Tana Pura is an audio-visual experience designed specifically for the VR medium set to a musical composition by Jonny Greenwood. Thematically, it explores the moments following death, and the transition of the soul into the afterlife. Inspirations include The Tibetan Book of the Dead and The Psychadelic Experience.

The piece is designed to be experienced in a passive manner, however each playthrough has a unique seed with subtle variations, and hidden interactions.

June 11 Update: Desktop Version now available

Custom Tools

The movements and timing of the instruments are key to the experience. These tools have enabled granular control to drive procedural animation. Details can be found at my dev log on the Oculus forums.

  • MIDI Parser: The timings of the piano have all been manually mapped and converted to midi. From there they are exported as keyframes to drive animation in sync performance.
  • GyroScope Recorder: The movement of the bow is essential in a violin performance. This app records the gyroscope and accelerometer data over time. By mimicking the violin movement with the device in our hand, we can capture that expressiveness and translate it into animation.
  • Drawing Recorder: Rather than manually keyframe spline-based animations, I've created a lightweight drawing tool that records a line drawing in sync with the music.
  • Asset bundle hot-swapping: When dealing with lightweight scripting bundles, the iteration process benefited greatly by being able to quickly export a bundle from Unity to the web, and stream it instantly into the headset without syncing the full project.

Background

The title of the piece, Tana Pura, is inspired directly by an instrument in the piece called a Tanpura. Tana refers to the style of music, whereas Pura translates to "complete." The visual narrative shows an abstract evolution from dissonance to a sensation of completion.

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