VR Featured Daily (2016/08/01) World famous VFX companies have their own strengths.
World famous VFX companies have their own strengths. For example, Industrial Light and Magic is good at industrial effects and super large scene, while MPC is good at fluid effects, Digital Domain composition and particle effects, WETA motion capture and fluid effects, The Mill making special effects for advertisements and Blur the making of the opening of games and animated trailers.
1.Film VFX Companies are The Vanguard of VR technology.
These special effect companies are naturally interested in VR and AR. For instance, Industrial Light and Magic, a company under Lucas Film, has established ILMxLab, a studio focuses on VR/AR interactive experience. The themes of its recent work include Star Wars and Jurassic Park. Now the studio is working on the Star Wars themed experience of mixed reality by cooperating with Magic Leap.
Technicolor founded an experience center, specializing in developing VR content, platform and technology. Technicolor has several special effects companies, including MPC, The Mill and Mr. X and others. MPC took part in the creation of VR experience of the film, The Martian and The Mill made a VR clip called Help! MPC is working on the VR experience for Suicide Squad of Warner Brothers and Ben-Hur of MGM. In addition, the Research and Innovation (R&I) Lab under Technicolor is also working on the development of immersive content and distribution technologies.
Kim Libreri, CTO of Epic Games, worked as effect artist for The Matrix. He watched some episodes of VR animated film, Henry, produced by Oculus Story Studio and was impressed a lot. Although it was just a small VR clip, it looked very much like classic animations.
2.Experiencing VR Funhouse is much fun than real playground.
VR Funhouse, a kind of VR experience developed by NVIDIA mainly displays the image rendering capabilities based on the latest GPU with a focus on the realistic stimulation and particle effect of the real world. The background of the game imitates such games as balloon shooting, basketball shooting and darting and so on in a real playground. At ChinaJoy held in Shanghai, the queue in front of NVIDIA booth is always one of the longest, which proves the attraction of this VR experience.
Jamie Hyneman, an American special effect expert, is famous as the host for the program Mythbusters on Discovery Channel. He is also the founder of M5 Industries, the special effect company for the program. Hyneman said he was impressed by the imitation of the real world and it was much fun than the real playground after he tried VR Funhouse.
3.VR will not repeat the mistake of 3D.
In the year 2000 or so, everyone was talking about 3D the way we talk about VR now and people anticipated 3D would be the “next big thing”. But except famous directors from Hollywood, like James Cameron, no one else made money from 3D. Therefore, we have every reason to look at VR fever with a doubtful eye. Judging from the ecological systems, the conclusion is VR>3D. Generally speaking, a new technology has to have the following four elements to obtain wide range of application:
1. Multi-functional. VR is not supposed to be applied only in games and videos but in other fields such as education, medical care, travel and design and so on. Of course, VR can also be used in marketing and advertising. For example, OnePlus plans to do its product launch with VR. Though there are still some technical problems, maybe a few years later, Apple’s product launch will be an experience for VR.
2. Diversified and high-quality content. It is important that VR content achieve a balance between professional studios and ordinary users, which is similar with YouTube and Youku where professional content studios and amateurs are both able to generate high-quality video content. Apart from some professional VR content studios like Jaunt and Whaley VR, a Chinese company, many amateurs also post VR content on Youku VR and YouTube.
3. Decreased cost of equipment. Just a few years ago, VR panorama camera was quite expensive while this year, the price of 360° camera at consumer grade has decreased to an acceptable level. More importantly, ordinary consumers just need a cheap VR box plus a smart phone to experience VR with only few fanciers or some offline experience center purchasing high-end VR equipment like Vive.
4. Entrepreneurship ecosystem. VC support is vital to the development of VR industry, especially because early VR start-ups are struggling to get paid off.
3D technology is hardly applied on areas other than TV and films. Even mobile internet has not applied this technology. 3D TV set has always been expensive and almost no people, except some professional studios, is able to produce 3D content.
Last year, New York Times gave Cardboard box to its subscribers so as to enable them watch VR video content via their app. VR rejuvenates new media through the application of new technology. What we expect more of VR is its breakthrough in social media and mobile applications. Facebook 360, a key project launched by Facebook this year is somehow an attempt in this direction. In the past several years, the success of Airbnb and Uber has proved that what the users want is controllable and individualized experience that is close to their daily life. Therefore, besides commercial factors, becoming a phenomenal culture is a critical signal for the success of VR.
Note: The picture cited is said to be the leaked picture of the head mounted display of new Samsung Gear VR.