Magritte VR (HTC Vive)
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Magritte VR (HTC Vive)

Max van Leeuwen
by maxvanleeuwen on 17 May 2019

This project is the result of an assignment at The Netherlands Film Academy, to explore the mind of the surrealist painter René Magritte in Virtual Reality (HTC Vive).

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Round of applause for our sponsors

Won Bronze at the Dutch VR Awards 2017!

This project was made in collaboration with Carolien Bakker, Juriaan Slob and Mike Jonker.


This VR film shows the philosophy of the surrealist painter René Magritte.
You play as René Magritte himself. The story consists of three scenes.
One outside, where you find yourself standing next to a house. There is a coffin in the water, floating towards you.
The mother, with clothes wrapped around her head, is seen inside the house.

As a child, Magritte found his mother when she drowned herself, but he couldn’t see her face because it was wrapped in her clothes.

The second scene is inside the house (in Magritte's mind). Which seems like a normal living room at first, but as reality slowly breaks down you're left with Magritte's inspiration for his art.

We converted Magritte's most well-known surrealistic illusions to VR by adding an extra dimension to it. This was quite a technical challenge.
See the play-through (around the 1-minute mark) to get an idea of what this looks like.

The final scene is a flashback to where his mother commits suicide. You're now standing outside again, but watching from a further distance.
A coffin appears in the water where the mother drowned. You see the first scene – including you – play again, from a distance this time.

This video shows the entire short film! Be sure to watch it with sound on.

If you are lucky, you might find a picture of the creators of this project in the bookcase.


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