LookingGlassVR Putting young ARTISTS IN THE PICTURE

Would you like to paint in STARS, or FIRE, or RAINBOWS?

With LookingGlassVR, pupils get a unique opportunity to dive into Virtual Reality.

Once there, they are guided to create stunning artwork in a way they’d never have dreamed, where they can WALK AROUND and inside their artwork and PAINT in mid-air.

What is LookingGlass VR?

LookingGlassVR is a service offered by Theo Williams of Art2VR.

Theo hosts in-school workshop sessions for Primary & Secondary School pupils, demonstrating and teaching Virtual Reality Art.

Each session is planned based on a class size of up to 30 pupils.

What is LookingGlassVR like?

For LookingGlassVR, Theo works with the pupils using Google TiltBrush. Launch the video below to get an idea of what it looks and feels like when you paint in Virtual Reality.


What happens on the day?

Theo briefly shows the pupils how the Controllers they paint with work (these are two hand-held magic wands with a few buttons on each).

VIVE Controller

The pupils then divide into three groups (of up to 10 pupils each).

One pupil at a time from each group wears a ViveStation (HTC Vive VR headset and backpack PC) to paint. The others in their group watch progress of all groups on the main classroom monitor.

Each pupil gets around 10-15 minutes guided painting time allowing for time to get familiar with the system and changeover time between pupils.

Art2VR's ViveStation - paint in VR wirelessly

Will LookingGlassVR work in our school?

Before the day, Theo will work with you to ensure facilities are suitable. All he needs is a large empty classroom space with a few plug sockets and a visual display (overhead projector, large TV screen, active whiteboard, etc.).

A typical classroom environment

Theo brings with him all the other equipment required (three VR units) and he sets up the classroom environment ahead of the session so no pupil learning time is wasted.

What will the children learn?

In addition to enjoying perhaps their first fully immersive Virtual Reality experience, pupils learn to experiment, create and control their technique, select from a range of drawing and painting materials and tools, choose appropriate colours, mix various styles and media.

They may also gain inspiration from watching the input of others in their group and are able to analyse and evaluate their own creativity, undoing or retrieving paint strokes as they work.

These learning outcomes are explicit in Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 of the National Curriculum programmes of art and design study.

And they get to paint in STARS and FIRE and RAINBOWS!


What outputs will occur from the session?

The work of each pupil group is saved at the end of the session.

The paintings they created are then uploaded as a 3D world to Google Poly . From here, the school can share the pupils’ work with parents and visitors to the school, or via published links in newsletters, or at Parent Evenings, or online on the school website - however you choose.

After the initial classroom session, teachers may wish to commission additional or more advanced workshops with certain pupils showing a high aptitude.

(Teachers may also wish to explore other educational VR projects, on which Art2VR is happy to collaborate.)

How do teachers assess pupil performance from the session?

The workshop is designed to reference key requirements of the National Curriculum for Art and Design Programmes at KS2 and KS3.

Art2VR can provide outcome reports for the classroom teacher documenting exactly what each individual pupil achieved in the session.

Alongside images of the pupil’s individual work, these reports can be printed out and included in pupil folders to provide evidence of learning.

Why is VR Painting important in school?

VR painting is magical. It is engaging and exciting for pupils. Artists can walk around inside their artwork, paint in mid-air and create with materials that would be physically impossible in the real world. Creating in virtual reality is not constrained by physical laws but it feels real.

Pupils of all ages and levels of ability can achieve exciting creations quickly. It can also be a liberating experience for pupils with physical or sensory limitations. Theo can work with you to plan the session to make the most of this opportunity.

Virtual Reality is increasingly important in design, engineering and other forms of creative and expressive life, so early access to tools which will become occupational requirements is important.

Free creativity and experimentation are encouraged as materials in a VR session are “virtual”, therefore cost in wasted physical resources is not an issue.

Is LookingGlassVR safe?

Art2VR uses the latest technology. Our purpose-built ViveStations use dedicated lightweight backpack PCs and as such are wireless. This provides the best form of VR experience, without wires trailing on the floor behind the user.

Art2VR is covered by public liability insurance covering LookingGlassVR sessions. Theo is DBS certified.

The HTC Vive face mask and controllers are sanitised prior to each pupil’s use, to maintain cleanliness.

Pupils work in separate dedicated areas of the classroom, to avoid bumping into each other. “Chaperone guides” also appear in Virtual Reality to show users where the limits of their own work area lie.

Whilst the pupils’ artwork is recorded and stored, their image, name and identifying details aren’t. This makes safeguarding of pupils easier when wishing to share their VR artwork.

Art2VR carries public liability insurance for LookingGlassVR sessions, and Theo is DBS certified.

Theo will brief the classroom teacher and teaching assistants in advance on the equipment and what to expect in the day and how to help keep pupils safe during the session.

Who is Theo and what is Art2VR?


Theo Williams is a long-standing fine artist and illustrator, born in Bolton. Theo founded Art2VR in January 2017 as a company dedicated to linking virtual and real-world art.

Products from Art2VR include framed paintings that the owner can “step into” and virtually tour on their smartphone in a VR Viewer and using a unique Painting Portal app.

For more insight into Art2VR and Theo's art, please visit www.art2vr.com

How much does a LookingGlassVR session cost?

The cost depends on the number of pupils accommodated within a session. The focus of a planned session must be for each pupil to gain sufficient enjoyment and achievement from their immersive experience in VR (for which each pupil requires at least 10 minutes).

Hence, accommodating larger classes may require the planning of a longer, full day session. As an indication:

Half-day session (AM or PM only, approx 2.5hrs) - £250

Full-day session (AM and PM, approx 4.5hrs) - £400

I am interested in discussing a LookingGlassVR session - what do I do next?

Contact Theo at Art2VR. Theo can arrange to come and give your classroom Arts specialists and Senior Leadership team a hands-on demo of LookingGlassVR.

Email us at lookingglassvr@art2vr.com

Or ring Theo on 07810 375738

Created By
Theo Williams

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