Pollock-Krasner House & Study Center
Tracing Paint: The Pollock-Krasner Studio in Virtual Reality
Exploring a historic site in VR
The intention behind creating the virtual reality experience Tracing Paint was to bring the Pollock-Krasner House paintings back into the studio so visitors could have a deeper appreciation of what was created in this historic place.
Content Development User Experience/Interface Design Volumetric Capture Unity Development
MediaCombo brilliantly produced the virtual reality experience we wanted for the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center. Their imaginative approach and technical expertise have allowed us to offer a unique tour that our visitors love and is only possible in VR. Going back in time to the studio as it was when Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner worked there, visitors can see the artists' paintings where they were created, hear them talk about their work, and gain insights into their motivations, all while feeling immersed in their environment. The experience is awesome!
The Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center was opened in 1988 to show where Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner painted their abstract expressionist masterpieces. None of these iconic works can be seen on site — they are all in museums or private collections around the world. The intention behind creating the virtual reality experience Tracing Paint was to bring the paintings back into the studio so visitors could have a deeper appreciation of what was created in this historic place. This VR experience also permits greater accessibility to the studio, enabling people who can’t travel and those with mobility issues to visit the site virtually.
We used photogrammetry to scan and create a 1:1 model of the artists’ studio. With the help of contemporaneous photographs, computer graphics transformed the model to realistically represent the way it looked in the late 1940’s and early ‘50s — when Pollock painted his most iconic paintings, like Blue Poles, in the drafty, unheated, barn. Then we placed paintings back into the studio on the floor right where they were painted, and, using spatial audio, brought Pollock himself back to speak about his technique, inspiration and intentions.
The studio was updated with heat, electricity and walls before Pollock died in a car crash in 1956 and Lee Krasner took over the studio. The second chapter of the story takes visitors to the bright, updated version of the studio she worked in to see her paintings on the walls where she painted them and hear Lee talk about her work and what mattered to her as an artist.
Visitors to the Pollock-Krasner House during the summer of 2020 were captivated by Tracing Paint. In a VR headset, they could explore the studios by teleporting or walking in a room-scale environment to examine the paintings, inspect the artists’ tools and materials, and hear directly from the artists themselves.
The experience was so well received the Pollock-Krasner House & Study Center decided to make Tracing Paint directly available to everyone on the Quest and HTC Vive VR app stores.
Produced & Directed by MediaCombo Technical Director/Experience Designer: David Gochfeld Director of User Experience: Lisa Lokshina Photogrammetry & 3D Modeling: The Glimpse Group/Q-Real Sound Design & Audio Programming: Chapter Four
Very engaging. The virtual reality program made you feel like you were right there when he made the paintings. There’s no greater way to connect with the artist unless you visited him in the studio when he made them.