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Immersive Experiences

Week 3: Dear Angelica & Drawing

Note: I’m doing my homework this week entirely on Apple Vision Pro. We’ll see if this lasts.

dear angelica poster

Dear Angelica

“Dear Angelica” was a beautiful movie—the art style is unlike any film I’ve ever watched, and created the vibe masterfully. I couldn’t hear super well in the environment I was in, but even not totally processing the plot, I felt immersed in the mother-daughter relationship and in awe of my surroundings. The 360º subtitles wrapping around, though beautiful calligraphy, I struggled to read when rotating my neck around.

I find the app model of Meta Quest, where apps immediately take over your space with no warning or indication, jarring. Before my room changes suddenly around me, I’d love to say yes to a 360º video. There were also no discernible controls for pausing, recentering, changing settings, or seeing the time. Meanwhile, I still haven’t figured out how to close the dock of apps, which prevents me from forgetting I’m in a VR operating system with this randomly-placed rectangle of apps somewhere in my field of view. At the same time, the superimposed hand outlines & rays from the controllers, none of which I was touching or attempting to use, distracted from the content.

I couldn’t tell what posture fit the experience best. I defaulted to sitting on a sofa, but with content always below & behind me, in hindsight perhaps you’re intended to stand? My problem with 360º content generally is I always feel like I’m missing something—while that can be good for focusing within a spatial productivity workspace à la Apple Vision Pro, in a movie I felt like I missed hidden gems or else rotated myself hyperactively.

Drawing in VR

On the Meta Quest 3, I tried both Tilt Brush & Gravity Sketch for drawing this week. Since “Dear Angelica” used Quill, I looked for it on the Quest’s app store, but didn’t find Quill, so I stuck to those two.

I started with Tilt Brush since I’ve heard about it before. I found its controls immediately intuitive; it felt native to the controllers, whereas most of the OS feels like it wouldn’t require them (when better hand tracking is present). I started off drawing dazzling/animated light way too close to my face, which was a bit disorienting, but I quickly found the teleport & mirror controls, and had fun playing with it.

I switched over the Gravity Sketch and gave it ten minutes, but I never got a hand of what any of the controller buttons did. Whereas the clear overlays & quick learning curve of Beginner Mode in Tilt Brush got me started immediately, I couldn’t get the hang of switching between drawing, editing stroke width, changing tools, etc.

I switched back to Tilt Brush to create this. Seeing the low precision I had with the hand-controller interface, and not being able to figure out how to draw with my right (dominant) hand, I chose a brush style with low precision to match my abilities in this medium. I modeled myself in the first scene of my 360 video.

Presenting: Me in my Docs & pink coat & green pants using my glowing MacBook at IMA, before I left for the subway:


Here’s the .tilt file.