Be a Divergent in Insurgent
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Gear VR: Oculus Home on GearVR
I’m excited to finally be able to share with you guys what we’ve been working on for the past 4 months – our first movie tie-in VR experience!
How would you like to be a character in a scene from a blockbuster movie? This was how Lionsgate approached us back in September when they asked us to create a VR experience for their upcoming Insurgent movie.
Since the movie revolves around a VR simulation tie in, we thought it would be perfect for VR and right up our alley – combine cinematic narrative with surreal and epic visuals. Lionsgate’s support allowed us to film the principal talent such as Kate Winslet & Mekhi Phifer on set during film production. We also got a chance to introduce them to VR with Senza Peso.
We wanted to have the widest release possible for this so we have:
- A DK2 Version
- A Gear VR Movie Theater experience to watch the movie trailer and GearVR port of the DK2 Version
- A traveling city tour with a custom designed/built chair from the VR experience with full haptic feedback and 4D components
- Google Cardboard mobile apps (Android & iOS)
But of course, we didn’t want to sacrifice visual quality to achieve this. So we developed some tools that we hope to share with you guys down the road.
UE4 Stereo 360 Movie Export Plugin
We wanted to maintain the same level of visual quality across all the different devices so we created a UE4 plugin that allows VR Developers to export synthetic stereoscopic 360 movies.
Our new plugin will allow developers to easily create GearVR ports of their passive desktop experiences. We imagine down the road, this can also be an amazing way for Let’s Play videos that people can consume in VR.
Best news of all: we’re opensourcing the plugin and giving it out for free! We hope to post it to our github repo in the next couple of weeks but stay tuned for more details to follow.
Alembic Cache Playback
To create a fast content production workflow, we also wrote an alembic cache plugin that allows you to playback Alembic files in UE4. This allows us to import vertex cache animation such as water simulations or rigid motion animation such as our lab destruction sequence containing 10k destroyed lab fragments shown in the screen capture above.
We’re excited about this because this will hopefully allow us to bring film like visual effects into our VR experiences in a fast big way.
We’ve been fortunate and thankful to have a couple of big brands and clients ask us to do some commercial VR work, but like we’ve always said, our main goal is to create original content. It’s been amazing having these clients so that we can sustain ourselves while doing VR fulltime until the consumer headsets start coming out. Our other options were to raise investor money or seek out a publishing deal, neither of which is appealing to us at this stage.
The great thing is that after our next client project, our plan is to work from June to December on our own original idea and hopefully be able to grow the 2 man K&L duo to a trio or even a team
Either way, we’re super stoked and can’t wait for the VR headsets coming out this year!
And as always, let me know what you think of the Insurgent experience.
Cory & Ikrima