After developing the titles, my next steps involved pairing them with our chosen fonts for the text on the panels.
I found that for the main title, the hand drawn type was the most appropriate. The title was to feature as an introduction to the explorable gallery, so I wanted to hint at what was to come through the styling of the type. I do feel that the colour in the above instance is too intense so I may change it to a more sophisticated monochrome style, but for now, the hand drawn style works for us as a team.
I began testing a few layouts to see how to best position our text in the space.
After sharing with the team and having a chat about the work, we found that the layout below was the most impactful. By having a long title sweeping left to right with the lower hierarchy text on the right hand side, the eye is drawn from the left to right and down to the text.
From previous research into Game Design, Virtual Reality spaces and Physical Architecture, I learnt the importance of testing in Unity and VR as I went through each element of the space. I tested it in Unity on the gallery, and found that the text wasn’t as high quality as I’d like on the geometry’s UVs. I tried the textures out on 4K panels, and changed around the shaders in Unity to get a sharp image of the text.
I’m aware that the typography arrangement is not perfect in this title yet, but in general I’m pleased with what it’s doing as an arrangement. It’s exciting to replace placeholders with real text, and I can’t wait to keep developing the other elements and see the whole space come together.
Developing Sub-Exhibition Panels
The next stage of the gallery I had to work on was the exhibition panels. From looking at galleries in the real world and then testing the text in the space, I learnt the importance of the “less is more” rule when it comes to text in VR. It’s difficult to read, or pay attention to text for too long while in the Oculus, so I was mindful to only create space for a limited amount of words.
I began by testing how each panel could look with the same sort of hand drawn type as the main title. I felt that the readability was not great, but also that the hand drawn look did not feel very professional.
In light of this, I decided to try out the typography hierarchy which I’d previously set up using Minion Pro and Adobe Garamond Pro. These tests had much more elegance, and I was pleased with the direction they were heading. However, with the classic typeface I felt that I was loosing some of the playfulness that I had been exploring in the previous tests. The painterly elements were important to tie the interview and the gallery together as well as adding character to the space. With this in mind, I tried to see what it would be like to add a splash of colour to the panels.
I then tried a few different iterations to see if I could achieve a more interesting stroke.
The bottom right test was my favourite; the stroke’s solidity made the text pop, while still maintaining the feeling of a paint stroke. I then started to test what each panel could look and feel like with a similar approach, using colour to differentiate them.
I was happy with where the panels were going, so again, I tested them in Unity against their respective gallery spaces.
Feedback and Updates
I shared these spaces with the team and Fiona suggested we use the colour scheme from the interview for these panels. I changed the pallete around and the space felt much better with the continued colours which had been picked from Colin’s paintings.
Populating the Space
With the team happy with were things were going, I then populated the space with the high quality prints Colin had sent and the new panels. I then made the scene walkable, so we could get a feel for it all in together.
One thing that I wanted to be sure of testing was the amount of text that I placed in the scene, and if it was readable. Having previously tried text in the VR space and I knew that it was hard to read too much, so we wanted to make audio edits to accompany the work. After a couple of iterations I felt that I found the right balance.
I felt a sense of achievement in seeing the thoughts, research and development all come together to make this gallery. The next steps will include packaging the whole scene to be moved into Nicole’s master scene. From there I’ll then be cutting together Colin’s audio narration and adding it into the space, adding some particles like the interview, and adding an ambient track in the background.