CableNet Explores VR, Additional Content Could Drive Adoption

Hollywood director Randal Kleiser (“The Blue Lagoon,” “Grease”) just debuted “Defrost,” a four-minute narrative virtual reality film that he hopes is the first in a series of VR films. That’s exactly what the 50 cablecasters that comprise the membership of CableLabs hope for. The industry’s non-profit R&D facility, CableLabs has been studying VR and suggests consumer excitement is strong, but that the lack of content could be a major stumbling block for cable companies interested in providing VR programming. Continue reading CableNet Explores VR, Additional Content Could Drive Adoption

SIGGRAPH 2015: Virtual Production, Cousin of Virtual Reality

At SIGGRAPH 2015, Autodesk executives David Morin and Ben Guthrie described virtual production, its relationship with virtual reality and some newly released tools from their company to aid in the process. Virtual production began with Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings,” got a bump of recognition with “Avatar,” and has been used on many films since. According to Morin and Guthrie, the process, which lets filmmakers create virtual worlds in-camera and composite CG and live action on set, is achieving momentum. Continue reading SIGGRAPH 2015: Virtual Production, Cousin of Virtual Reality

SIGGRAPH: Scientists Tackle Neuroscience Obstacles to VR

Much has been written about the more obvious issues in viewing virtual reality. Top of the list is the motion sickness that some people get, a result of the mismatch between what they see and what they feel. But there’s another issue — an eye-focusing problem dubbed “vergence-accommodation conflict” — that is specific to virtual reality and is much more difficult to overcome than motion sickness. At SIGGRAPH 2015, scientists from Stanford and UC Berkeley described potential solutions. Continue reading SIGGRAPH: Scientists Tackle Neuroscience Obstacles to VR

SIGGRAPH 2015: More on VR and 360 Degrees of Experience

Last week we reported that beneath the aura of excitement generated this year at SIGGRAPH 2015 by the prevalence of virtual reality, a number of compelling panels examined the nuts and bolts of creating VR experiences, including managing workflow and assets. Part 2 of our report on SIGGRAPH VR panels continues with coverage of the VR Village sessions Creating on the Edge and Convergences in Film and Games Technologies, featuring perspectives from professionals in production, post production, visual effects, gaming and journalism. Continue reading SIGGRAPH 2015: More on VR and 360 Degrees of Experience

Industrial Light & Magic Creates VR/AR Projects in ILMxLAB

Earlier this summer, we reported that Industrial Light & Magic was launching its new ILMxLAB division to develop virtual reality and augmented reality experiences for movie fans. The experimental division has now shown off three of its VR and AR proof of concept projects. In addition, ILMxLAB houses a team from Walt Disney Imagineering that’s working on futuristic Disneyland attractions. None of it would be possible without ILM’s unique blend of creative staff, cutting edge technology and years of expertise. Continue reading Industrial Light & Magic Creates VR/AR Projects in ILMxLAB

SIGGRAPH 2015: Talking About VR, 360 Degrees of Experience

Beneath the aura of excitement generated this year at SIGGRAPH 2015 by the prevalence of virtual reality, a number of panels drilled into the nuts and bolts of creating VR experiences, including managing the workflow and assets. From a Birds of a Feather interest group discussion to panels of senior artists from the major studios and visual effects companies, almost everyone agreed that VR represents creativity on the edge. SIGGRAPH offered a 360 degree look at the issues and lessons learned thus far. Continue reading SIGGRAPH 2015: Talking About VR, 360 Degrees of Experience

Nvidia Launches DesignWorks Software Suite for Designers

DesignWorks, Nvidia’s newly announced suite of software tools, technologies, and libraries for designers enables “photoreal rendering for unparalleled accuracy, easy transfer of materials and digital models between applications, and the ability to incorporate virtual reality into design software,” the company said in a press announcement. Alongside the launch of DesignWorks, Nvidia also announced two new professional GPUs: the Quadro M5000 and Quadro M4000, based on Nvidia’s Maxwell GPU architecture. Continue reading Nvidia Launches DesignWorks Software Suite for Designers

