A New Reality is Coming: A Virtual Reality

To many, the words “virtual reality” are just buzz words. A concept. Yet for content creators with an eye to the future, it is the new world of possibilities and unique challenges that they need to learn how to overcome. And soon.

With HTC’s Vive set to release in time for this holiday season at the end of 2015, and the Oculus Rift scheduled to be released commercially in early 2016, virtual reality is poised to take over the entertainment industry in a major way. In fact, some studios are already hard at work creating VR movies, and games. There are already a host of games and accessories already available on market.

In order to take advantage of this emerging market, content creators will need to learn a whole new set of skills to create content that is both compelling  and immersive, as well as understand the technical specifications and language associated with virtual content creation.

At REAP, we were fortunate to have two such experts in virtual reality join a packed house for our most recent lunch and learn. Jennifer Janik and Bernie Roehl of Deep Realities spoke of their own most recent experience from both the project management and technical development side when they were hired by the Lindt Chocolate Company to create a one of a kind immersive experience that would take place in various cities across the United States.

On May 9th, the Lindt Chocolate Company launched a new product, and to celebrate they commissioned the LINDOR Melt VR Experience to be held in three major cities across the United States: Times Square in New York, the Mall of the Americas in Minneapolis, and the Marina Green in San Francisco.

Each location had their own virtual world, and each with its own theme, all accessed from a central virtual lobby. The users were invited to “choose their bliss” by selecting one of the three worlds – a Swiss ski chalet, a dock in the Maldives, or a beautiful garden in Italy – and then were transported to their chosen destination.

Creating these worlds required a team of talented 3D artists, programmers, sound engineers, and videographers to create rich and detailed assets to be brought together into a cohesive and immersive environment. Read more about youth entrepreneurship program.

One of the very first things they did was to provide a list of technical specifications of the computers needed to be able to compute the VR environments, so that the computer could track the movement of the audience and render the graphics in time with their movement, as even a couple seconds of lag can cause nausea and disorientation in audiences.They also had the unique challenge of taking into consideration the environments where the VR would be experienced, as most movies have the luxury of being created for environments that have been specifically designed to be as acoustically optimized as possible, whereas Times Square and a large Mall was not.