Bowels of the tub


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And in the bowels of the tub, Trevor puffed the pipe hanging out his slack jaw.

‘I was a nightmare!’ and his red-veined eyes widened so far, I thought they were about to pop out.

‘One must face the horror,’ I replied, slapping him on the back of his thick woollen jumper.

As Trevor described the beast, I set about recreating it in Oculus Medium, the sculpting software that works with my Oculus Rift S virtual reality headset and Touch controllers:

‘Yes, that be it!’ Trevor gasped, gingerly taking a step back from the computer screen. The boat tossed heavily in the water, and we were flung to the seating on the other side of the hull.

‘Let us placate the monster with some fair music,’ and I brushed some musical notes in Oculus Quill, the painting software that also works with my Oculus Rift S virtual reality headset and Touch controllers:

‘What use is that!’ Trevor screamed, his weathered face a crimson, ‘the beast will not rest, never.’

Regardless, I opened Blender (the 3D modelling software) and granted the fiend a mechanical arm:

Trevor was resigned, yet still said, ‘the arm, aye, it jolt like that in my terrible dreams.’

Then I added some morph target animation on top of the arm’s skeletal animation, to afford a sinkhole of a mouth:

Trevor reached for the brandy, and after a large gulp agreed to put on the Oculus Rift S headset.

‘Don’t worry,’ I assured him, ‘I have added some friendly voices to help you tackle the monster.’ The 3D audio was recorded in Magix Music Maker and then imported into my C++ virtual reality engine (with OpenGL graphics library and the Oculus SDK for Windows) as FMOD events:

Trevor violently tore the Rift off his balding head within seconds. ‘It be too much,’ he muttered, ashen-faced and shaking. Sweat coated the mask of the headset.

Perhaps I should not have added the OpenGL post-processing effect each time the beast roared?

Here is a video of Trevor’s recreated dream:

I had managed to stomach the sequence, where my seafaring buddy could not. And when I removed the Oculus Rift headset and Oculus Touch controllers, he was no longer below deck.

I raced up the wooden steps, but it was too late. Trevor had already thrown himself overboard, and was bobbing up and down in the crashing waves as a sea creature encircled.

If only his nightmares could have won over those impetuous sea legs.