SIGGRAPH 2015: The Road to Producing Virtual Reality Content

At SIGGRAPH 2015, the computer graphics convention held this year in Los Angeles, virtual reality executives encouraged the Hollywood production community to begin to develop more content. Oculus Story Studio, the content creation division of Oculus, which makes the Rift virtual reality headset, recently debuted its second short VR film, “Henry.” Creating content for virtual reality comes with a variety of technical challenges, say the experts, but virtual reality won’t take hold until compelling content is available. Continue reading SIGGRAPH 2015: The Road to Producing Virtual Reality Content

SIGGRAPH 2015: XRoad of Discovery; Emerging Tech Conference Opens in LA

SIGGRAPH 2015, the interdisciplinary conference on the latest computer graphics and interactive techniques, is underway at the LA Convention Center and runs through August 13. SIGGRAPHis unique as a trade event because it showcases both the state of the art in professional production as well as being one of the best places in the world to see and experience emerging technologies, talent and academic research. The conference theme, “XRoads of Discovery,” and the selection of Joichi Ito, director of the MIT Media Lab as the conference keynote speaker, underscore the future look. Continue reading SIGGRAPH 2015: XRoad of Discovery; Emerging Tech Conference Opens in LA

Virtual Reality Startups Define Diverse Facets of New Medium

The tech world is awash in virtual reality startups, each of them focusing on developing different aspects of the new medium. Oculus VR, which was purchased by Facebook last year for $2 billion, has made great strides in several areas, including its virtual reality head-mounted display Oculus Rift, but is also working on Oculus Cinema, a consumer-facing movie-watching app. Other companies are creating avatars, virtual worlds and virtual games, and a camera that allows viewers to go on tours of homes for sale and hotel rooms. Continue reading Virtual Reality Startups Define Diverse Facets of New Medium

Greenlight VR Maps Today’s Virtual Reality Industry Ecosystem

Greenlight VR, a San Francisco-based business intelligence startup specializing in the virtual reality industry, has created a business map of significant VR players. The rising prospects for virtual reality as a mainstream medium has seen new demand for ways of better grasping the scope and nuances of the industry’s emerging and rapidly evolving landscape. The database profiles hundreds of VR businesses from around the world — from fledgling startups to the established companies entering this space — organized by 22 categories across 11 sectors. Continue reading Greenlight VR Maps Today’s Virtual Reality Industry Ecosystem

Microsoft Details How to Shoot for its HoloLens AR Headset

Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented reality headset allows video — which can be streamed over the Internet — to be viewed from any angle, combining the real world with computer-generated imagery. Whereas a digital object can be rendered in 3D and easily shown from any angle, live action isn’t so accommodating. To that end, the Silicon Valley company just came out with a document giving specific directions on how to capture and handle live action footage for use with its AR headset.

Continue reading Microsoft Details How to Shoot for its HoloLens AR Headset

With New Funding, AltspaceVR Plans More Virtual Gatherings

AltspaceVR, a virtual reality chat room and communication platform, just raised $10.3 million, which it will use to work towards a business plan that could include paid virtual gatherings with celebrities. Founded in 2013, Altspace launched its VR chat room in June. Its global user base spends time on the site chatting, browsing, playing games or watching videos; the software runs on Oculus, Mac and PC desktops and 3D TVs. Users can add a Leap Motion or Kinect motion sensor to add gestures to their robot avatars. Continue reading With New Funding, AltspaceVR Plans More Virtual Gatherings

Nokia Introduces 360-Degree VR Camera for Pro Filmmakers

Nokia Technologies launched a 360-degree 3D VR camera targeted at professional content creators, and, in the process, rebranded itself. The company sold its mobile phone business to Microsoft in 2013. The new VR camera, dubbed OZO, which was unveiled in Hollywood and is slated for a Fall 2015 release, features eight lenses, each of which captures 2Kx2K resolution, and eight microphones to capture and create spatial audio. Nokia also plans to enable live broadcasting to VR headsets. Continue reading Nokia Introduces 360-Degree VR Camera for Pro Filmmakers

VR Storytelling: Oculus Story Studio Debuts Animated Short

Oculus Story Studio premiered “Henry,” its second virtual reality movie, at an event in Beverly Hills yesterday. The San Francisco-based company is attempting to define the parameters of VR content by making short movies. The studio’s first movie, “Lost,” which was shown at the Sundance Film Festival, focused on immersing the viewer in an environment. “Henry,” however, focuses on creating a character — a hedgehog with a problem — and figuring out how to use that character’s presence in virtual reality. Continue reading VR Storytelling: Oculus Story Studio Debuts Animated Short

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