Menghui is the winner of the Directory of Illustration (DI) Cross-Category Award. Here, she tells us more about her award-winning project.

I was invited by the Singapore creative technology studio MashMinds to become one of ten Chinese artist for the program “Please Insert Human Shanghai”. For this I created my VR animation “Balance”. The work was exhibited at the Facebook Exhibition at China International Import Expo in 2019.

Brief

The theme of the program is Chinese culture. And the idea what I found was Chinese zodiac. In the Chinese zodiac, monkeys and rooster are two animals that match each other; we call this “yin and yang” in Chinese. The monkey’s spirituality and rooster’s perseverance complement each other. If someone has spirituality but no perseverance, they would be unstable. If someone has perseverance but no spirituality, they would be stiff.

Research

At the beginning, I wanted to find some different angles to express Chinese culture. I thought about some different perspectives, poetry, Chinese mythology, idioms, characters, Peking opera, landscapes, read their materials, books, and some existing works of art about Chinese culture, and also went to Beijing to visit the Forbidden City. In the end I chose the Chinese zodiac.

Materials

Most of this work was completed in a VR software oculus quill. The final result is a VR animation, a 3D model completed in an oculus medium and 3D printed, and an illustration that can be experienced in AR.

Process

In the early stage of the project, I thought about how to express the theme for a long time. After having a clear idea, I drew a conceptual illustration to determine the tone and atmosphere of the whole work. After that, scenes and characters were drawn, and animations were made in VR. After finishing the VR animation, I also recorded it and then edited it in PR, and made an animated short film.

Challenges

This is the first time I use VR to create. One of the biggest challenges in the process is the change of thinking. The main software used in VR is Oculus Quill. Although quill can be painted stroke by stroke like a two-dimensional drawing, but each stroke of it is in space, and there is no guarantee that the strokes drawn are on a plane or where you want. When I first started using it, I was stuck with the usual two-dimensional drawing method, so that I didn’t let the picture take shape for several weeks. Later I realized that it is much easier to do it with the method of 3D creation.

Insights

The biggest gain is to learn to create with VR, which will become one of my creative tools in the future.

Distractions

In the early stages of the project, I was working on another project. But later, because I wanted to finish this project well, I turned off all the work during these 3 months.

Numbers

5 software what I used, Oculus Quill, Oculus Medium, Photoshop, After Effect, Premier,  3 minutes that the animation have.

Reflections

I want to make the story more richly.

Advice

Do your best to do every job, try to make them different. Don’t distinguish between work and creation, each work is likely to become a good portfolio.

Future

Do your best to do every job, try to make them different. Don’t distinguish between work and creation, each work is likely to become a good portfolio.Look for more possibilities in my creation.

Dream Commission

I hope to work with an excellent new media team to create some different experiences.

Favourite thing to draw

Dream world or animals is what I want to try to draw more.

Workspace

I work in a Shanghai apartment, with my friend, she is also an illustrator, and her cat.

Thanks

Still so excited that I can become one of the winners, a big thanks to the all judges and every one who likes my work.

 
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