Students create VR art from the inside

Oberon High School students Ella Sieber and Cooper Blackley. (Reg Ryan)

By Luke Voogt

Armstrong Creek students stepped inside worlds created by their own imagination, exploring underwater coral reefs and other scenes in a new virtual reality experience.

“As we drew it, we were inside of our drawing, and we had to make it 3D,” explained Oberon High School year 9 student Ella Sieber.

The students researched photos online and used paintbrush tools to recreate them while immersed in virtual reality (VR) through a headset.

“We had a Finding Nemo theme,” Ella said.

“You would hold these controllers in each hand and move them to create the shape.

“I think it was a good opportunity. That was the first time I had used virtual reality.

“I’m really into art and all that, so it was really good to have art but on new surface rather than paper.”

The Oberon High School students were the first in Australia to trial the new Virtual X program.

The students experimented with Microsoft Tilt Brush – an app allowing 3D painting in VR – to create scenes of lakes, cherry blossoms and more at Geelong Tech School last week.

The program aims to strengthen pathways for regional students into careers in emerging technology.

Geelong Tech School will continue to run trials of Virtual X in semester one, 2021, in partnership with the Australian Centre for the Moving Image and Gandel Philanthropy.

“The COVID pandemic posed many challenges for students, many of which were connected to technology and digital learning,” Gandel Philanthropy chairman John Gandel said.

“As such, ACMI’s emphasis on strengthening tech learning and fostering creativity in young people, including students in the Geelong region, has probably never been more important.”