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Art created in virtual reality is coming to the Royal Academy

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3D-printed artwork created using the HTC Vive virtual reality headset is to go on display at the Royal Academy of Arts early next year.

Using VR software – including Google’s painting app Tilt Brush – artists will create works of virtual art, before physical versions of some aspects are 3D-printed to appear as part of a display at the Academy, where visitors will be able to study the creations in both physical and virtual form for the project, called Virtually Real.

HTC Vive
(HTC/Royal Academy)

Royal Academy Schools student Jessy Jetpacks, along with alumni Adham Faramawy and Elliot Dodd are using the HTC Vive headset and system – which has 360-degree vision and room-scaling capabilities enabling headset wearers to walk around a designated space – to create their work.

HTC Vive
(HTC/Royal Academy)

Visitors to the exhibition will encounter physical parts that have been printed, as well as be able to put on a Vive headset and watch the artwork appear around them, and try to create their own artwork using the same apps and the Vive’s hand controllers.

Royal Academy Schools head of fine art processes Mark Hampson said: “As a 21st century art school the exciting emergence of new technologies for art production is paramount in our thinking at the RA Schools.

Royal Academy
(Royal Academy)

“We are delighted to be collaborating with HTC Vive on this innovative project, which will extend our knowledge into the relatively uncharted territories for works of art using virtual and digital means, offering us the chance to not only experiment with virtual head set technology but to become pioneers in the production of 3D sculptural forms created from virtually generated imagery.”

The exhibition will open to the public between January 11 and 14.

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