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The Royal Academy of Arts and HTC Vive Present First 3D Printed VR Art

In January 2017, London’s Royal Academy of Arts and HTC Vive will present the first ever 3D printed artworks in virtual reality, with work from artists Adham Faramawy, Elliot Dodd and Jessy Jetpacks in the exhibit Virtually Real.

The artists will create their work using virtual reality platform HTC Vive. Aspects of each of the artists’ work will then be 3D printed for the first time as part of a display at the Royal Academy, where visitors will be able to experience these groundbreaking creations in both virtual and physical form.

Each artist involved in the project has a history of work involving virtual reality, apps and multimedia. The pieces will be created using a series of artistic software programmes including Tilt Brush – a paint pallet that lets the user paint in a 3D space with virtual reality and Kodon – a virtual 3D modeling tool. SuperHuge 3D printing will be used for the project which is a Hybrid Object Layer Manufacturing (OLM) 3D printing technology.

In the virtual world each piece will be viewed using an HTC Vive – where visitors can walk through, over, under and around the artwork as it is created around them, fully immersing themselves in the virtual piece. The project will showcase the potential of VR where the physical limitations of gravity cease to exist and playback technology allows pieces to be experienced as they are created, as well as in their final physical forms. Whilst viewing the final pieces, visitors will also be able to experience the making of each artwork which will be shown in virtual reality using an HTC Vive headset. Visitors can then try their own hand at creating masterpieces in VR using the same virtual reality programs used by the artists.

“The artists selected for this collaboration represent an emerging generation who are perfectly equipped to investigate the possibilities for an art rooted in the virtual world,” says Mark Hampson, Head of Fine Art Processes for Royal Academy Schools. “Their use of hybrid approaches, that utilize both traditional and future forms, enables them to manipulate technologies both with and against their intended commercial functions. The work they produce will signpost us to unexpected future creative outcomes and new universes of artistic possibility, helping mold the identity of future art school creativity.”

Virtually Real will be running from January 11th-14th, 2017.