Open City Documentary Festival

Creating Animation in Virtual Reality

Sep 26 — Oct 31
6 evenings, over 6 weeks
£300 / £275 - Students / £250 - UCL Students

Students will learn how to animate characters, objects, cameras and lights to create animations that come to life in front of viewers in VR space.

If you have an interest in storytelling, technology or just want to plan your ideas in 3D, this is the course for you.

Using Virtual Reality as the primary tool, students will learn how to animate characters, objects, cameras and lights to create animations that come to life in front of viewers in 3D space as in real life.

Over the course of six sessions students will gain hands on experience with building, animating and capturing movement with a range of different tools and techniques. Using the accessible VR animation programme ‘Tvori’, beginners and professionals alike will benefit from a knowledge of animating inside VR.

This is an exciting new approach to creative work with possible applications in traditional 2D filmmaking as well as the 3D and gaming industries.

Course Outcomes

Students will learn to:

  • Animate characters and objects using VR
  • Shoot scenes using VR
  • Export files to 2D screens / 360 video or other applications

Course Outline

Session 1: Introduction to Animating within VR
Demo & Overview

In our first session we dive into the world of animating directly within VR. Look at some of the tools available on the market and get our hands into the tools for the first time.

  • VR animation overview
  • Tools available
  • Overview of Tvori
  • Hands on with Tvori
  • Working with the timeline
  • Simple object animation  

Session 2: Animating Characters in VR

This lesson covers animating characters in VR. Creating your own design, learning to animate keyframes and navigating the timeline.

  • Using the rigged puppet
  • Customising the design of your character
  • Animating keyframes
  • Working with the timeline

Session 3: Cinematography in VR Animation

Now you know how to animate objects and characters this lesson looks into lighting, staging and animating of cameras. Learn how to shoot scenes with multiple cameras and adjust the lights to give you maximum impact

  • Using the Camera techniques and controls
  • Using VR Lighting
  • Adjusting sunlight
  • Parenting cameras to objects/characters

Sessions 4 & 5 : Building a Real Time Experience and Open Project Session 

  • Learn how to create scenes for first person experiences and use your skills in an open creativity session to create your own mini scene for exporting in session 6.
  • An open creation session (session 5)
  • Animate a scene as a 6DOF experience
  • Setup a scene for 360 export

Session 6: Exporting Videos & Post Processing
2D/360 & Alembic Export

And finally we look into final rendering options for animations. We will explore exporting 2d videos, still images, 3d files, 360 video and Alembic files for use in other programmes such as Unity.

  • Setting up a scene for final export from Tvori
  • Exporting 2d cameras
  • Exporting 3d files for post processing
  • 360 export
  • Alembic to Unity / Maya / Keyshot
  • Extended ideas for VR animation

For an indication of what students can learn to make, see below for an example of a short animation created by course tutor Sean Rodrigo, using Tvori.


If you’d like to be added to this course’s mailing list for future running dates, please get in touch with

Photo by Cheska Lotherington @cheskall.



Sean Rodrigo

Course Tutor

Sean Rodrigo creates 3D art in Virtual Reality. Using VR software like Google TiltBrush, Masterpiece, Blocks and many others to create artwork that can be used for super quick, cost-effective and even ‘on the fly’ 3D artwork. VR visuals can be used to create immerse VR training simulations, full room scale 3D environments or even VR animation of a product or story.

For the last 12 years he has worked closely with brands, broadcasters and agencies to create video and digital advertising campaigns in two continents. Over the last two years Sean has started developing projects in Virtual Reality and receiving commissioned projects creating 3D artwork in virtual environments, virtual training material for corporate workforces and working with international artists to create immersive installations.