The virtual reality story at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah majorly reflects the recent virtual reality history itself. A couple of years ago, there has been just a kernel of hype surrounding it, but now the focus has bloomed into an event comprised of about thirty exhibits that is imposing nearly as much attention as the movies that are precisely at the heart of the festival. Since one of the films that are mostly talked about this year is featuring Daniel Radcliffe as a farting corpse, that is undoubtedly a good thing.
For the lovers of festivals, who also plop a wide virtual reality headset the Oculus Rift on their heads instead, far much bigger visual wonders await you. What’s worth noting this year, however, is the Leviathan Project that combines both augmented reality and full of virtual reality to bring Scott Westerfeld’s chart-topping Leviathan trio of tales to live. It is the creation of a 3-year combined effort between Alex McDowell’s 5-Dimentional Global Studio, Intel, Unity and USC’s World Building Media Lab, and makes for a fascinating setting. Books of Westerfeld focus on a substitute reality in which sordid affair between Mary Shelley and Charles Darwin eventually leads to proponents of engines powered by steam duking it out with folks that advocate using animals that are fabricated as armaments in the World War I.
However, lead designer Bradley Newman and lead artist Alex McDowell are not asking visitors to wrap up their heads on that, but rather their exhibit summons the users to put on the Oculus Rift so as to step into the gondola of Leviathan itself, happening to be a bigger flying sperm whale which is dodging the clouds as it heads to Moscow from London.
It then became fascinating. With the assistance of gloves furnished with motion sensors, users can interact with a few objects in the laboratory of the ship, having green-painted props in reality and are as well move tracked. Further than that, they can as well associate with the Unity-powered squad of scientists, dishing out both commands and obliging advice as visitors create genetically mythical creatures of their own.
McDowell is a prominent production designer with films such as Minority Report and Fight Club under his belt, and his work here is an evolution of traditional narrative space while it makes viewers participants. The Leviathan’s decks’ story leads the viewers through experiences that according to McDowell cannot be matched by classic movies. Expressively, the effects of Leviathan’s world is felt as though we’re part of it. McDowell explained in a press release that the stories are no longer fixed, that they are changed by the actions of each participant.
Leviathan Project that is on display now at Sundance is featuring an augmented reality segment, majorly focusing on allowing the visitors to use tablet screens to watch as Leviathan undulates on the big screen through the room and hovers over the heads of the jam-packed room. Still with the tablets, visitors exhibiting can use related technology to play with creatures that look like jellyfish known as Huxleys shot by Leviathan from her spouts.