more about these winners and their ideas and inspirations check out the interview compilation below.
The event wasn’t just a chance for Psychic VR Lab to showcase STYLY’s VR capabilities, augmented reality (AR) was also thrown in the mix as well. Having previously revealed AR integration would be coming to the app in 2020 VRFocus saw that in action on the 5th floor of Shibuya PARCO with a piece called Discont viewed through Lenovo Mirage Solo headsets. For further STYLY updates, keep reading VRFocus.
Disclosure: VRFocus a media partner for the NEWVIEW Awards, with costs covered to attend the 2019 event.