VR art experiences - Technical noob looking for some help!

Hi - after GDC I have become very excited by the possibilities of VR and making some art experiences with the technology.

I am looking to complete a simple scene as a proof of concept.

I did a series of digital paintings last year here’s one of my favorites:

Most of the others can be seen here if you’re interested in scouring through my sketchbook thread :):

I’ve blocked out a scene in UE4 with placeholder art inspired by this painting:

My goals are as follows please help me to correct my missteps here I am just an artist but I’d like to figure all this out if I can:

Post Effects! - This is my biggest question so far. I want to have a lot of texture in the post FX - graininess - brush stokes “dancing” on the screen etc. Where do I start learning about that? How much can I get away with without being overly expensive? I’ve made a treatment of what I have in mind - the final would be in motion and informed by the colors and values in the frame. Any ideas to get the following look?:

Animation and FX-
Figure with one or two subtle animated blend shapes of breathing
Smoke FX driven in blueprint by the breathing blendshape?
Spark and Glow FX also driven by breathing

Audio -
Breathing Audio on a loop
Crackling Audio on a loop
Exterior sounds of water/wind - for a white noise effect

Art Assets -
Figure with blendshapes
Fire Nest

Lighting -
Baked mostly and a dynamic fire glow

Mechanics -
Movement very slow and clamped to floor of the dome

Platform -
HTML5? Would be great to have this web based to show around - had some success porting things to html5 but the load times were very high.
Mobile? Again - would be cool to give people a “window” to look into this world.

Thanks for reading! I just need to know what can be accomplished in post FX or any method to get the above painterly look? If you can help me out I would be happy to help you in any way I can - including 3d assets for your projects!

Without reading the entire thread and looking at the overall thing you’re wanting to do, I would haphazard to guess that as long as you don’t have anything too complicated as far as “gameplay”, such as AI, player-npc combat, other graphic intensive stuff, then this should be doable as long as you don’t go overboard. The entire thing is that with VR, you would typically want to minimize the amount of particle effects / post processing due to the nature of VR needing to be 75-90 fps to match the refresh rate of the screen (and to avoid nausea).

This is one of those “test it out” because afaik, there are some effects that are not yet hashed out for rendering in VR.

I love to see this sort of thing, wish I could offer some useful advice re postprocess FX, but I’m afraid I haven’t gone much beyond what’s built in. But the first place I’d look is Post Process Materials:

I would like to suggest that if you’re targeting a VR experience, any sort of fullscreen distortion effects (brushstrokes, etc) in VR might appear literally applied to a piece of glass in front of the player’s face, moving around with them as they move their head, versus being applied to the objects in the scene.

You may get much more agreeable results (though perhaps requiring more effort) if you look into a way to apply a brush stroke effect to the materials used on scene objects themselves (you can even do flipbook animations in materials for a more “dancing”/alive effect). Of course you’ll still see the hard edges of meshes, which will take away from the seamless, blended look of a 2D painting, but perhaps you can find an artful way to work within/around this constraint… perhaps some creative way to make the brush strokes even more 3D, really call attention to the depth of this 3D world you’re creating, rather than trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.

Just food for thought: these aren’t animated/dancing brush strokes, but I thought this demo was a very good example of using 2D brush strokes in 3D VR:

Good luck!