|Platform||Oculus Rift (Platform)|
|Input Device||Oculus Touch|
|Game Mode||Single Player, Multiplayer|
|Release Date||Q2 2016|
Oculus Medium is a virtual reality sculpting and painting tool created by Oculus VR and announced during Oculus Connect 2. Oculus Medium is a VR App for The Rift and designed to be used with Oculus Touch. Oculus wants Medium to become the "Paint" app of virtual reality.
Medium allows users to perform 3D modeling in 3 dimensional space with natural human inputs in the form of Touch. It's multiplayer capabilities allows another person to act as a teacher and instruct the student within the virtual environment.
Oculus Medium is one of the latest tools/apps to come into the VR game, with this one focusing solely on making and producing your own, personal sculptures as you see fit. There are plenty of tools to help you along with this feat, and there are even more little extras to give your sculpture that little bit of an extra touch to give it that detail you always wanted.
One of the first things the game gives you access to; one of the most powerful pieces of kit the game has you make use of is the control point that you have the ability to use whenever you like all at the touch of a button. Depending on what you select from the control point, you can choose from a vast and varied amount of options, allowing you the opportunity to pick between brush size and hardness; along with a whole set of others. Think of it this way, if you can imagine a tool that you would use in almost any artistic sense, then you can expect it to be in Medium. What’s nice is that each and every tool you can use allows you the chance to fiddle about with their options as much as you desire, and allows the user to edit a tool in such a degree to design the piece of art that you have envisioned inside your mind.
From a controls perspective, Oculus Medium does a good job of simplifying them enough for everyone who plays the game for the first time to pick it up without a cinch. Give yourself about 5-to-10 minutes to figure out where the basic tools are and what they do and from there you’re basically set for every single passing moment you spend inside Medium. All at the touch of a button, and you’ve got the tool you need; without having to spend hours on end trying to figure out what to do next.
Another thing that Medium does well, but some people may find a tiny bit disappointing is the fact the game has a much more key-focus on the 3D aspects of everything. Trying to make your own 2D image is close to being pointless, which I can consider understandable since you’re transported into a 3D space, but it would be nice if it was more of a possibility than it currently is.
Moving back onto the 3D focus on the game, the game really does manage to demonstrate to the user just how much free-flow detail that they can input into their creations. A lot of the building blocks for the game involve objects that have the same sort of consistency and moulding-capabilities as a lump of clay, so if you can imagine it, then the detail you can implement is to be assured. You can make a simple pot of clay with a lid that is slightly ajar, so you can sneak a peek at whatever may be hiding in there. Or, you could create a flaming-dragon, poking his head out of his cave to scare off any weary travelers in search of his spoils of war; with the surrounding scene being filled to the brim with atmosphere, due to lighting and whatever else you’d like to implement.
Oculus Medium does a whole lot right, and you can complete entire scenes that look like something out of an AAA-animation, but I’ve found myself getting a little tired at times of the clay-specific look. There’s nothing initially wrong with it and the freedom it brings can truly bring your creations to life; but it would be nice if everything didn’t always have the living-clay look to it all the time.
Overall, Oculus Medium is a great app/tool for owners of the Oculus Rift and the Oculus Touch. It doesn’t take any more than a few minutes to figure everything out you need to make your own creations, with as much detail as you so choose. The clay aesthetic can rub you up the wrong way every now and again, but that can be excused with just how easily you can edit and change your creations to truly make them however you like; with the added details that make them pop!
Even with how simple Oculus Medium can be from the very start, it doesn’t mean you can’t make use of a few decent tips here and there to get you to hit the ground running. So, with that said; here they are!
First of all, this is a mistake I made a number of times the first time around, and felt quite ridiculous once I discovered a very useful tool, known as “duplicate”. There is always going to be that sculpture that may have more than one pair of parts, be they hands, swords, or even horns; but you can make the mistake of having to recreate them by scratch to try and make them as identical as you can from one another. Instead of painstakingly recreating it all over again, you can simply select the piece you want to copy and paste, and then you can move it to wherever you see fit. It’s incredibly simple; yet incredibly helpful all at the same time!
Secondly, don’t be afraid of the undo button. You’re bound to make a mistake or two every now and again, and instead of painstakingly taking the eraser, fine-tuning it to have the perfect size and stature and undoing the problems that you’ve made. Instead of doing that incredibly painful way of dealing with it, simply hit undo and everything is golden from there on in.
Lastly, don’t forget about the download market, which gives you the opportunity to download other people’s creations and do with them what you will. You could take a base character and design it from there as you see fit or if there’s a piece of scenery that you think would look perfect in the background then feel free to add it. There’s no reason you can’t and if it makes your creation all that more perfect for you, then be sure to use these free downloadable creations that are available to everyone.
Obviously these tips are only something of a jumping off point, but the greatest way to learn is to get your hands stuck into the app and get straight to creating whatever your imagination can conjure up!