A technology that is still very new is VR. Which is interesting since it’s an idea that’s been around for ages. Virtual reality as a concept has been around in science fiction for a long time and has even been tried multiple times. It’s kind of like hoverboards or flying cars, but unlike those, VR is not only becoming reality but also accessible. Some VR headsets being around 200$, the price of entry is constantly decreasing considering they started being $1000 as the lowest price. So with VR becoming accessible, there being a demand for this technology, there must be some application for it. Of course video games are a no brainer. One of the best ways to immerse yourself in a video game is to get a first person view being in the space. Some movies have even used this technology and given an experience of a movie goer being in the actual movie. Now what about design?
Well there could be a lot of applications in different areas of design, but the most perfect application would be for 3D modeling. Since 3D modeling is done on programs on a computer on a 2D screen, it can be tedious and difficult to efficiently make 3D models. Because of this, 3D modelers become somewhat niche since you need specific training and experience with 3D programs to make good models. But if you were able to make 3D modeling more accessible, then there would be a massive increase in modelers. This is what the Google app “Blocks” does.
Blocks is a program you would use with your VR device and it would allow you to use tools and gives you a space to build 3D models in a 3D space. You move the controllers around to sculpt and make whatever you want. It gives you the freedom to sculpt the same way one would with real clay, but now moving it into a virtual space. No longer will you sculpt tediously with a mouse and keys, now you can use your hands to create anything your mind can think of. This is a huge step closer to the Sci Fi fantasies of the 20th century!
As I said earlier, Blocks would make the art of 3D modeling far more intuitive and therefore more accessible. Since Blocks is also a free program, all you need is to own a VR headset and you are ready to create assets. While there are open source programs like Blender, most industry standard programs like Maya can be over $1600 every year. While the technology is still new and no where near being an industry standard, I can almost guarantee in the next decade all the major studios will be incorporating this technology. I can invision giant VR rooms in studios where a team of modelers all wear their headsets and inhabit the room together creating assets in real time, in a real space. All the modelers are able to collaborate in a real space on the same model at the same time. This would greatly increase speed of modeling, especially as the technology improves. Since now the VR controllers you hold are somewhat clunky, I imagine in the future they evolve into thin gloves you would wear with the headset to have even greater control modeling by hand.
And while this is MY Sci Fi, futuristic vision of what this technology could become, with the way technology is accelerating it doesn’t seem that unrealistic. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if that technology was implemented to a degree in the next 5 years. And with programs like Blocks being made, it creates competition for programs like Maya and Blender – So i bet they will begin working on these kinds of VR modeling programs soon as an extension of their current programs.
Now, with accessibility, there would become a massive influx of 3D modelers. Some might say this is bad since it would create an overpopulated field. While that might be true for a short while, with all the new 3D modelers will come all new creatives to the industry. While industry jobs at studios might become more competitive, with so many new modelers, people will start creating independent projects to rival the big studios. This might even lead to brand new studios being created from the groupings of these new modelers. With new studios comes new stories, new art, and competition for the big studios. Everyone has to try harder, the big studios have to kick it into gear because now if they keep making vapid, lazy movies, these smaller studios will be more than happy to make passionate, heartfelt, genuine stories to take their place. So with more modelers comes more competition in jobs and in art making. Supply will meet demand. And with so many creatives now able to break into 3D, the capabilities of 3D art in general will grow further than it is now.