Mike Woods from Oscar-winning VFX company Framestore discusses the creative and technical issues to confront before entering the virtual world.
Virtual reality is here to stay. Facebook confirmed that with its mega purchase of Oculus. But now that the dust has settled, how do we educate brands, content creators, and marketers how to use it?
Unlike many other zeitgeist-busting pieces of tech that arrive on the scene, VR brings with it an entirely new language of storytelling. We’re creating a new form of narrative that includes the viewer. This becomes a strange hybrid of first-person shooter game and an almost Brechtian approach to live theater (think Sleep No More or Secret Cinema). It’s resulted in a very different set of rules to learn, and, consequently, some perilous pitfalls. That’s something I’m grappling with every day at my own company, Framestore, as we pioneer launching a full-fledged VR and Immersive Content Studio.
For others who are even just considering dabbling in VR, here are eight considerations to aid your production and business process and help you understand how to use the medium correctly.
Facebook is purchasing Oculus VR, maker of virtual reality gaming headset Oculus Rift, for $2 billion. Oculus has an enthusiastic developer community of engineers working to push the Rift—a piece of technology that isn’t even on the market yet—to its limits and to redefine what an entertainment experience can be. As Zuckerberg notes in his statement, “The Rift is highly anticipated by the gaming community, and there’s a lot of interest from developers in building for this platform.” Vibrant external developer communities can’t be purchased directly in cash or in stock options; they can only be bought by acquiring the technology ecosystems to which they are attracted. By acquiring Oculus, Facebook did just that. Developers working on Oculus through platforms like Unity are using it for everything from massively complicated adventure games to fully immersive journeys through Jerry Seinfeld’s apartment.