Image: Edward Madojemu Art
The VR movie Mescaform Hill for Meta Quest tells an exciting story at the intersection of comic art and virtual reality that is well worth watching.
The film takes us to a small Nigerian town. We accompany a young man who is being trained as a traffic cop and is investigating a mysterious criminal case, against the instructions of his superior: Four police officers have recently disappeared without a trace in the area.
The protagonist meets a woman whose young daughter has also disappeared. His investigation leads him to a forest, where he makes a gruesome discovery. Soon it turns out that nothing is as it seems and that the disappearance of the policemen and the girl is closely linked to the dark side of Nigeria.
Drawn by hand in virtual reality
Mescaform Hill: The Missing Five (the full title of the VR film) is based on a webcomic by brothers Edward and Adam Madojemu and was drawn entirely in virtual reality using the VR app Quill.
The brothers have been excited about VR since they saw the first Oculus movie rendered in Quill: Dear Angelica. “It blew my mind and completely changed what I thought was possible with art—not only in VR, but as a whole,” he says. “I’ve been using Quill in my work ever since.”
three-dimensional comic art
The VR film successfully transfers the aesthetics of comics to virtual reality. Rigid 2D panels become windows into a three-dimensional, vivid, animated world.
Since Quill films are rendered in real-time, you can lean into the VR panels and view the characters and environment from different perspectives. Tense and eerie moments feel even more intense and immediate in VR, as they literally go beyond the scope of the comic book.
For more than a year, the brothers researched the new artistic possibilities the medium offered them, designing VR storyboards to figure out which comic elements would work in virtual reality and which wouldn’t. The step into the third dimension was big. “You need to be willing to let go of control so you can begin to think and create spatially,” Edward says.
Here’s how to watch Mescaform Hill with Quest 1 & 2
Here’s how to watch Mescaform Hill: The Missing Five with Meta Quest 1 and 2.
- Install the VR Animation Player app if you haven’t already.
- Open the Oculus TV link of the VR movie and click “Watch later”.
- Start Oculus TV and switch to the “Saved” tab. You should now be able to see the VR movie. Alternatively, you can search for the movie in the Oculus TV search field.
- If you have a Meta Quest 2, activate the “HD” option in the playback menu so that the VR movie is displayed in high resolution. This makes a big difference visually.
For other great Quill creations, have a look at my article Meta Quest (2): The Most Beautiful Quillustrations.