bink.cafe

Online virtual museum in collaboration with the artist Bink.

The bink cafe is a virtual museum where every month a new collaborative exhibition is organized. The artist Bink invites artist with different backgrounds working from various disciplines. What they all have in common is that they have a passionate story to tell.

Visit bink.cafe to experience the museum for yourself. Click on the door to go inside the cafe. By holding down you mouse button and moving your mouse you can look around. Click on the ground to move to that position. Click on people, radios and paintings for special interactions. Press F (or the cat) to enter fullscreen (and escape to exit fullscreen).

Making off

Bink already had the idea of a virtual museum in her head for some time before she came to me. At our first meeting she brought this sketches of what she would like to accomplish.

One of the main things we wanted to figure out for this project was how to make it easy for her to change the placement of artworks without needing to learn Unity. It would also have been a hassle to have to build and upload the Unity project every time we wanted to make a new expo.

In the end we decided to work with a json file which described where all the artworks where hanging, what everybody was saying, which radio made what sound, how many floors the lighthouse has and much more. Changes in the file could almost instantly be seen in the experience itself, creating a very fast feedback loop.

simplified excerpt of the json file:

{
      "floorName": "Pixels in Time",
      "darkMode": true,
      "people": [],
      "artworks": [
        {
          "title": "giraffe",
          "artist": "NO FISH",
          "position_x": 118.2,
          "position_y": 0,
          "height": 1.5,
        }
      ],
      "videos": []
}

Another important goal we had was to keep everything in the experience in Bink’s own drawing style. For the final look we used multiple techniques to achieve the final look. Like the inverted hull technique for the stairs and the bar. The other lines on the walls come from a texture. 2D billboards for the objects and most of the characters. And a special kind of billboard for Bonk (see image to the right).

My own expo

I was the first artist who could show their work in the virtual museum. The exhibition was temporary but here are some screenshots from when it was still online.

Bink Cafe Expo with NO FISH | 20 April 2021 – 31 May 2021

Resources used:

HardwareOculus Questexperience kind of works in VR
SoftwareUnitygame engine
Visual Studiocoding
Blender3D modeling
Photoshoptexture work
WinSCPfile transfer to server
Unity AssetsWebXR Exportused to get webXR working
Prefab Lightmappingused to bake lighting data into prefabs
Mesh Bakerused for optimization