Many modern paintings are massive in scale (bigger than my bedroom in some cases) and/or have many thick, voluminous layers of paint. Jackson Pollock is a good example. Those paintings look plain and childish when viewed on a tiny screen that fits in your pocket, as you don’t feel their scale, you don’t sense the depth of the paint and its texture, and maybe, you are also not in a suitable environment to view the arts. (IIRC some Mark Rothko paintings are displayed in dedicated rooms with dim light, as desired by the artist.)
But if you view those arts through VR, you can get a lossless, holistic view of the artwork. It can even be better than viewing in person as there is no crowd standing in front taking photos...
You can get 3D via stereoscopic displays. You can get the realism and wrap-around view from huge monitors or projectors but VR let's you see the true scale of something in a way that no other technology can (aside from "actually being there").
For viewing objects where their scale is a critical aspect, VR is invaluable. Aside from arts, architecture is another obvious candidate.
The prospect of seeing just HOW large dinosaurs were is something that makes the 6 year old inside me just giddy with excitement.
Underwater volcanic caves... With __things__ in...
The VR game-- er, experience-- "theBlu" has some neat visuals that really benefit from the scale.
There are also VR-native artworks where scale can be just another dimension to the art, like color or mood.
Here is Goro Fujita's "Worlds in Worlds" for an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzsG1uqfDTQ
And if virtual reality is so real, why replicate what we already have? Why not create something entirely new? I think this is the premise of more than one movie recently.
The content is still a little thin I think. It seems like they're positioning it as a gaming console, and while they have some fun games like Beat Saber I don't think they have the depth of content that popular consoles usually have.
I think the other big thing left is the comfort/weight distribution, for me it's not terrible but I think there are other VR devices that are better. If they just get this to a good enough level I think watching 2D media becomes interesting. If a group of people want to watch the same show at the same time and place and own a big TV, it probably won't replace that, but I think there's enough other circumstances where media is consumed for VR to make inroads if it's comfortable enough. The nice thing about that use case is there isn't the same chicken-and-egg software problem that VR has in other areas.
Right now I don't feel this is the product that will take it mainstream because of those issues, especially the content. It's a shame that Oculus wasn't able to make it (optionally) plug in to a PC and has a separate headset for that. I feel like a lot of the current PC-based VR customers will order that by default, where if they made one device that worked in both cases it would bring along more of their existing userbase to mobile. Even primary PC gamers would probably appreciate low-power versions of their games that they could use on the go.
It's still very good for a v1 device though. If they keep addressing the biggest problems more mainstream success (didn't Mark Zuckerberg say his current goal is to sell 10M units?) doesn't seem that far away.
If that had been my only experience with VR I’d think it was stupid. Having owned a VR headset before I know better, but others might be really turned off by that.
I had a Samsung Gear VR with which I'd play a Tron-like ping pong game. Lots of fun initially, almost no learning curve, but gets repetitive very quickly.
I'm hopeful Quest will mitigate these sorts of things.
With VRidge (https://riftcat.com/vridge) I was able to setup my Pixel 3 in a Daydream headset, use 2 older smartphones as my tracked controllers, and enjoy everything from BeatSaber to SkyrimVR. Image could be better and smoother, but I don't care. I'm throwing fireballs and am fully confident the VR age is here for all intents and purposes. I'll drop the $$$$ on a dedicated setup in a few more months, I'm sure.
VRidge sent out an email earlier today about supporting the Oculus Quest.
(1) Lack of inside-out tracking. The basestation solution for the Vive was at least slick and clever and not terribly inconvenient, but needing 2-3 webcams connected to your PC for the Rift was crazy.
(2) The cord to the HMD was just too much of a nuisance.
I told myself I wouldn't get into VR again until it was untethered and didn't require external sensors or cameras. Lo and behold, here we are with the Quest only a few years later. I haven't had a chance to try it yet, but to me other VR HMDs feel somewhat irrelevant in comparison.
I just picked up a Rift S yesterday and started playing with it.
When I had the Vive I was pretty disappointed in the Rift (no touch controllers at the time, leaked light through the nose, just generally worse).
