From Google, A Totally New Way To Animate

Virtual reality has the potential to change design forever. But so far, it’s just that: potential. We’re still awaiting countless practical demonstrations of real software that makes a better alternative to the streamlined desktop tools we have today.

Well, now you can put VR’s tally to at least one (okay, maybe two, but probably not three). As part of countless experiments it’s building in VR, Google’s Daydream Labs has developed this 3-D animation concept that’s about as simple as playing with action figures. You simply move an object through a scene–like a toy plane or a figurine–while it records (and possibly smooths?) the movement into a real-deal animation.

Meanwhile, in another demo, it demonstrates how a simple human figure (a skeleton) could have joints that you manipulate in the scene like a marionette–which isn’t so far from the anchor points used in some animation software today.

Indeed, as someone who spent countless hours plotting keyframes inside After Effects in his past life just to create the simplest of animations, these quasi-tactile VR experiences feel more akin to something like ultra-rapid stop-motion animation than the non-linear edit systems of today.

And from watching the clips, it’s self-evident that VR will indeed make some complicated software more or less intuitive overnight, all while letting us be like “pew pew, woooosh, brggggkabooommmmm” in the process.