It’s been five long years waiting for the first real interactive experience from animator David OReilly — ever since successfully fooling the world (myself shamefully included) with his iHologram concept video — but the time has finally arrived.
In advance of its public debut at the upcoming Pictoplasma character design festival, he’s just released Character Mirror, an Oculus Rift experience that lets you embody all the characters from his multi-award winning short, The External World.
Created with some technical assistance from Kokoromi member Damien Di Fede, and in keeping with Pictoplasma’s 10th anniversary ‘Portraits’ theme (which also has birthed this amazing Tumblr of character-selfies) — the Rift experience places you in a virtual gallery space with only one exhibit: a mirror that reflects ‘you’ as a rotating array of cast members.
For as stripped-down an experience as it is, it’s a weirdly haunting & compelling one — each character never dropping “eye-contact” even as you do your best to look away — particularly when inhabiting some of OReilly’s let’s just call them like less-adorable creations (all the character rigs of which he’s Creative Commons released over here for your own Unity/Rift experiments).
You can grab a Windows & Mac version of the Character Mirror now via OReilly’s website, or find it on display at Pictoplasma when the festival opens in Berlin this May, and join me in hoping that this is only the first of a long line of interactive OReilly-ness.
If this is the first time you’ve run across OReilly’s work, I’ll also embed The External World in full below, which it sort of goes without saying that you should dim the lights & watch in its entirety straight away, before moving on to his earlier Please Say Something.