The Rift S is a lot better. The tracking without base stations, the touch controls work well, and they've really nailed the little things with the experience (easier setup, better menus, better hardware, fewer cords etc.). The price is also pretty good at $399.
The much more expensive unreleased Vive with the new strapped on controllers looks interesting, but it's really nice not having to deal with putting up the room sensors. Also since the new Vive will be more than double the price it's not really a fair comparison anyway.
I'm pretty impressed with Oculus' progress.
Maybe it's irrational, but I just don't want to support that company.
First we have VR-native art. Like Quill, Tiltbrush, Medium, etc. that let you lay down paint strokes in mid air in space for volumetric illustrations (an entirely new medium that didn't exist before), or sculpt virtual objects.
Then we have VR as a mean to create 3D assets for games. Medium, Gravity sketch, etc. Sculpt in VR, export, retopo. Same as what you'd do with a ZBrush workflow except you sculpt the thing organically. Currently most useful for organic shapes, possibly hard surfaces depending on the tool used.
Coming soon, VR for rigging and animating assets.
Then we have VR-based museums for traditional art. Then VR-based museums for VR-based art.
Then we have VR for movie pre-production, where it is used to visit a movie set before it is fully built, like Spielberg used in Ready Player One. This can also be used to figure out key shots angles.
I'm surprised people still think this way.
On the other hand, I would consider the program that creates such graphics a work of art, but the graphics themselves are merely derivatives and have no special value to me.
Instead of seeing anything computer generated as 'amazing' anymore, it's just 'so what?' The N64 was amazing, everything since then is an improvement, to be sure, but not amazing. Probably similar to the first train ever built, that was probably amazing, new trains, while superior in every way, not amazing.
Here are some examples out of many many more:
Wired by Zeyu Ren. https://vimeo.com/308957829
Alex's Sci-fi World by Matt Shaeffer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWNo1H2tVhg
Bird Gamayun by Anna Zhilyaeva https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUW49IKs1kE
Obviously there are really talented and creative people doing things digitally that I could probably never do, but to me it's like watching people play a FIFA video game vs watching an actual match.
It's an immersive view into what it was like to be in the Western Front of World War 1. To me this demonstrates what the VR medium can do for art: immersive experience.
With the current technology, I doubt looking at a painting will be as good as in person due to low resolution, not feeling the same, etc. But creating an immersive experience seems to offer many interesting opportunities for the artist that are not possible using other physical mediums.
Human standards of excellence are, and IMO should be, defined by what humans can do and experience. There's not much scope for competing with or "catching up" to a technology that is inherently many times faster/smarter/more creative that a human. Competition is not the right way to look at this.
However, art can exist within this context if humans are involved somehow or have some input, and I don't mean just the coder's input.
Personally, most computer generated art I see doesn't do anything for me besides act as surface-level eye candy, but I do think it's possible and VR might be a way to connect.
How can you draw that line? If a coder is working on a generative art project, writes an algorithm, runs it, likes the result, is that not art?
Is an iterative process required where the coder throws away the first results and revises their system until they personally feel it's been sufficiently arted?
just because someone identifies as an "artist" and makes vr doesn't mean they are making "vr art" and a graphics programmer is not making art. human creative expression is art whether made by an "artist" or programmer.
now for the smarter humans/bots to tell us how it really is. thank you.
A lot of his VR stuff needs to be experienced to really appreciate, but having spent hundreds of hours in VR I'm convinced this is the most powerful usage of the technology so far. Traditional art has hit a dead end today and this is the path forward.
If you have not experience VR art or have been disappointed by what you have experienced, then do yourself a favor and get to North Adams, MA to experience Chalkroom.
 E.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eXwIyZ-H8o
But, if you are specifically interested in making art IN VR, there's https://www.digitalartsonline.co.uk/features/hacking-maker/7... There's also https://www.notch.one/for-vr/ which is pricey for pros but £99 for private use.
However the nuances of VR art are harder to take advantage of without goggles yourself, being able to test perspective and scale immediately is very beneficial and leads to creative solutions.
For instance, Meow Wolf.
I am more excited by this than I am VR/AR technology in art.